Monday 13 April 2020

Ocean Chief - Den Tredje Dagen (Album Review)

Release date: April 17th 2020. Label: Argonauta Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Den Tredje Dagen – Tracklisting

1. Den Tredje Dagen
2. Hyllningen
3. Dömd
4. Den Sista Resan
5. Dimension 5h


Tobias Larsson
Björn Andersson
Christian Sandberg
Magnus Linhardt


This is a very nice surprise, indeed. Things have been very quiet over at the Ocean Chief camp to the extent I thought they had buried their hatchets and let the Valkyries guide them to Valhalla. After all, it's been 6 long crazy since Ocean Chief last album, the excellent, 'Universums Härd'. And we certainly need their bottom-heavy, remorseless and unforgiving sludgy doom in the crazy times we now live in. Especially since the new album, 'Den Tredje Dagen', is so fucking great!

Already in the opener, 'Den Tredje Dagen', the title track, Ocean Chief makes it clear that they aren't playing around. Slow, imposing and crushing just the way this band have been and always should be. The only difference from before is that they are even more immersed in what they want to do and how to sound. They've nurtured their past and let it mature for six years and the end-result is explosive already after the first song. Next out is ‘Hyllningen’ which, in its almost 12 minutes, starts out minimalistic, eerie and forlorn. Slightly slower than the predecessor the pace increases somewhat, but not much, and moves back and forth perfectly with what’s going on in the song. 

‘Dömd’ follows and holds on to the tempo of ‘Hyllningen’. However, it is even more punishing than the two previous compositions. ‘Dömd’, sentenced in English, really brings forth the anguish of being sentenced either to banishment from you village and clan or death, where the former is far worse in the worship of the Norse Gods than losing your life. The torment the antagonist goes through here is palpable and probably my favourite track. Clocking in at over 15 minutes it shows another great trait by the band. They know how to keep everything interesting and captivating through long compositions and that is rare.

The LP version ends with the ethereal and peaceful, ‘Den Sista Resan’. Instrumental and serene it follows the antagonist on the final journey after death to wherever his last resting place will be. By far the least brutal and punishing song on the album, in fact, it has a very calming effect on the listener. ‘Dimension 5’ rounds out the CD version and for long spells it follows ‘Den Sista Resan’. There are parts where the bone crushing intensity comes to the fore but keeping with the other track it is like our antagonist is marveling at his final destination. Fear and joy run amok with in him.

The way the title track opens this fantastic album up is indicative how the rest of the songs play out. They are all brutally heavy, completely or in parts, of course with the exception of ‘Den Sista Resan’, with subtle changes here and there. And that’s a big part of Ocean Chief’s beauty. As hypnotic and punishing as they can be, the guys know when to break the spell suddenly and immerse the listener in all the forces of the Allfather, Odin. And there’s nothing you can do but to let everything run its course and let the music work its magic on you. Absolutely fantastic, guys…..and welcome back. You’ve been sorely missed!

Words by Håkan Nyman

Thanks to Mona at All Noir PR for the promo:

Den Tredje Dagen is available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via ArgonautaRecords from April 17th 2020.