Artist: Ocean Dark
Album: Voice to the Nations
Ocean Dark is a new name in the music scene, a creative project by Olli Helenius. Looking to give everyone an “antidote for coronavirus,” the new EP entitled Voice to the Nations is set for release on April 3rd, 2020, and promises to cover topics such self-reflection, existence, as well as love and relationships.
The EP beings with peppy and uplifting “Sometimes,” which stands out particularly thanks to its guitar lines and super disco drums, though the synth and electronic poppiness adds to the overall feeling. Ocean Dark then slows things down with the much more alternative rock “Die for Me,” with deeper vocals, creative drumming, and an extremely powerful chorus with a nice powerful “Die! For! Me!” part preceding the solo that will definitely be great live. I can just imagine the fists in the air as the crowd cheers along. The solo isn’t half bad either!
Being so unfamiliar with the band and the first two tracks sounding like nearly completely different genres, I found myself interested to hear where the album would go next. “Close to You” has what feels like an early-Amaranthe-style intro but ends up being more 80s or 90s rock on the whole – a bit groovy with guitar lines that take their time fading, though the pace is kept quite upbeat. The chorus is funky and catchy, perhaps a bit too radio-friendly basic at times, but grew on me after a few listens.
More straightforward heavy guitars lead into “Overdose,” a song that was a last addition to the album according to songwriter Olli Helenius. More in the grungy/trashy territory than the preceding songs, it nevertheless has a fairly catchy chorus and strong lyrics. As intended, this is a pretty good song to bang your head to and has one of the most shredding solos on the EP.
“Can’t Let Go” slows things down and could perhaps be considered a ballad since it keeps a lower tempo, with sorrowful yet hopeful lyrics. The EP then finishes up with “The One,” with groovy guitars and rhythms. While the lyrical concept of “you’re still the one” has been done time and time again, the song is nevertheless upbeat, catchy, and easy to enjoy.
What is maybe the most notable about this EP is the general positive vibe it gives off both lyrically and atmospherically. It’s got a variety of different sounds and styles, ranging from poppier, radio-friendly hits to more straight-up metal guitars and heavy sounds. Helenius proves to be a fairly diverse and passionate singer, captivating the essence of the songs well. This EP did indeed prove to be a nice diversion while stuck at home during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Rating: 8.5/10, 4 stars
2. Die for Me
3. Close to You
5. Can’t Let Go
6. The One