After quite some years Profuna Ocean finally released their second studio album named In Vacuum, which is also their first full length album. The album is just over one hour long, containing eight tracks of different lengths.
Let’s start with a compliment of the album sleeve. I really love the artwork of the album, very simple but somehow impressive. The music itself is heavy progressive rock music. You can hear the influences (Porcupine Tree, Anathema) of the band, but you can’t compare the music to other artists and bands, and that is a very good sign! A band with their own style. The music itself is very nicely done, the band plays tight as well. Sadly, I’m not really convinced by the vocals. They are far from bad of course, actually quite good, but a bit too tame and clean for this kind of music in my opinion. When I first listened to the album I thought “well, this is music is quite ‘ok’ and not super spectacular”, but when I listened to it and gave it more attention I thought “yes, this is actually pretty good”.
The album starts with the track Thousand Yard Stare. The catchy classic rock intro and choruses are interspersed with more calm moments. Awakening has a very good chorus, I love how the double layered vocals are done. This is also my favourite track of the album and would do great as a single. Hanging In The Balance is the longest track of the album and carries a symphonic rock/metal ambiance. After nine minutes there’s an instrumental passage that contains a lot of solid metal riffs and a haunting mellotron. Losing Ground has a catchy rhythm and chorus. The track itself gives me a somewhat haunting feeling. Ghost is a very sweet and tender track, containing an acoustic guitar and no drums. Beautiful Sunrise starts in contrast to Ghost as a heavy track, but the chorus and other passages are actually quite calm and serene. The guitar solos are very cool and well varied. In Vacuum is the shortest track of the album, it’s slightly longer than one minute. It’s a very dark, haunting instrumental intermediate piece. Last track Clean Slate contains a long instrumental passage with metal riffs, just like Hanging In The Balance. Sometimes the instrumental bits remind me of Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd, and even post rock.
I think that the gentlemen of Profuna Ocean delivered a very solid album! Still, I miss some elements in the music. There are soundscapes and spaces present here and there, but some extra ‘Richard Barbieri like soundscapes’ on the background would fit the music quite nicely. I do hope that this band gets more recognition from the outside world and that they will make more albums in the future!
**** Iris Hidding
- Thousand Yard Stare (7:19)
- Awakening (4:54)
- Hanging In The Balance (13:30)
- Losing Ground (8:00)
- Ghost (5:09)
- Beautiful Sunrise (10:37)
- In Vacuum (1:11)
- Clean State (11:43)
You can read my review on Background Magazine:
You can listen to the album teaser here: