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Splitting up earlier this year, it is unlikely we will hear anything more from the Belgian metal band Oceans Of Sadness. Over a career that spanned well over a decade, they failed to achieve much longstanding popularity or success, but they had an interesting sound going for them when they were around, and 'The Arrogance Of Ignorance' caps off their career quite nicely. Their fifth album is a well-produced, varied journey, and being my first experience with the music of this band, I have found myself wanting to hear more of what this band has to offer. While it is unfortunate that Oceans Of Sadness have since decided to throw in the towel, they have closed their career on an excellent note.
When first listening to 'The Arrogance Of Ignorance', it became instantly clear that the band was drawing their sound from a variety of different extreme metal sources. Although being rooted in a similar (albeit more melodic) sound to Enslaved or Opeth, Oceans Of Sadness was also taking in gothic, and doom into their sound. This results in a distinct style for the band that does not sound apart from other extreme metal acts, but has enough of a personal identity to it in order to give a memorable experience. Although extreme metal is generally a sound that leans more towards melancholia and sadder emotions, I actually found Oceans Of Sadness to play fun music here; although there is atmosphere and proggy elements in it, the band also makes it clear- especially during the first half of the record- that they aren't taking themselves completely seriously. Sometimes I did find that the band took the tongue-in-cheek nature to levels of silliness, but for the most part, it added a nice 'catchy' element to the music that made it much more accessible than I would have first predicted.
The album does feel as if it goes on for a song or two too long, but Oceans Of Sadness makes their music interesting and attractive throughout. Although I have not heard anything from Oceans Of Sadness before, I certainly think that this was a great way to end the band's career. I am also surprised that the band never achieved a greater popularity when they were around; I could have easily seen them being a quirkier alternative to a band like Opeth. A great album that manages to be dark, progressive, but fun and uplifting, all within the course of one hour.