The Color Of Rain unveils its debut album.
Entitled Oceans Above, it blends the extreme and diverse influences of three Dutch musicians Gerhans Meulenbeld (guitar/spoken word/composition, Sad State of Decay, ex-As Empires Fall), Devi Hisgen (vocals/effects, Cthulhuminati, Teitan) and Floris Velthuis (drums/bass/keyboards, Schavot, Asgrauw, Meslamtaea), and is released by Void Wanderer Productions in 2023.
The album opens with the short but strange introduction of Cult Of The Cosmic Flood, which quickly gives way to a dissonant, haunting mix populated by visceral howls that perfectly blend with the ambient chaos. We have more straightforward passages where melodies run free, as well as more « conventional » quiet parts where clean vocals appear before the whole thing catches fire again, then it’s with Corrosion Of The Flesh and its melancholic touches that the sound comes back to life, drawing us into its darkness. The lull in the middle allows us to digest the surge before taking in the next one, which strikes under its sullen veil before giving way to Oceans Above, the very heady eponymous track, which follows a rather similar pattern, suffocating us with a complex rhythm followed by soft touches. Still, the band adds an impressive touch to its most virulent moments, while it’s Prog influences that we notice right from the start of Guiding Lights To Eden, a composition that develops the perfect balance between aggression and quietness, while draping its riffs in a veil of permanent torment, which barely disappears by the end. The soaring harmonies return on Translucence, but are regularly absorbed by these waves of dismal darkness from which emerge the unleashed screams that only serve to strengthen the contrast with the more plaintive lyrics. The band seems to be inviting us to take part in an occult ceremony with Pillars Of Creation, a track with raw but sometimes highly complex jerky riffs that suffocate us before letting a whisper guide us to Urban Misanthropy and its much calmer approach, which is confirmed even when saturation hits. The luminous leads borrowed from Post-Black are perfect to complement the ambient fury, but also the more unusual vocal parts that temper the track, before abruptly giving way to Darkness Cloaks The Cradle and its ever so disparate mix that doesn’t hesitate to dip into Old School sounds to finally anchor itself in silence and bring the album to a close.
The Color Of Rain is a band with an as rich as complex identity. Oceans Above will put many off with its many contrasts, but those who take the time to understand its creative madness are faced with a sea of possibilities.