Finnish heavy metal act OCEANHOARSE is already widely talked about in the local scene, but also recently conquered the stages of Europe during their tour with Marko Hietala. The quartet has been around for a couple of years and ever since we have been eagerly awaiting their debut album. OCEANHOARSE don’t like to do things the normal way, always seeming to find a loophole to explore things differently than your standard heavy metal act. As a direct result, their debut album, “The Damage is Done – LIVE!” is also immediately their first live album. You can enjoy these tracks starting from 5 June 2020.
As is standard in a concert, the album also includes an atmospheric intro track, building up a tense and serious atmosphere, while the audience seems to be clapping and cheering. The intro track nicely blends in with “Feed the Sirens,” where you can expect an aggressive attempt to make everybody start a moshpit. Heavy riffs, energetic drumming, and groovy basslines… if you then add a big chorus to the mix, you’ve got “Feed The Sirens.”
“We are OCEANHOARSE and we play heavy fucking metal,” is something singer Joonas Kosonen surely doesn’t lie about when he introduces the next track, “Fading Neons.” The song is the perfect example of why a live album was an ingenious idea for the band. Since they take pride in not using any stage gimmicks and there’s no backing track involved in their music, the raw energy makes their show always worth the while and very entertaining. It’s not easy to bring such dynamics to a studio album, thus, a live album makes a lot of sense.
Continuing with “Death Row Center,” a song that contains great guitar melodies, along with a groovy bassline. The live guitar sound truly creates more depth and the excellent vocal delivery by Kosonen lifts this track up to the next level. The slower “Waves” is one of the heavier tracks with some sort of melodic simplicity in structure. Its calmer pace is probably the main reason why it is one of their most explosive songs. Kosonen then introduces their bass player, Jyri Helko, after which the audience gets to hear his nifty bass playing skills as he pulls out an incredible solo. Not a lot of bass players can actually pull of a bass solo during a show, but Helko does so in style.
OCEANHOARSE continues with their latest single, “The Damage,” starting with a melodic riff by guitar virtuoso Ben Varon, the song continues in a soft manner, accompanied by pounding drums and an impressive vocal performance by Kosonen, gaining more and more strength as it progresses. With an IRON MAIDEN-like bridge, the powerful and catchy chorus is an excellent example of how OCEANHOARSE write straightforward heavy metal.
Next, the band introduces their rendition of the classic SLIPKNOT song “Duality.” Varon gets to show off his guitar wizardry in “Submersed,” the guitar solo. It seems like he discovered every inch of the fretboard as he played through the track with incredible precision. He doesn’t show off his shredding skills, but instead, offers a melodic solo that serves as the perfect intermezzo for one of the heaviest tracks of the show, “The Intruder.” The song brings out the worst in people and has a tendency to evoke incredibly vicious moshpits in the midst of a concert. The band then ends the album with their classic “The Oceanhoarse,” an energetic way of closing the album with its catchy singalong chorus and groovy riffs.
All-in-all, we get introduced to many of the OCEANHOARSE songs that we have come to love during their many shows. The fact that their debut album is immediately their debut live record allows the listener to enjoy the true nature of the beast: raw, heavy, and a punch straight in your face. Enjoy!
2. Feed the Sirens
3. Fading Neons
4. Death Row Center
6. Bass solo
7. The Damage
8. Duality (Slipknot cover)
10. The Intruder
11. The Oceanhoarse
Joonas Kosonen – vocals
Jyri Helko – bass
Oskari Niemi – drums
Ben Varon – guitar
Sami Hinkka’s solo project ssSHhh released industrial metal homage to Christmas classic “Jingle Bells.”