Melbourne’s Okera draw from the early death-doom sound of Opeth and Katatonia to on their debut album release A Beautiful Dystopia.
The haunting guitar melody of opener “The Black Rain” creates a musical vortex with moods and textures shifting throughout its near 10 minute duration, from pounding doom riffs and Jayme Sexton’s brooding growls to delicate progressive rock with clean guitar passages. Despite its length, it rarely strays and sets the album up quite well.
Their death-doom roots are apparent in the brooding and melancholy “Futility” with an ever present ominous feel constantly rising from the background reminiscent of Katatonia’s Brave Murder Day and the early-Opeth style “Like Jewels in the Sky” showcases the guitar interplay between Sexton and Owen Janusauskas.
“All That’s Lost” goes in a different direction, in the vein of early 90s death metal with a growing tempo like Entombed, Asphyx or Dismember but slower and doomier, and “I Hope”, the title track and the acoustically tinged “In Solitude” are brighter and more upbeat.
The production (courtesy of The Eternal’s Mark Kelson, who also contributes additional guitar and keyboards) has a natural and organic feel with plenty of warmth and reverb, while retaining the dark vibe overall.
Okera have boldly introduced themselves to the world with A Beautiful Dystopia. Their dynamic and vibrantly dark tinged compositions should appeal to those fans of death and doom metal.
1. The Black Rain
2. I Hope
4. In Solitude
5. All that’s Lost
6. Like Jewels In the Sky
7. A Beautiful Dystopia