Released by: Independent
Genre: Melodic/Power Progressive Metal
Per Frederik ‘PelleK’ åstley : vocals, orchestration
Patrick Fallang, guitars, orchestration
Ingemar Bru: bass
Stian Warlow Braathen: drums
02. Northern Wayfarer
03. Sea Of Okhotsk
04. Brigantine Of Tranquility
05. God’s Pocket
06. Stars And Bullet Holes
07. Sky Odyssey
09. The Last Journey
Is Norwegian wonderboy Per Frederik ‘PelleK taking metal to your family ?
That might be the case with the 2nd album from this ideal son-in-law entitled Ocean Of Opportunity. A piece of music (9 tracks) that can easily be enjoyed by your grandma and your kids in the car on a family trip to some kind of fairy-tale amusement park.
Although described as melodic metal, which it is in fact so don’t worry, it often dangerously leans towards some kind of ‘song festival’-metal and that’s a bummer (to me anyway).
Of course the young PelleK is blessed with a sublime voice (4 octave vocal range), has taking the melodic metal world by storm, mainly with his other UK-based band Damnation Angels (review of their debut album ‘Bringer of Light’ can be read on MGM as well) and is very capable of writing decent pieces of music and lyrics, I still miss a little bit of rebellion and sweaty energy. That’s what hardrock and metal is all about, isn’t that so ?
The album starts with some classic orchestration (strings, piano etc.) and my first association was to make some coffee. This ‘cosy’ intro for ‘Elucidation’ would be a very suitable soundtrack for a coffee commercial ! In fact almost every track has this kind of classic, cinematic intro creating some kind of fabulous atmosphere, just like in many fantasy movies. Nice, but after a while it’s a bit boring.
Obviously the vocal duties by Per Frederik are the signboard for this album and he delivers the job fairly well although he sometimes he takes it over the top (the intro on ‘Brigantine of Tranquility’ and at the end of ‘Stars And Bullet Holes’) in my opinion.
‘Northern Wayfarer’ and ‘Transmigration’ are the two most fierce tracks showing some lovely, triumphant Viking metal. The other pieces presented here are characterized by the meticulously worked-out orchestration with galloping strings, accompanied by staccato guitar and bass riffs and double bass drums.
‘Sea Of Okhotsk’ (where the hell is that ?) is a catchy tune and ends with a Japanese sounding motive. ‘God’s Pocket’ is my worst nightmare though as the overwhelming gaiety of the this track is just too much for my metal heart. So what’s the bottom line ?
Despite the pristine production, impressive playing and some quite nice songs here and there, there are, unfortunately, some major flaws on this album due to excessive leaning towards childish amusement. I’m sorry to say that, but I believe many metal fans will turn their back on this one. But maybe the touring outfit of PelleK is a complete other story so if you want to see PelleK live , than check out their touring dates in the upcoming months.
Written by Ruud