Monday, December 16, 2013

#9 of my Top 12 Albums of 2013: Ocean of Opportunity

PelleK's Ocean of Opportunity

Release Date: May 10th, 2013
Label: Independent
Genre: Symphonic/Power Metal

     Man, now we are starting to get to the albums where I liked every song and it was hard to distinguish here which album was better than others for me considering just about every album on this list is a different genre.  This is yet another band I had just found this year and only in the past couple months via my addiction to Youtube where PelleK has been making a ton of vocal covers of songs, the first one I heard being Daft Punk's "Harder Better Faster Stronger".  I started to check out other covers and thought, "Man, this guy has an incredible voice, I wonder if he has much original material."  My question was thankfully answered when I saw "Northern Wayfarer" in the side bar and clicked it.  The video honestly isn't too fantastic, probably because he doesn't have much to work with, but the song was incredible and that's all that matters!

    PelleK is a power metal band from Norway (go figure) that has only released two full cds as of yet and a Christmas album but what they have already done is astounding.  They take their name from their singer, who goes by the name PelleK, and was originally a one-man project but like other power metal solo projects like Jorn and Axel Rudi Pell, needed a full lineup to perform this music in concert and to make more music in the future.  You can only be truly solo for so long.  Different from Jorn though is that PelleK seems to have come out of nowhere, I cannot find any hint that PelleK was part of another band prior to the formation of this project and considering the quality of the material already, that is astounding.  Probably my favorite song on the album is "Sea of Okhotsk", which beautifully starts out with a piano bit and kicks into gear for the rest of the song.  It sounds rather unique and not like other power or symphonic metal songs I have so it stands out and the orchestration at the base of the song is incredible as well.

"Sea of Okhotsk"

     Other standout songs I would recommend include the aforementioned "Northern Wayfarer" and "God's Pocket".  "Northern Wayfarer" continues the whole sea or travel theme to the album, where the guitarist in particular gets to shine and DAMN does he do a good job!  He practically takes over the song at certain points and find myself coming back again and again to hear his shredding.  The orchestration behind the song is again fantastic with great string and piano sections and choruses of vocals all over the song.  The orchestration is a consistently good part of just about every song on Ocean of Opportunity, which gives them a Rhapsody/Blind Guardian type of feel, which I am completely OK with, the more great symphonic and melodic power metal bands in the world there are, the happier I am.  "God's Pocket" has one of the catchiest melodies on the entire album thanks to the orchestration/drums right in the beginning of the song.  The chorus repeats this orchestration and PelleK's lyrics are fun to sing along with it all: "This majestic and magical place / Embracing me with beauty, this enchanting haze / Forever in God's Pocket, that's where I will be / When my soul departs from my body."  Oh and then the guitar solo to finish the song is fast and leaves the song right at a high point which is great, the song just continues to rise instead of peaking and calming back down in a normal-curve type of manner.

"Northern Wayfarer"

     I hope you continue to look at the rest of the album and if you do, I would also highly suggest "Stars and Bullet Holes" and "Transmigration". I would also suggest you look up his work on Youtube like his covers of songs like:
Blind Guardian's "Mirror Mirror"
Utada's "Sanctuary" (From Kingdom Hearts)
Tenacious D's "Master Exploder"
Dio's "Holy Diver"
Demi Lovato's "Let it Go" (From Frozen)
Hammerfall's "Blood Bound"
Blind Guardian's "Skalds and Shadows"
Edguy's "Superheroes"
Scorpions' "Rock You Like a Hurricane"
Led Zzeppelin's "Black Dog"
Eurythmics "Sweet Dreams"
and MANY MANY More
 He has also done multiple medleys such as "Japanese Anime Medley", which is a collection of songs from seventeen different anime.  Hopefully he will eventually release a lot of these covers in a cover album so we can have access to these outside of Youtube, if he can do that anyway with all the copyright issues.  His 4-octave vocal range is very impressive and I hope PelleK will get the recognition they deserve in the coming years as one of the up-and-coming heavyweights in the genre.

"God's Pocket"

Check out his Youtube channel!

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