Oceansnow Crafts Sumptuous Atmospheres On “Vivienne”
G enerated from the Rocky Mountains ravines comes Oceansnow.
E verything on their debut album Vivienne is performed by two musicians.
N either of whom desires to be known.
E nter their realm of luxury, minimalism, drugs and theft.
V isit and wander places from a long-lost past.
I nhale the scent of blood sacrifices to the pagan gods.
E xhale, and find solace in a
V elvety, atmospheric black metal cocoon.
E scape this world for good.
As if the bio above (written by the label) wasn't obvious enough, Rocky Mountain black metal duo Oceansnow's influences are singular. It is, however, important to not simply call a band like this "Velvet Cacoon worship," per se, as it takes the legendary Internet-era black metal curiosity into new territory. Drawing influence from the Genevieve album in particular (as evidenced above), Oceansnow take a strong look at the equally as mysterious Velvet Cacoon lineup LVG and SGL's (likely just one person, a perfumist named Josh Lobb) work and transmute it into something more more modern, melodic, and digestible in the current "atmospheric black metal" palette.
Beyond being a rarity in black metal (Velvet Cacoon worship is few and far between compared to in the 2000s and 2010s) and a tribute all its own, Oceansnow's Vivienne should also be looked upon as its own work. Woozy and decadent, the album's sumptuous, syrupy atmospheres recall tales of dextromethorphan trips and predilections for scent as atmosphere over sound. Unlike Velvet Cacoon, there is no controversy here, nor stolen music, nor mythologized, fake releases, so even with this legendary, contentious baggage, Velvet Cacoon should only be viewed as a secondary compared to what is ultimately a very different listening experience. Gone are the mechanized drum machines (one of the mysterious two members opted for an acoustic drum kit), alien vocals, and digital distortion which characterized their inspiration's listening experience, all in this case replaced with something more human and, oddly enough, relatable as a listener. Though Oceansnow doesn't carry the same mystery which made (makes?) Velvet Cacoon so appealing, Vivienne's entirety is a glorifying of the inspiration that came before them, and since it might be a while before we hear from "LVG and SGL," I'll take all the new source-inspired material I can get. Listen to Vivienne in full below.
Vivienne releases April 8th on Avantgarde Music.