Reviews From Oceans to Autumn Pareto Analysis II: The Vital Few

From Oceans to Autumn

Pareto Analysis II: The Vital Few

From Oceans to Autumn is a band that I was surprised was not on my post-metal radar. They have a surprisingly prolific (and notably high-quality) output for a band that was just formed in 2006, and with the release of the second volume in their Pareto Analysis series, The Vital Few, they are showing no signs of slowing down.

What I like most about The Vital Few is that, quite literally, no two tracks sound the same. Whereas "Moments" seems to drift along in happy ambience, "Survival Function" turns more towards contemplative post-rock. "Failure Mode" is part sludge-crusted metal, part drone, and a final part that is just completely inexplicable jazz shuffle. The opener, "A Lesson on Time", is definitely the standout track--though the shortest by far (at just over six minutes), it's also the most impeccably composed and moving piece on the whole album. Far from the doom and gloom of sludgier bands, this track seems to bask in that same kind of triumphal euphoria that grounds post-rock bands like Red Room Cinema and Explosions in the Sky, blurring the line between rock and metal quite effectively.

In fact, the only track on the entire album that feels lacking is "Law of Nature", which doesn't quite hold the same muster as the rest of the album. It seems to want to delve further intro traditional sludge-based post-metal territory, but it doesn't really do so with any kind of motivation. It seems very repetitive and staid in comparison to the movement on the rest of the album, and the musical ideas it brings forward aren't really worth the nine minutes of space they are given. But then again, that's just one track up against four impeccable ones--I think its not unreasonable to say that can be forgiven. And even though, for all of their fun, From Oceans to Autumn really aren't being that innovative, they are nonetheless perfecting every element of a genre that's increasingly becoming overcrowded and overspecialized--certainly goal anyone would find commendable.

This album won't blow your brains out, or shock you, or make you question reality, or cause you to renounce your religion out of sheer awe. What it will do is give you an incredibly pleasant, capable piece of music that you will no doubt savour and enjoy for a long time to come. And for that, we should be thankful.


 


Recommended if you like: Omega Massif, Long Distance Calling, Ef

8.0 / 10Sarah
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