Outside of August Burns Red, metalcore is a creatively bankrupt genre that’s reached a dead end. Warped Tour is ending, no new bands are propping up and earning any momentum, and every band sounds exactly the same. That’s when a band like Oceans Ate Alaska (worst band name ever) pops up out of nowhere and decides to try to be “technical” to make up for their lack of creativity. Thus you get an album like Hikari.
I have never been so ashamed to once enjoy a genre of music, than when I decided to listen to this schlock. So many random breakdowns that fill up the core of the song. So many unnecessary stops and starts in the music which go nowhere except to irrelevant sections that add nothing to the song. I have no idea what’s going on in any of these songs and I don’t think the band did either.
This isn’t even to say that song structure that seems random is inherently bad. Converge, Daughters, Fall of Troy; there are so many bands I enjoy who employ this same method but don’t sound like total hacks doing it. Oceans Ate Alaska just come off as kids trying to perform something they don’t have the competence to pull off at all. I can applaud them for their sheer talent on their individual instruments, but none of that has lent itself to songwriting prowess.
The vocals are maybe the worst part. This guttural vocalist cant decide if he wants to sound like he’s burping, if he’s Mitch Lucker from Suicide Silence, or if he’s Erak from the Fall of Troy. The clean vocalist has a good voice but it doesn’t fit in here at all. It’s like they heard all these bands like Memphis May Fire or A Day to Remember finding great success utilizing the screaming/singing dichotomy in their music. Then decided to try their hand at it. But they failed.
I just can’t stomach this at all. Nothing on display here works at all. It all sounds incredibly dated, like it should have been released in 2009, and there’s no coherence to any of the song structures. These guys just threw their influences at a wall and hoped some of it would stick. It’s a trainwreck of the highest order. I can’t suggest enough that you avoid this like the plague, if you value your dignity or your time.
Hikari gets a 2/5 from me.