Oar’s brand of post-black metal is expressive and dark. There is a sizeable doom influence, which is great to hear and works really well in the band’s blackened context. Elements of blackgaze and hardcore can also be heard, and these succeed in broadening the palette with which Oar paint their soundscapes.
Oar’s music is generally heavier than many bands that have the post-black metal label, thanks in part to the hefty doom influences included in the songs. In fact, some of my favourite parts of The Blood You Crave are where the band slow things down to a malevolent crawl as the grim melodies and anguished screams tear out over slow-burning doomfests. Very nice. The faster parts are just as scathing too, of course, as are the more-mid-paced sections. A good range of paces and ideas are explored across the album overall, and Oar certainly aren’t one-trick wonders.
The songs are well-written and structured. The heaviness is complemented by atmospheric enhancements and a frequently nuanced take on harsh extremity. Oar are obviously adept at using texture when composing their music, and these songs all have the feel of depth and substance straight from the get-go. Subsequent spins merely reinforce this, enriching the listener’s enjoyment of the band’s misery-drenched art.
The Blood You Crave is a solid album from a band who clearly know what they’re doing with this sort of material. At 42 minutes in length it’s the perfect duration to become immersed in the band’s world, and I have no hesitation in recommending Oar’s debut album.