[Review] Oak – The Quiet Rebellion of Compromise

Oak are a quartet from Oslo in Norway, consisting of eclectic artists who mix different musical backgrounds in forming the band’s sound. Their third studio album “The Quiet Rebellion of Compromise” was released on November 11, 2022 by Karisma Records and contains seven medium-length tracks. The themes of the lyrics are important and sensitive as they deal with suicide and mental health in general, which are very topical and should be raised awareness. The album opens with “Highest Tower, Deepest Well” with sweet piano notes and more litatate atmospheres and a mixture of modern sounds. Heavy guitar riffs burst in, and the song develops with contaminated Progressive traits and a modern, original imprinting. Remarkable keyboard textures, tempo changes and power are combined with dilated melodies and atmospheres, marking the band’s original and prsonal style. Intense and with a refined sound, it develops in a constant musical crescendo. Dreamy guitar arpeggios open “Quiet Rebellion” to which is added a warm and expressive vocal. The rhythm section is powerful and the song is very intense and full of pathos, with fine guitar and keyboard interlacing. A delicate section in the middle part then returns to develop the central theme of the song with refined and dreamy textures. “Dreamless Sleep” With a more electronic and energetic sound, with a sombre touch, it is a track full of tempo changes and a modern and fresh imprint. A continuous musical crescendo with fine interweaving of guitar and keyboards, very intense and engaging. Gentle piano notes open “Sunday 8 AM” with electronic drumming and effects, and a warm, expressive vocal. The intensity increases as the song progresses, incorporating traditional rock sounds with more modern electronics, resulting in an original and distinctly personal track. The instrumental section in the second part is very interesting, in a continuous muical crescendo enriched by the soloist inserts that take the sound to another level. An ever-changing track, between tempo changes and more heavy and intertwining passages is “Demagogue Communion.” A mixture of Pop-tinged Progressive Rock with softer passages and the addition of modern sounds and a fine use of keyboards. The vocals, as always, are very dynamic and expressive. The longest track on the album, “Paperwings,” which runs over 13 minutes, opens with electronic sounds and an effects-rich vocal. Originality is certainly a strong point of this track, managing to mix and weave all the stylistic nuances of the band, between Prog, Pop, Alternative and electronic sounds. A band that shows how they know how to propose a modern style, without losing their personal touch, and the long duration allows them to make the most of their genre-blending Prog. The album ends with “Guest of Honour,” which begins with soft, dreamy sounds and a warm, expressive vocal. The rhythm section is more linear, while the intertwining guitar and keyboard offer some good melodic lines. In the middle part the intensity increases and the song is enriched with some tempo changes, concluding with a very intense musical crescendo. A band that has created its own personal style and manages to evolve it with each release, showing maturity in songwriting and execution. Intense and very well constructed tracks, which valorise the band’s compositional and performing technique. A recommended listen for all lovers of modern Progressive Rock sounds with contaminations and a fine ensemble sound.


01. Highest Tower, Deepest Well (05:57)
02. Quiet Rebellion (04:51)
03. Dreamless Sleep (05:37)
04. Sunday 8 AM (05:54)
05. Demagogue Communion (06:16)
06. Paperwings (13:52)
07. Guest of Honour (07:03)


Simen Valldal Johannessen / Vocals, Keyboards
Stephan Hvinden / Guitars
Øystein Sootholtet / Bass
Sigbjørn Reiakvam / Drums

OAK |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Instagram|Spotify|

Karisma Records |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|Soundcloud|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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