Review by Michael on October 24, 2023.
What is the color of rain? Hm, this is a tricky question. At first thought, you might think about the different colors while you see the rainbow when it is raining and the sun is lurking through the clouds. But you could also think about the sound when the rain comes pouring down from the skies. It can be very nice but when I think about the sound of the rain in our gutter it is pretty annoying, especially at night when you want to sleep. And of course you can think of the way the rain is falling – mild drizzle or pouring cats and dogs and sometimes causing terrible deluges. Bram Bruyneel who was responsible for the latest Schavot album cover did a fantastic job here with this cover painting.
With Oceans Above the Dutch guys in The Color Of Rain (featuring Gerhans Meulenbeld (Sad State Of Decay), Floris Velthuis (Asgrauw / Schavot) and Devi Hisgen (Teitan); have created a musical counterpart to this description I just did. On their debut album you will find a lot of devastating soundscapes that if it was rain doesn't make you to leave your house (listen to the heavy dissonant and very repetitive riff attacks in the title track) but also some very nice and relaxing sounds that make you want to dance in the warm summer rain. What makes the album very diverse are the very nested parts which combine very technical and often very dissonant moments with some sections that are easier accessible to the listener because they have a little bit more melodies in it. 'Translucence' is a perfect example for this mixture of stylistic elements. In a split second you have almost balladic structures and then all of a sudden the guys come back with fury and hate and pour a bucket of water over your head with the heaviness. 'Darkness Cloaks The Cradle' almost sounds a little bit like The Gathering with their “Mandylion” breakthrough album at the start only to switch into something absolute insane that sounds like absolute hate and desperation after about one minute. It is a little bit tricky to explain how the whole thing sounds, maybe it is best to describe as a mixture between old Cynic and Deathspell Omega. And this is also the difficult part: is it death or (post) black metal? Maybe The Color Of Rain is something in between. Of course this isn't just because of the really sick guitars with a lot of tremolo picking and the pummeling drums but also because vocalist Devi Hisgen does a really insane, sometimes slight schizophrenic voice performance here. What I can promise you is that you will never ever find more than 20 seconds to calm down a little bit because the album is such much full of energy (negative and positive) so it is a wild hunt from the start to the end. But be warned – don't listen to the album while you have a bad day or while you feel unsettled (or while you write your tax return)
The whole album really isn't an easy listening experience because a lot of parts on it don't let to be explored too easily. It is a little bit like cracking a Brazil nut. It is very hard to open it but once you get to open it you can truly enjoy the content. So enjoy the drizzling rain but don't be surprised if you get totally soaked by some really cold blackish acid rain.
Rating: 8 out of 10 black rainbows