Mixing old-school death metal with a firm helping of crust and some quite emotive elements, this is an energetic and filthy slab of crushing aggression and surprising depth.
The songs mix these elements in unforced ways, resulting in tracks that sound as if early Entombed were forced to play old punk songs. More than this though, as we also get some relatively subtle dark melodies and a decent amount of macabre atmosphere alongside the d-beats and emotive crust riffing.
The clever thing about this release is not just that the band successfully incorporate all of their different influences into the songs, but that they do so in such a way that provides a more diverse listening experience than you might probably expect. The majority of the music is undeniably heavy and belligerent, but Ovakner still make time to inject subtlety and nuance into proceedings. This could be a certain riff, an acoustic element, a Pagan influence, or a section of the music that betrays its intelligence and emotive power.
This is not a band that feel compelled to always play overly simplistic music at all; there’s method behind Ovakner’s grim veneer, one that understands what makes music with longevity and depth as well as high-impact instant appeal.
The recording is a professional and well-judged one, allowing the band just the right amount of power and strength, while still allowing the band a certain underground aesthetic.
With various moods, feelings, textures, and attitudes explored, all within a death/crust framework, Ar/Lume is an impressive and extremely promising first release.