Album Review: Oceans Ate Alaska - 'Hikari'

After months of anticipation, Oceans Ate Alaska’s album ‘Hikari’ has finally hit the shelf. As the band parted ways with ex-vocalist James Harrison in December 2016, fans were skeptical as to what was to come in the future from Oceans Ate Alaska. Joining forces with new vocalist, Jake Noakes, in February 2017 left the fans concerned as to what route the band would take now, as replacing a vocalist is a very drastic change.

Bringing a unique Japanese influence into their prog metal style, Hikari is full of culture and meaning. Jake brings his own personal style into a very technical record and pulls it off incredibly, the balance of clean and harsh vocals across the album makes sure there is a track for everyone. Along with new vocals, drummer Chris Turner proves himself to be one of the best drummers in the scene at the moment, especially from the instrumental drum piece off the track ‘Ukiyo’. ‘Hansha’ shows of Noakes impressive clean vocals before breaking down into heavier Oceans Ate Alaska style that we all know.

‘Escapist’ and ‘Covert’ were released as singles before the album dropped but they join ‘Deadweight’ in being the top tracks off the album. Heavy vocals, hard hitting riffs, exceptional drumming throughout. ‘Lost Isles’ was a very successful release for the band back in 2015 but I think a mix up in style has changed the direction of the band into a much better place. Hikari is a very unique album full of passion and hard work which truly shows off each and every member of the band not only individually but as a whole too, something that Lost Isles lacked slightly. With the new, more connected line-up going forwards from now, the only way is up for Oceans Ate Alaska.

Review by Ami Ford