Oak releases its second album.
Four years after its first release, the Portuguese duo created in 2018 by Guilherme Henriques (vocals/guitar) and Pedro Soares (drums) during the creation of Gaerea‘s first album announces Disintegrate, illustrated by Belial Necro (Gaerea, Concilium, Phenocryst…), which sees the light of day at Season of Mist.
Composed of one and only track entitled Disintegrate, the duo makes us sink with them in a fall of almost three quarters of an hour of Doom/Death which is at first very soaring with its airy and soothing introduction. The ghostly strikes slowly appear and then multiply as the haunting guitar darkens, finally revealing the rhythmic accompanied by massive vocal parts contrasting with those piercing leads. The band will pause several times, allowing waves of ambient sounds to bewitch us again before they resume their slow, crushing, saturated march, burdened by ambient keyboards and oppressive effects, but also by explosions of violence fueled by blast and Black/Doom influences. Although the track can be listened to in one go, we notice several movements and several melodies following each other in a very natural way, as if the band’s music was guided by a mystical or occult force that binds them together thanks to this oppressive and heavy basis punctuated by mysterious interludes while making them darker and darker. Screams also become more impressive and intense, but we also have some misty whispers to accompany the gripping layers of despair, which will once again welcome transcending leads before a softer final, which will cushion our landing.
Oak carries us into a dark dreamlike world which hits us in successive waves of sound, interspersed with softer parts. Don’t separate the track, but rather let Disintegrate capture and crush you before releasing you into another world.
Few questions to the band OAK.
Hello and first of all, thank you very much for your time! Could you please introduce yourself and the band OAK without using the usual music “labels”?
OAK: We are the narrators of a giant’s story and through our music we try to expose its feelings.
Disintegrate, your second full-length, will be out soon. How do you feel about it? Do you already have some feedback?
OAK: We are very excited about this second release. It continues to tell the captivating story of our giant and beyond that, Disintegrate is a natural evolution of what we’ve done musically. The feedback so far has been tremendous, not only because we feel like the music is being well received by the people who listen to it, but because we’ve managed to get people to almost “see” our sound.
How would you sum Disintegrate up in only three words?
OAK: THE GIANT LIBERATION.
How did you deal with the composition process for this album? What about its name meaning and the artwork?
OAK: This album was composed in the same way as the previous one – through intimate jam sessions in which we create an atmosphere in our rehearsal room so that inspiration flows more easily. After each jam session we take what we like the most from there and move forward with the composition.
The album cover illustrates the passage of the body from the material to the immaterial world, through a spiral of flames. The giant’s body disintegrates as his soul ascends to new heights, seeing snippets of his past life. And this is where the name of the album also comes from.
Did you notice some changes between this album and the previous one?
OAK: The Lone album showed the tip of the iceberg and now we want to unveil more and more of the story of this hidden colossus. In this second album Disintegrate, we wanted to add more layers and break some barriers that we had imposed on ourselves in the first album. Disintegrate has more guitar layers and a bass track, but always exploring those contrasts between atmospheric and aggressive parts as we always did. This album feels like an evolution of the previous one and it sounds even more “huge”.
The album has “only” one song, which is nearly forty five minutes of haunting slowness and dark oppression. Why did you decide to keep everything as a single piece instead of cutting it into several songs?
OAK: Already on Lone we had the idea of ??making a single track, but for strategic reasons we split the trip into 4 tracks. This time, in Disintegrate, we decided that this experience should be heard as it is and, thus, we didn’t section it into several parts. Instead, we extracted two excerpts of the album and called them Disintegrate I and Disintegrate II. With the atmospheric approach, we want to make this experience more visual or cinematic and, on the other hand, the more aggressive and violent parts represent the emotions and feelings of the giant.
Your music is a mixing of raw sounds and soaring elements, how do you manage to keep the balance between all the elements you take inspiration from?
OAK: From the beginning we always wanted to have a lot of contrasts throughout our music, from atmospheric, cathartic and slow parts, to more aggressive riffs with more intense drums. These contrasts result from the poles that influence our sound.
Do you already have some plans for the band’s future?
OAK: There is still a lot of story to be told and many atmospheres and moods to share with our audience. Let’s go with the flow, one thing is certain, nothing done in this project will ever be hollow in concept or devoid of meaning.
Are there any musicians or bands you would like to collaborate with? Whether it is for one song, an album…
OAK: Not at the moment, but who knows in the future…
Do you plan to play live with OAK? If yes, with which bands would you love to tour with? I let you create a tour (or just a single show) with OAK and three other bands!
OAK: We are very selective, but we also love to play our albums live and why not put together Convocation, Mournful Congregation, Primitive Man and OAK?
That was the last question for me, so thank you very much for your time and your music, last words are yours!
OAK: Thank you very much!