Reviewed: May 2020
Released: 2020, Trollzorn
Reviewer: Demitri Levantis
British black metal institution Old Corpse Road have unleashed their third studio album, “On Ghastly Shores lays the Wreckage of our Lore,” which, as the title suggests, has a theme of coastal folklore and legends. OCR are not a band who use theatrics or elongated album and song titles just for image, these bards from the north of England are well-read troubadours utilising the greatest metal genre to retell many stories of bygone England.
That interest in all things nautical are heavily evident on this new record, for it begins with plenty of sounds echoing from the dark and ghostly depths and the guitars and pianos sound like a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas as noted in several classic poems. OCR has taken all the best elements of British atmospheric black metal and blended it well to suit anyone who digs the likes of Fleshgod Apocalypse or Midnight Odyssey.
However, if you are someone who does not dig long songs, this is an album you should prepare yourself for. It’s not in the same vein as a Dragged Into Sunlight release, so not the kind that requires a time commitment, but this is no record for the faint-hearted.
As someone with a love for all things seafaring and legendary about ghost ships and pirates, this is a metal album that would make Alestorm and other pirates/sea themed bands look like Europop. OCR has taken some of the best stories that cake the English coasts in legend and painted an audible masterpiece that will steal you aboard a ghoulish frigate at the start and most likely toss you into a raging maelstrom and then leave you marooned on a deserted beach in the middle of nowhere.
This is the most experimental and classical fused record I have heard this year so give OCR a spin if you want something relating to the sea and its legends that aren’t delivered in a comedic fashion. “On Ghastly Shores lays the Wreckage of our Lore” is what you’d have if a vessel long lost in the likes of the Bermuda Triangle returned one stormy night and retold all the devilish things they’d been through accompanied by the best metal bards in the north of the country.