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The Evolution of Gothenburg Melodic Death Metal. - 100%

NotCoreyTaylor, April 16th, 2016

When it comes to melodic death metal, especially everything post-Slaughter of the Soul, you will get the haters of the genre that say it is bland, unoriginal, and extremely derivative. The only melodeath the haters will say that's worth listening to would be anything from Arghoslent and AtG's "Gardens of Grief" along with "The Red in the Sky is Ours". As an enthusiastic and hardcore melodeath listener, I can easily say that this album is not "one of" but 'The' highest peak of original Gothenburg melodic death metal. The fact that this band managed to make something so breathtakingly cinematic and completely original while still being in the vicinity of the ever-so-infamous Gothenburg influence makes this album better than anything Arghoslent or early-AtG has by miles. I'm exaggerating in no shape, way or form when I say that this album fully trumps its predecessors from its instrumentation to its lyrical genius.

There is absolutely way too much to cover with this album's content that wouldn't take an essay's worth of explanation, so I will only cover the pinnacle points. This literally sounds like no other melodic death metal band out in the scene right now. The closest albums I can compare this to is a mix of Mors Principium Est's "Liberation=Termination" along with The Black Dahlia Murder's "Nocturnal", and even then that would be a completely horrible comparison the second you hear the opening track. Many other sites have said their sound is a mix of melodic death, thrash, and doom metal, but honestly the only "doom" that appears in this album is "Lost Avenues" and "Black Soterion" and half of "Concrete Sanctuary" and even then that's a very debatable stretch for doom metal. There is no track on this album that sounds derivative of another. The album has it's aggressive songs like "Cannons At Dawn" and "I Paint the World in Solitude" which take influence from yet completely surpass artists like At the Gates while also having melancholic songs like "Lost Avenues" that surpasses artists like Insomnium and Dark Tranquillity. This band also has a seemingly odd tradition of implementing a short, recurring tremolo-picked riff first heard in the track "I Paint the World in Solitude" in nearly every other track of this album (and sprinkled around in their other works) changed only slightly. This riff is not an annoyance or disruptive so not much complaints in this. Last but not least is the lyrical content. Most melodic death artists have throwaway, by-the-numbers lyrics, but this album's lyrical content is full of cinematic energy, crushing melancholy and hopeless despair delivered excellently by Sean O'Kane Connolly. You get to see our present world through Sean's eyes; the remnants of mankind in a world absent of hope, love, and dreams, as fighting, lies, hate, and unseen despair take its place. This is further emphasized in tracks like "Concrete Sanctuary" and "Stillborn Kingdom".

I cannot recommend anything for this artist, as I've not heard one artist, album, or even track that is similar to the set of tracks this album contains. This is truly a masterpiece of the melodic death metal genre, and an essential album for hardcore fans of melodic death and any fan of heavy metal alike. Even the haters of melodeath that are tired of its derivative nature may be surprised with a listen from this artist. The only album I can honestly recommend is this artist's second album "Embers in the Spiritless Void" which is not as good but extremely close to the quality of "From the Oceanic Graves". Unfortunately this band is always going through significant line-up changes, and their recent album "Heavenshore" sounds like nearly an entirely new artist compared to their first 2 albums, so we may never have any melodic death like this ever again. Overall, In Dread Response's "From the Oceanic Graves" is a criminally underrated album that is truly an evolution of Gothenburg melodic death metal that deserves attention compared to monoliths like At the Gates, In Flames, and The Black Dahlia Murder so future melodic death metal artists throughout time can be inspired by this musical masterpiece.