The soundtrack to the film's greatest war films often reflect emptiness and danger. That's essentially what Oikos' new record The Great Upheaval is: a soundtrack to a war-torn land.
Oikos is a Spanish ambient and post-rock band that sought to recreate the devastation of war through this new record. The very essence of that is exactly what they capture in The Great Upheaval. The damage of the past is almost tangible right from the get go, 'Ravaged, Burned' bringing the track to a slow burning and dramatic start and somber guitars resonate over ghoulish synths and electronics. The sound of barren, ghastly landscapes is channeled in 'Joik,' while emptiness and even retrospection is present in 'Marrow Of Prayer.'
The issue with this record lies in its execution. The principles are phenomenal, and so is the concept, don't get it wrong - its the fact that these droning songs go on slowly and sluggishly for minutes of end without much of a dramatic climax to show. The only track that really has any glimmer of change or eventfulness is 'Menace and Portent,' which even then feels mildly inconclusive as the guitars somewhat pathetically chug as if they were booming.
The Great Upheaval channeled war-torn soundscapes and barren, tragic settings through its length, but failed to keep up interest. Songs drone on for far too long without anything to show for it. Everything is fine in moderation, but this is just dragged out. It's not a bad album, just all around boring. It's not something you could come back to and listen to unless you were travelling through the very landscapes the sounds create. The imagination is fantastic, but Oikos fell short here.
Favorite Track: Ravaged, Burned
Least Favorite Tracks: Marrow and Portent, Joik
Rating: 65 / 100