OCEAN GATES were formed in Ferrol (Galicia), the northwest corner of Spain, in March 2018. The real origin of the band goes back to December 2017 when Moya (drums) and Santi (bass), both now in Inerth, were touring with their former band Looking For An Answer and decided to push the idea of getting a rock band together with Nuria (formerly of Deadmask) on vocals. Soon, both Mito (Holywater/Window Pane) and Rubén (formerly of Ursus) joined on guitars, and the first rehearsals took place in March. The idea was to pay an honest homage to both classic and obscure bands from the ’70s hard rock and psych/prog scene, mixing it with classic doom rock, heavy metal, and proto-punk influences.
And indeed, that is what one will find on OCEAN GATES’ remarkably accomplished self-titled debut – and yet so much more. There is a warmth and immediacy here, a poignant earnestness that’s endearing and inviting, that transforms these eight tracks into more than just “rock songs.” Call it mystique or mysticism or just good, old-fashioned charisma, but OCEAN GATES as a unit effortlessly exude a cool that’s inclusive and immersive. Much of that mass appeal is owed to Nuria’s rock-goddess vocals, evincing the wisdom of aeons and the insurgency of youth in equal measure. Behind her, the band bump and grind, pound and plod, throwing a vast array of shapes and dynamics at the listener but always sounding like the same band. This relative diversity of craft harkens back to older, simpler times, when albums were more like travelogues, experiences that have narrative flow, rather than a set of jingles to be consumed in bite-sized portions.
The band, inspired by both their esoteric landmarks and urban realities, transforms here those sensations and atmospheres into hard-rockin’ yet nuanced songs that are simultaneously familiar and foreign. The bringer of storms, land of shipwrecks, smugglers, and old cults: the Atlantic Coast is indeed the perfect landscape for their music. The cracks in the wall of a dying industrial town… Hopeless jobs, abandoned homes, and shrinking population… Collective depression and illegal affairs…