Elvaan Ibanfure takes cinematic rock and metal to a whole new level on Ōkami, out now via Matchflame Media. There’s not really a way to overstate the brilliance of this work. That’s not just hyperbole – it actually shimmers and shines like a brilliant gemstone or something. There’s no shortage of texture, with the artist seemingly willing and ready to use any instrument available to accomplish their ambition. They go from pushing but strongly melodic metallic guitar playing to cosmic feeling atmosphere while covering pretty much everything in between, and it all flows pretty much perfectly.
Through each twist and turn of the release, there’s an epic, forward pushing sense that helps tie the pretty much entirely instrumental work together. There’s a sense not that one is standing in the middle of a metaphorical forest soundscape – instead, the listener gets rushed through it, taking in a dazzling array of “sights” and sounds as they rocket through wherever exactly it is that they’ve found themselves while on the back of their metaphorical horse.
That’s the vibe here. There’s never a dull moment on the release. There’s no sense of items proving haphazardly strung together, with an aim more on making something that pushes boundaries than on making good music. No, the artist has a clear and defined story to tell, and they’re telling it
The form of that story takes shape throughout the record. Although the artist has shared that they have specific ambitions behind various sonic inclusions, at the same time, they allow their story to be open ended and dynamic in part through the absence of any vocals. There’s also a wide enough textural range to allow different listeners to “camp out” on different parts – and allow repeated listeners to find something new every time.
In part, it’s a mood piece, really – upon first listen at least. The mood of Ōkami incorporates awe and wonder, and the affiliates of those emotions too with the connecting cascades also owning their own places. The depth and breadth of the sound is impressive to fit into one record – and it’s just one guy behind the project, at that!
Listen to Ōkami below via Bandcamp.