Oceans Above is the debut album by The Color of Rain, or TCOR for short. The Color Of Rain is a new progressive black metal project from the Netherlands. The band has quite a unique sound in the (Dutch) black metal community since their music is influenced by post-black, jazz, rock, and progressive music. That makes for an interesting blend of Black Metal. Also, a sound that will appeal to more than just the Black Metal community. We were very excited after hearing the first track, The Cult of the Cosmic Flood, so we’re happy to hear the full album!
The Color of Rain
The Color Of Rain is the brainchild of Gerhans, who started writing for Oceans Above during the Covid-19 pandemic. They met in a Facebook group discussing music and recording, and the rest is history. While Gerhans writes the main riffs, each band member delivers their personal touch to the music, creating something more than just the sum of things. That’s what makes The Color of Rains sound so adventurous and eclectic.
The whole album has an atmospheric quality that complements the gloomy, melancholic vibe. The bass cuts through clearly, the guitars are nice and crisp and the instruments get boosted by the orchestral backing. Devi’s vocals, sometimes screaming, sometimes clean and melodic, even spoken word, add another layer to the madness. The spoken words part sound like Devi’s preaching to us. which might be on point. The whole album speaks of the futility of human existence. Gerhans: “The truth is that, when we zoom out, all our efforts and intentions as humanity don’t mean a thing in the grand scheme of things. I thought the name fit well with the nihilistic atmosphere and lyrics that The Color of Rain represents.”
The album starts with the previously released track ‘The Cult Of The Cosmic Flood’. This first encounter with The Color Of Rain showed us the versatility of the band, with progressive, folk, and technical death metal elements seamlessly blended with black metal layers. From the first moments, it’s clear that all members of The Color Of Rain are skilled musicians with a deep love for the dark.
Corrosion Of The Flesh starts with an almost Oriental vibe, turning into flamenco guitars, to turn into blast beats again. The heavy chorus with the chanting in the background almost puts us into a trance, before snapping us out again and turning to an acoustic midpart.
Combining blast beats with black metal screams works well on Oceans Above as well. The whole track is a nice balance of heavy blasts and melodic guitar riffs. It’s heavy on the progressive side, especially the riff in the final parts of the song. To me that makes this track even more awesome, but as a black metal fan, you’d have to be a little more open-minded to enjoy it, maybe.
Oceans Above transcend into Guiding Lights To Eden with the spoken words by Devi and a clean guitar. Where other tracks feel like Devi’s preaching to us, in this track the vocals in the start sound almost like a prayer. While one of the more easy-going tracks on the album, it might be one of the more approachable songs as well. This emotive track brings chills down your spine with the vocals as well as the guitar solo in the middle. The lyrics: “There is no light, not a spark, it is a garden in ruins” show us again the nihilistic worldview that The Color Of Rain stands for.
Translucence again begins with some clean guitar harmonics, but the atmospheric vibes won’t last long. Translucence borders on hardcore in some parts. It has a very progressive mid-part, but as quickly as that starts, as quickly it turns back to the heavy chorus part that has us headbanging in gloom again.
Onto Pillars Of Creation. The windy start and the eerie child humming in the intro match the season well. The almost demonic vocals in the intro are very different from what we’ve heard from Devi so far which showcases the band’s musicality again. This track is maybe the most straightforward Black Metal on this album. Not really though, but close, since the chorus again is full-on progressive vibes.
That is also a thing with this album. While each track stands on its own, the whole thing is better by listening in succession to the other tracks. The whole album is a coherent piece of melancholic chaos. It might be best enjoyed listening to it without doing anything else, because each time you listen to the tracks you find new melodies and accents that you didn’t hear before.
Urban Misanthropy and Darkness Cloaks The Cradle end the album with more blast beats, screams, and clean guitars. Darkness Cloaks The Cradle is a fitting name since the vocals remind me of Dany Filth. It’s also a fitting ending to the album, because after the chanting of ‘Blood of my Blood’ The Color Of Rain is leaving us with nothing in the end.
The Color Of Rain is not for the typical metalhead. Far from it. While it’s definitely rooted in Black Metal, the music is so eclectic with the many style changes, that it might take some listeners some getting used to. Me personally, I love the blend of genres, as it makes for some uniquely heavy tracks, while still feeling very cohesive. That’s in my opinion the strength of this album. The Color Of Rain blends various heavy genres without feeling too schizophrenic. The general sound is very cohesive, because of the instrumentation, the use of orchestration, and the general melancholic vibe of the tracks.
It’s actually really hard to pick a favorite track from this album, since they’re all of equal quality. That’s a rare quality nowadays, usually, there is at least one track that you skip regularly, but with this album, I don’t have one either. Let us know in the comments which one is your favorite though!
- The Cult Of The Cosmic Flood
- Corrosion Of The Flesh
- Oceans Above
- Guiding Lights To Eden
- Pillars Of Creation
- Urban Misanthropy
- Darkness Cloaks The Cradle