Review 1602 : Ocean of Grief – Pale Existence – English

Ocean of Grief brings melancholy back to life.

Created in 2014 in Greece, the band composed of Charalabos Oikonomopoulos (vocals), Aris Nikoleris (keyboards), Filippos Koliopanos (guitar, ex-On Thorns I Lay), Giannis Koskinas (bass, ex-On Thorns I Lay), Thomas Motsios (drums) and Dimitra Zarkadoula (guitar) develops its universe around a Melodic Doom/Death illustrated in 2023 with Pale Existence, its second album, which comes out on Personal Records.

Poetry For The Dead, the first track, slowly wraps us in this melancholic darkness before letting saturation strengthen its majestic sounds. Vocals will only come later, bringing a touch of raw and massive violence while letting soft melodies guide the heavy march interspersed with almost silent passages before Dale Of Haunted Shades adds its dissonance to the airy and gloomy tones. The track will also offer some more energetic riffs remaining anchored in heavy patterns, but also very melodic parts letting bass express itself, and it will be followed by Unspoken Actions which unveils soaring airy tonalities. We will notice faster jerky parts and an extremely heady bass again, coexisting with the haunting basis, then Imprisoned Between Worlds offers us an ice-cold landscape which covers the band’s Melodic Doom/Death roots. The veil of melancholy is brutalized by suffocating vocal parts, but it remains untouched on the long instrumental moments before letting Cryptic Constellations unveil sharp leads, wonderfully integrated with this crushing quietness as well as the more virulent passages. The chaotic final leads us to Pale Wisdom, where the band adds some Prog touches to this harmonious and worked sound that makes us navigate between calm and melodic storms, revealing really suffocating and heavy parts. The album will end with Undeserving, a last composition placing heady and soaring leads on a solid basis while letting clean sounds soothe the break before a crushing final part which slowly fades away.

Ocean of Grief assimilated Doom/Death roots to expose a cold, dark and devastated landscape. If the word melancholy is obviously what best sums up Pale Existence, we quickly realize that the album is rich, and that all its influences are easily mixed.


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