Friday, July 28th, Fearless Records launches Oceans Ate Alaska (Birmingham, UK) back into the spotlight with their latest album, Hikari, a brutal and daring approach to metalcore. Hikari, which is Japanese for light, is only the beginning of the Japanese infusion into the new music. Oceans Ate Alaska cites their instrumental track “Veridical” as the inspiration for the album and was their first trial of infusing traditional Japanese instruments into their music.
The band took to social media back in early February to announce their new vocalist would be close friend, Jake Noakes. He takes over the reigns on both clean and unclean vocals. Hikari opens with “Benzaiten” and features Alex Teyen, singer of the British heavy metal band, Black Tongue. Later in the album, Josh Manuel, drummer for the metalcore band, Issues, out of Atlanta, joins in for the second instrumental piece “Ukiyo.”
“Covert” provides a lyrically powerful and balanced approach to Noakes’ screams and singing. Thunderous drums and racing guitars are a given for this genre, but, you are struck by tranquil moments during the use of the Japanese instrumentation. Oceans Ate Alaska provides an intriguing experiment in sound. “Sarin” and “Deadweight” will bring something new to the mosh pit.
“Entrapment” and the title track “Hikari” touch on the idea of getting trapped in your own thoughts and how it can avalanche out of control. “Hikari” faces up to the fact that we don’t live just to exist and could perhaps become a light in the dark for their fan base, while on their own personal journey of discovery. If you’re looking for a spine tingling track, “Birth-Marked” delivers with the guttural cries of “you never loved me” along with what appears to be a baby wailing. Oceans Ate Alaska actually confirms on Instagram that this is in fact their own vocal stylings. Hikari closes out with the early released track “Escapist” with a vivid music video already going strong on YouTube. Oceans Ate Alaska brings a provocative and innovative spin to the current music scene. Fans of the band can appreciate their vision for Hikari.