I want to first off apologize to the members of Ovenizer, a band which may or may not exist any longer. I have been absolutely terrible about reviewing stuff lately. I have had this album for likely a year or so at this point. I am going to try to get back into things a little bit at a time, work my way back up to posting regularly.
I have reviewed an EP by Ovenizer before, so I thought I kind of knew what to expect, generally something much spacier and ethereal than my usual listening preferences. I mentioned in that previous review that post-metal is not usually my thing. I have largely avoided groups like Isis, Neurosis, Tombs, and other such groups because I prefer my metal ultra-aggressive and immediate. I tend to prefer thrash and death metal genres and the truly hateful black metal. But every once in awhile, something softer is a nice change of pace. And that Ovenizer EP appealed to me in the way that Amorphis's later material does. However, this album is a little bit of a departure from that EP.
This time around, the songs are much more structured, with a lot of the trance-inducing guitar riffs removed. There are moments that are almost grunge-like, sounding like something Soundgarden might have released in their Sub-Pop days, though with gruffer vocals, or the murkier moments from Alice in Chains. And there is a lot more doom metal influence as well. The songs are typically slower, riff-driven compositions with naturally-flowing structures. One of the typical characteristics of post-metal is its tendency to linger and meander, and Ovenizer did a little of that on the previous EP, but it is not present here.
The fact that Ovenizer is Finnish becomes fairly clear as the album continues. A lot of Finnish bands tend to be difficult to pigeonhole into one subgenre. And that is certainly true with a number of songs here. "Paddling in the Sky" features death metal growls over almost tribal rhythms and crooning vocals, whereas "S.I.B." is a standard-issue melodeath track, and "Watch" is prog-rock that would make Tool proud.
The constantly shifting influences make this an often surprising, interesting listen. I was definitely taken aback by the significant departure from the EP, but apparently, that is just what this band does best.