Oblique Rain - _Isohyet_
(Independent, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (8.5 out of 10)
This has the distinction of being the first new CD I heard this year, yet somehow fell under my radar. This is understandable if I were listening to yet another racoon-faced hermit with three tracks of basement black metal on Myspace, but Oblique Rain are anything but.

These Portuguese newcomers perform melancholy prog metal that inevitably recalls the Swedish masters, and perhaps they do take one too many pages out of the Opeth book, especially in the vocal department. Similarities aside, I am hard-pressed to find any significant flaws with this album. They lack a drummer, but Daniel Cardasso from VME steps in to fill that void, avoiding the possibility if having their progressive explorations marred by inevitably annoying and unsatisfying programming. The rhythm section is usually just regarded as background filler in albums of this sort, but if they fuck up, than the entire record is ruined, no matter how skilled the guitarist(s) may be. As with Opeth, they are also able to sustain a melody for the full duration of five to ten minutes per song with misleading ease, with multiple layers and textures to get lost in.

The CD design is superb -- there's little to suggest that they are an unsigned band. But they don't skimp on the musicianship or recording, so why ruin it with a cheesy package? I can't imagine why they are unsigned; I think their manager needs to start earning his keep!

Contact: http://www.obliquerain.com

(article published 2/7/2008)

5/29/2009 P Azevedo Anathema / Oblique Rain / Leafblade Sunset of Age Is Still Far Away
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