Sometimes a band disappears from my personal radar then makes their return in a big way. My first exposure to Oak Pantheon started in 2012 with their release “From a Whisper”. It definitely had made its impact on me and I was left wanting more. Now this band has been compared to Agalloch and there is no doubt that “From a Whisper” harnesses a lot of similar aspects but what Oak Pantheon possesses is something all their own. The fact that this is a two-man band is really something and on top of that they are fully independent. From 2012 to present their sound has become superior. “In Pieces” is a masterpiece and it has projected emotions that I have not felt in a while, and it ultimately transcends into the realms of sadness,despair, and glimmers of hope. It leaves me with the urge to instantly replay the album in full immediately after finishing it, and to me that is the sign of an exceptional release. “Dawn as a New Day” starts everything off with a bang and the listener is thrust into a very catchy guitar melody mingled with deep lyrics of sheer pain. My favorite track off the whole album is “Climb” which has an ominous vibe with the mournful intro and the whispers of “I am Not the Only One”.This song is still stuck in my mind and it has actually left me thinking, especially during the segment from “The Shrinking Man” which in a nutshell puts us in parallel with the vast universe… and beyond… at least that is what I take away from it. Another song that instantly transported me elsewhere was “Enormity” which featured a very catchy chorus and an amazing symphonic like interlude that left me lost, only to bring me back to the waking world once the band came back into play. This track literally left me “In Pieces”… and that is not a bad thing. You literally have all aspects of metal mixed into one, a prime example is during the track “Float” which is relatively short but harnesses a lot of progressive elements while not taking away from the Black Metal sound.”Pavor Nocturnus” has almost a Primordial like vibe to it but at the same time foreboding as some shrieking vocals are unleashed.
“Godson” was a great way to close out the album because the lyrical content wrapped everything up in a beautiful way, this to me is where the glimmers of hope appear. “In Pieces” is an emotional whirlwind and the lyrics are fully portrayed in the instrumentation. You have everything you could hope for in a metal album but more and with that being said this is a journey well worth taking, and I have no doubt this will be a contender for my album of the year.
1. Dawn as a New Day
5. Grasp the Apparition
6. Pavor Nocturnus
7. Burden of Growth