Recommended if You Like
Death Decapitated Gojira

Genres You Will Love
Metal/Punk: Death Metal Metal/Punk: Progressive Metal Moods: Type: Experimental

By Location
NORWAY

Links
Okular on Facebook Okular on Myspace Okular Official Website

Okular

Øystein G. Brun of Borknagar thinks of Okular as a death metal parallel to his own band. “Okular measures up to bands such as Obscura and Gojira”, wrote Rita K. Trondsgård of Norway’s Scream Magazine in her review of the 2011 debut Probiotic, which became Album of the Month in the magazine’s 2011 December issue.
With members based around the outskirts of Oslo, Norway, progressive death metal act Okular is led by composer/lyricist Andreas Aubert. He writes all the music in the program Guitar Pro, without the help of a guitar. In 2009 he gathered a lineup to record debut album Probiotic, with some of the songs dating as far back as 2005. The core of Okular’s recording lineup, which will also perform live, is comprised of Marius Skarsem Pedersen (guitars/vocals) and Bjørn Tore Erlandsen (drums). They are both also active with their band Aspherium, who reached second place in the final of Norway’s Wacken Metal Battle 2010.

The music of Okular features a balanced blend of technicality, melody and brutality, which is presented within a framework of progressive songwriting. Lyrically, Okular presents poetry describing aspects of the human existence, in a vital and experientially-based form, rather than as philosophical discourse. Descriptions of beauty and dignity alternate with criticism of conformity, belief-oriented lifestyles and apathy, which prevent the individual from being authentic. The booklets for both albums contain the full lyrics, each lyric paired with an illustration reflecting the lyrical content and the energy of the music.

With 2013’s Sexforce, Okular is ready to bring their music to the stage. This time armed with an album that is more complex, yet also more accessible and diverse than their debut. Some songs are mid-tempo and more straightforward, such as “The Greatest Offender” (featuring a guest appearance by Borknagar’s Vintersorg) and “Rest in Chaos;” others technical and progressively bizarre, such as “Not Separate,” “Politically Incorrect Experiences,” and the title track. Other songs are highly surprising, such as “The King of Life” (featuring only acoustic guitars combined with clean and extreme vocals) and “To Ring The Bells of Truth” (based around the Piano, also combining clean and extreme vocals). Other songs deliver a more steady death metal groove, yet still with technical riffs and progressive transitions, such as in “Ride The Waves of Emotion” and “Birth Through Loss.” “House Full of Colours” offers some dynamic sections utilizing a 5/4 measure and is enshrouded in a doomy atmosphere. On the album, Athera from Susperia performs half of the lead vocals on 7 of the 13 songs, including some of his signature melodic vocal style.

Vintersorg had this to say about “The Greatest Offender” and his contribution to it:
"The song has several faces and an adventurous approach which I simply love. From the calm opening with the “clean” atmosphere towards a more aggressive realm and then ending up in the same calmness. In between all this you’ll find these epic parts that was just meant for my way of thinking when it comes to vocals."


Critical Praise for Probiotic

Album of the Month in Norway’s Scream Magazine, December 2011.

“Full of exciting elements. The quality is such that it measures up to bands like Obscura and Gojira.” (Rita K. Trondsgård, Scream Magazine)

“This might be the future of heavy and relentless Progressive Metal. Okular is Death Metal's Nevermore mixed with Mercenary.” (Anders Peter Jørgensen, Voices From The Darkside)

“Interesting album!” (Martin Wickler, German Metal Hammer)

“Probiotic ranks among 2011s most impressive offerings of technical/progressive death metal.” (No Clean Singing)

“One of the most exciting and challenging extreme albums from Norway I have heard in a long time.” (Even Knutsen, Arctic Metal)

“An impressive debut. The production is powerful and clear, the playing excellent and the tunes are solid.” (Martin Kvam, Norway Rock Magazine)

“The technical aspect is never too technical or messy, the sound is perfect and the riffs are reminiscent of the terrain Death was operating in. But this is two-three times heavier than what Chuck Schuldiner created in his lifetime,” writes Yngve Jacobsen, editor of heavymetal.no, giving the album 8/10. According to him, the album is characterized by:
* “Very focused arrangements, which is not easy to accomplish in this genre. Okulars metal maintains a good flow even at high tempos.”
*“Brutal yet controlled vocals. Never too guttural or too screamy.”


Recording/production info for Probiotic
Andreas Aubert: composition & lyrics, backing vocals
Marius Skarsem Pedersen: guitars & vocals
Bjørn Tore Erlandsen: drums
Kai Åsvik: bass
On the album, Skarsem Pedersen shares lead vocal duties with Yngve Bolt Christiansen (Blood Red Throne, ex-Goddamn)

Produced by Marius Strand & Andreas Aubert
Engineered by Marius Strand
Mixed by Marius Strand
Additional mixing by Andreas Aubert & Okular

Recorded at Strand Studio, 2010 (Chrome Division feat. Shagrath of Dimmu Borgir, The Wretched End feat. Samoth of Emperor etc)
Mastered by Peter In De Betou (Dimmu Borgir, Meshuggah, Dark Tranquillity ++)

Illustration concepts by Andreas Aubert, Hiep Ha Dzung, Chris Tianto & Isis De Sousa
Illustrations by Hiep Ha Dzung, Chris Tianto & Isis De Sousa

Recording/production info for Sexforce
Andreas Aubert: composition & lyrics, additional & backing vocals
Marius Skarsem Pedersen: guitars & vocals
Bjørn Tore Erlandsen: drums
Martin Berger Enerstvedt: bass

Session musicians
Vintersorg: melodic vocals + some grim vocals on track 4
Pål Mathiesen aka Athera: 50% of the lead vocals on all tracks, except 1,2,7,9,11,12
Manoon Ploypradab (guitar teacher from Thailand): guitars on track 7
André Aaslie (Gromth, Images at Twilight): piano/orchestra/choirs on tracks 5,6 & 11
Bertrand Besigye (Norways bestselling contemporary poet): poetic narration on track 3

Drums & vocals recorded at Strand Studio, Norway, 2011 (Chrome Division feat. Shagrath of Dimmu Borgir, The Wretched End feat. Samoth of Emperor etc)
Mixed at Strand Studio
Guitars, bass & additional vocals recorded in the bandmember’s home studios, 2011
Guitars on track 7 recorded at Day One Recording Studio, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2010

Produced by Marius Strand & Andreas Aubert
Engineered by Marius Strand
Mixed by Marius Strand
Additional mixing by Andreas Aubert & Okular

Mastered by Maor Appelbaum at Maor Appelbaum Mastering - California - U.S.A
(Sepultura, Halford, Malmsteen, Daath, Armored Saint etc)

Design concept & illustration concepts by Andreas Aubert
Illustrations by Nop: nopponart08@gmail.com
Design & Layout by Guanodesign: www.guanodesign.com
Supervision of the illustration process by Guanodesign & Andreas Aubert
Band member photos by Marte Aubert: marte_aubert@hotmail.com

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