The cover image on OAR‘s debut album The Blood You Crave is an evocative yet mysterious one, seizing attention through the juxtaposition of a vibrant blaze-colored swath of light (which might be interpreted as a window into another world) and a downcast figure perched on the edge of a daunting precipice. No less than the cover art, the music quickly seizes attention too, and doesn’t let go. It too blazes, and reveals harrowing emotional chasms.
Through six tracks and nearly 45 minutes of music these Australians embrace the hostility and aggressiveness of black metal but they give equal attention to the creation of mood and atmosphere, bringing into play ingredients of post-metal, doom, hardcore, post-punk, and shoegaze (among others). The songs all prove to be dynamic experiences, as is the album as a whole, and that versatility makes it even easier to get caught up in what’s happening, and to hang on ’til the end.