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Nocean - 'Diamond' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/65/89/77/nocean-diamond-17-1524160355.jpg Hot

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Fans of Halestorm, Paramore and even latter day Within Temptation may find much to enjoy here.

For this particular issue of 'Fireworks*', I will have reviewed no less than five albums from bands that hail from the land that gave us Ikea, Volvo, ABBA and the Chef from 'The Muppets' – the mighty Sweden. All of them have been very different and none really fall into the category of Melodic Rock (à la H.e.a.t, Eclipse etc.) which is my real love.

Stockholm-based female-fronted quartet Nocean slip into the Contemporary/Alternative genre, but combine their sound with electronic textures, rich atmospherics and, most importantly, bags of melody. Formed in 2013, they began life as a Classic Hard Rock band, releasing their debut album 'Nothing To Hide' in 2016, then subsequently underwent some line-up changes and metamorphasised into their current style to be found on sophomore release 'Diamond'.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The album opens with the intro piece 'Prologue' with a spoken word beginning that gradually builds through an eerie keyboard passage until a wall of guitars appear, setting the scene for the big sound and the general style of the album. First proper song, the lively 'You Are Diamond', flirts with a Pop Punk style, with vocalist Hanna's delivery bringing to mind the obvious likes of Paramore's Hayley Williams and Avril Lavigne. From thereon in, the likes of 'Done', 'The Change', 'Those Days' and 'Forgotten' develop a darker, almost Gothic Alt-Rock feel, with guitarist Oscar, bassist Patrick and drummer Daniel creating an impressive sound, the band's use of electronics merely a subtle embellishment to enhance the ambience rather than smother it. 'Causing Chaos' returns to the Punk-orientated sound, while the ballad 'Here For You' demonstrates the character in Hanna's vocals.

Fans of Halestorm, Paramore and even latter day Within Temptation may find much to enjoy here.

Ant Heeks

(* this review is from Fireworks Magazine #81)

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