Okular - Sexforce (Own Label)

Not for tantric hippies...
Release Date: 
4 Mar 2013 - 12:30am

This is not a soundtrack for sexy-yoga Sting fans - rather you should probably get yourself a tank of oxygen and set aside a good few hours if you wish to penetrate this piece of Norwegian progressive death metal.
As composer (and lyricist) Andreas Aubert says "Okular presents poetry describing aspects of the human existence, in a vital and experientially-based form, rather than as philosophical discourse." which, to my ears, means producing an album that is dark, heavy and profoundly intense. It's like having a witch-hag sitting on your chest sucking all the air out of your lungs - that's about as 'sexy' as it gets on here. It's a technical and ferocious album yet there are also some delightfully melodic parts - the album needs these 'breathers' such as To Ring The Bells of Truth, which is actually centred around piano - otherwise you may feel like you're choking on sound, such is the 'thick darkness' of Sexforce.

Vintersorg of Borknagar guests on the mid-tempo paced groove that is The Greatest Offender and The King of Life surprises with its use of solely acoustic guitars combined with clean and guttural vocals. Andreas doesn't sing though, he leaves that to guitarist Marius Sarskem Pedersen and Susperia vocalist Atheria (who does double duty with Marius on roughly half the tracks on here).

The over-arching sound of Okular is thick and oppressive; existentialism and nihilism aside, it's an album that demands your attention and the compositions on here will definitely take your ears off (but will also kiss them lovingly and tuck them into a silk-lined matchbox) - such is the weaving brutality and delicacy on this album. You won't get any 'Satan, Satan' lyrics but you will get a bit of 'Oh, the sorrow of existence' type stuff - the thinking man's (or woman's) death metal.