OAK – The Quiet Rebellion of Compromise
BAND URL: https://oakinoslo.bandcamp.com/
The brilliant Norwegian prog rockers OAK are back with a new and deeply satisfying full-length album that encompasses everything that made their previous offerings great while also looking to the future.
The hauntingly bleak and emotive opening track, ‘Highest Tower, Deepest Well’, is a masterclass in light and shade, and the record as a whole is a wild ride through captivating soundscapes that range from serene and soothing to dark, punishing, and borderline apocalyptic. The textures are amazing, and there is so much going on without the compositions ever coming across as convoluted or overstuffed with ideas. A shimmering sadness pervades OAK’s sophisticated yet emotionally charged new material, and the crisp production accentuates the weight and seriousness of the lyrical content, namely issues relating to psychic health and suicide. I love the way in which the songs evolve organically and never fail to reach a truly dramatic or climactic point where they seem to burst into pure feeling and something akin to ecstatic pain. ‘Paperwings’ is a great example of how every little aspect and subtle detail complement each other to stunning effect; nothing is out of place or devoid of meaning, and it slowly transforms itself into what can only be termed ethereal. Simply put, one does not walk away from this one unmoved.
Despite the darkness inherent within The Quiet Rebellion of Compromise, the disc does contain glimmers of hope, light, and redemption. Classy and totally essential in case you were wondering, so make sure you do not miss out on this forward-thinking stroke of genius, and should you need a sample of its brilliance, check ‘Quiet Rebellion’ out on Bandcamp now.