Oregon Trail - H/aven album review

Swiss post-hardcore unit get stuck in neutral

Cover art for Oregon Trail - H/aven album

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In today’s clickbait, tl;dr culture, it’s vital to make an impact instantly. Whether that’s through intensity or originality, music fans are forever in search of something they’ve never heard before, which isn’t an easy task – as Oregon Trail can attest. The Swiss four-piece have created a dark and gloomy mood-board, harnessing the bleakness and isolation of the snowcapped mountains, but it’s hindered by a lack of experimentation. H/aven might have a bounce, but it’s retreading old ground, bringing nothing remarkable to post-hardcore’s already overstocked table. But the biggest downfall is its production. The aggro vocals dominate while the music is muffled. At times you can hear a band on the verge of breaking free, but OT revert back to the safety of familiarity, failing to resonate beyond a surface-level reaction.

Luke Morton joined Metal Hammer as Online Editor in 2014, having previously worked as News Editor at popular (but now sadly defunct) alternative lifestyle magazine, Front. As well as helming the Metal Hammer website for the four years that followed, Luke also helped relaunch the Metal Hammer podcast in early 2018, producing, scripting and presenting the relaunched show during its early days. He also wrote regular features for the magazine, including a 2018 cover feature for his very favourite band in the world, Slipknot, discussing their turbulent 2008 album, All Hope Is Gone.