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Oak — The Quiet Rebellion of Compromise
(Karisma KAR225, 2022, CD / LP / DL)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2023-03-21

The Quiet Rebellion of Compromise Cover art

Norwegian progressive pop-rock band Oak is back with the third album of their amalgam of classical piano, electronica, and progressive rock, most notably influenced by Steven Wilson and Porcupine Tree. After their previous album, False Memory Archive, they decided to write some shorter songs and instead ended up with their longest songs to date. The Quiet Rebellion of Compromise addresses the delicate subject of suicide and psychic health. Since music is wide open for interpretation on many levels, they sought advice from experienced scholars to help convey their message. And in point of fact, the font they used on the cover art is partially constructed from two actual suicide notes, so it is very fitting that the music has the strong, introspective, almost depressing Porcupine Tree vibe. The song titles tell the story as well:  “Highest Tower, Deepest Well,” “Quiet Rebellion,” “Dreamless Sleep,” “Sunday 8 AM,” "Demagogue Communion,” “Paperwings,” and “Guest of Honor.” Plus, the Porcupine Tree influence is so strong in that Oak incorporated the “Time Flies” guitar riff in “Demagogue Communion.” In addition, on “Paperwings” they use a poetic narration, sound bites of a hypnotic induction, and heavy metal guttural vocals to address the fragility and pain of suicide. Did Oak accomplish what they were trying to do? I don’t know not, having any exposure to suicide, but the music is enjoyable by itself with its soaring guitar lines, throbbing bass, and lush keyboards.

Filed under: New releases, 2022 releases

Related artist(s): Oak, Ole Michael Bjørndal (Caligonaut)

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