When you already make a great impression with your first album, standards can be pretty high for any band that sticks around long enough to put out a second. Plenty of names overcome the dreaded sophomore slump while others falter with a future that can really seem to be in question, but I don’t think there has ever been any sort of worry when thoughts turn towards the return of Portugal’s Oak. Their debut, “Lone”, was a standout release to close out 2019 on a terrific note for all of doom metal, and it was while the duo’s other band Gaerea experienced a meteoric rise, many of us wondered when we would see Oak return to us. In a fashion that is no less than staggering and compelling right from the beginning, it goes without saying that Oak surpasses any and all expectations we may have had.
If you know me, then you know I have an affinity for particularly long-form metal. Stemming from my experience with Inter Arma’s “The Cavern”, it has been a phenomenon that I have always kept my eyes peeled for, and it really only feels natural that Oak would be a band that would dare to bring such a challenging listen to life in such a way that doesn’t just surpass the expectations that we got after hearing “Lone”, but it shows us in the purest form what kind of band we’re dealing with here and how powerful Oak has already become. Across an almost 45-minute runtime, “Disintegrate” does just that. This is a journey into the deepest reaches of the soul where true darkness lies and where only the brave attempt such a profound level of introspection with Oak being a guide that is as unrelenting in the pursuit of their destination at they are apt to bring to life such a magnitude of power that is not to be denied with all that it brings to the table. Pulling from the funeral doom territory that Oak tapped into four years ago while never once abandoning a sharp edge of death metal that cuts ever so deep, this duo has managed to craft another massive effort that is not something to be denied for all that it is with “Disintegrate” sure to be heralded for its accomplishments by many for some time to come.
Just as daringly bold as its predecessor and a presence that cannot be denied in any of its dense layers of anguish, Oak has returned to us in such a form that cannot be viewed as anything less than truly powerful! They could have pulled anything in the creation of “Disintegrate” with their potential truly unbound given the experience that this duo has garnered well before this record, and it’s in every way they capitalized on that potential to make this record one that’s not to be easily forgotten.
LISTEN to “Disintegrate” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Oak on Facebook here.
One thought on “Oak – Disintegrate”
I just haven’t had time to check this out!