REVIEW: Dhampyr - Oceanclots


The advent of black-gaze has so completely jaded me these days. For some reason, my focus on that particular sub-genre had me so simultaneously entranced and annoyed that I forgot all about these Progressive Atmospheric Black Metal groups altogether - and, you know, that is a damn shame. Though DHAMPYR isn't the best of the best or the most focused group, I feel just listening to it has brought me back to the roots of why I enjoy Black Metal at all.

Firstly, this is definitely a rough underground production but not to that annoying tin-box extent. The loud extreme nature that pervades the majority of 'Oceanclots' works with the cavernous and murky atmosphere that this LoFi route provides. And, when DHAMPYR decides to tone things down - the clean sections are usually accompanied by sympathetic vibrations that add a strange eeriness and uneasiness even to these softer parts. Oh, yeah, and there is some wild sections that attempt to infuse drone and noise into the whole thing - good news, it works extremely well on 'Oceanclots'.

The praise I could give this entire album is endless. It, somehow, makes me recall old favorites such as FELL VOICES and sometimes even SATYRICON (though not lyrically). However, the albums sometimes accidentally shifts gears too fast and the clean sections collide with the extreme in somewhat unpleasant ways. Sometimes, it even feels like maybe DHAMPYR didn't know how to connection two separate parts but this is only thinly evident in the opening track 'Mine Isabella of Frosts and Poppypins'. From there, it seems the whole thing really came into place - accidentally or not, 'Oceanclots' is still a superior and extremely enjoyable album in the extreme/black metal spectrum.

The only people that won't like the nature of this album are either those who prefer raw, completely classic extreme/black metal in the vein of IMMORTAL or those who just don't like extreme metal. Otherwise, this enormous cavernous eerie and depressive experience just isn't something you should miss.