10 / 10
"… of absolutely uncompromising beauty … the quality of the musicianship is evident … vocals are sublime … riffing, atmosphere, clever writing … it's all there … production is outstanding … faultless."
(Independent Music Showcase)
90 / 100
"… beautifully melodic … a totally emotional and conceptual album … with a strong influence on Symphonic / Gothic Metal in its most Symphonic part, and in combination with Alternative Metal … for lovers of a melancholic and passionate style … a musical jewel …"
9 / 10
"… atmosphere and emotion ... crisp guitars ... one of those debuts that hits you right away ... as an insider tip I can only warmly recommend them to you ..."
9 / 10
"… a record meant to display the power and versatility of the language of music … if you approach your listening with an open mind, you will definitely find something in 'Purposes And Promises' that pleases you … a brilliant debut, well worth investing in."
4 / 5
"… for the young band’s debut album, it’s a shockingly strong accomplishment."
4 / 5
"You’ll love the mix of depth and the accessibility here – it’s a winning combination … a great debut."
83 / 100
"… surely brings some of the most beautiful and emotional moments … mix of depth and accessibility that makes this record attractive … a beautiful debut … transports listeners to beautiful musical landscapes."
8 / 10
"… clean and defined sound quality, with the right amount of modern aggressiveness and weight. So everything can be heard and understood, and the listener will be able to catch what the band is trying to express … excellent work …"
8 / 10
"... a very well crafted debut album ... the partly opulently staged songs change emotionally between sad, sentimental and romantic ... the velvety vocals of Riitu Ronkainen are convincing throughout ... knows how to transport emotions ..."
(Time For Metal)
8 / 10
"A jubilation of metallic harmonies, decadent atmospheres and baroque sounds … an extremely intriguing and evocative artistic vision … VELVET OCEAN can rightly be proud of this debut album, for the quality and substance they put in place."
(Rock Hard Italy)
11 / 15
"VELVET OCEAN live from the operatic voice of the front woman ... fans of the genre will love it ... the emotion is clearly in the centre of attention ... dedicate themselves to the topic out of inner conviction ... you can hear and feel it ... thumbs up!"
7 / 10
"... one of the most complex, convincing albums of this genre this year ... at times a melancholic chunk, which is always loosened up by catchy riffs and sing-along suitable melodies ... this disc is recommended to every fan of melodic, intelligent music."
"Emerging with a debut that is certainly promising for a strong career, VELVET OCEAN have shown themselves to be adept at both captivating songwriting and artists in balancing the contributions of a great number of artists."
"… this debut album has a very pleasant sound, very kind, very much if you like style, sentimentality and the charm of the peaceful … worth listening to … spirit and emotional experience, that does deliver and fulfill."
(Dark Metal Divas)
"Riitu Ronkainen‘s melancholic vocals can’t help but remind me of Evanescence‘s Amy Lee. The amount of emotion in her voice is incredible, which adds so much more depth to the otherwise straightforward yet charming melodies. She effortlessly transitions from poppy to classical vocals, hitting every note. From then on, the tracks remain easy to listen to and flow into one another smoothly … every single one of the seven band members has something special to add to this record, from powerful, varied bass lines to drums ranging from explosive to sensitive … they have managed to develop and grow into their very own musical identity during the making of this album, due to an intuitive creative flow that can only be celebrated. It’s undeniable VELVET OCEAN has put their heart and soul into 'Purposes And Promises' …"
"VELVET OCEAN together with front woman Riitu Ronkainen themselves create a kind of crisp, fresh, romantically charged Alternative Metal sound, with confidently played (Rock)guitars and opulent arrangements. The extremely tasteful performance is pampered by catchy, velvety soft tone sequences and Riitu's anytime devoted vocals."
"Ten atmospheric tracks inspire with hard sounds and velvety soft melodies. Impressive use of cello and soulful vocals give the compositions an inevitably engaging character. The enchanting voice of singer Riitu is powerful and fragile at the same time and always conveys captivating emotionality ... 'Purposes And Promises' surpasses its promises!"
"… promising debut … with balanced doses of power and soulful … a set of very strong songs in terms of atmospheres and emotions … VELVET OCEAN join the top names from their country in the segment of Gothic and Melodic Dark Metal …"
"… a real recommendation for Symphonic Metal fans ... vocalist Riitu Ronkainen with her enchanting voice really doesn't need to hide behind bigger names … VELVET OCEAN present a successful mix of faster and slower songs, which all come across very intensively, and are complemented by beautiful, imaginative guitar playing, but also by classical instruments like cello and piano. So sit back and enjoy!"
"It sounds as if they never lived for anything other than presenting us this album. You can hear how much heart blood and energy went into the songs."
"With its equally powerful and soulful release, the seven Finns join the long, absolutely high-quality series of Gothic and Melodic Metal bands in their part of the earth map."
(Keeper Of Metal)
Oulu • Finland
Alternative Melodic Metal
Purposes And Promises
February 7, 2020
VELVET OCEAN is an ALTERNATIVE MELODIC METAL band from Oulu, Northern Finland. The story of the band began a couple of years ago as a co-writing project of the main singer Riitu and her husband, guitarist Jarkko 'Jake' Ronkainen.
As songs kept popping up the project soon evolved into a studio project with both session musicians and later band members joining in. Early in the pre-production stage Oulu symphonic orchestra cello players Arto Alikoski and Harri Österman joined as well as the established Finnish keyboard player Marco Sneck.
[ Artwork: Abstract Chaos · Design ]
The debut album recorded in this way, which later got the title "Purposes And Promises", was handed over to Johan Örnborg and Jens Bogren for mixing and mastering at the well-known Fascination Street Studios. "Purposes And Promises" was released on February 7, 2020 via Helsinki Records and is distributed by Warner Music Finland.
The title of the album describes the motivation of the Ronkainens behind the album project. It has been the sole purpose of their lives for the last few years, says Jake, and the promise they made to complete it has held the project together throughout the hard work period.
VELVET OCEAN believe that music is a connection between their own feelings and the outside world, and that is why their compositions tell stories about things that have happened in their personal lives. The music style of VELVET OCEAN is basically derived from all the music the couple has ever listened to, and also incorporates influences from genres other than Metal music.
[ Pic: Jarkko Ronkainen ]
The independent style reminds a little bit of other contemporary Melodic Metal bands with female vocals, but adds a touch of Pop and Grunge as well as distinctive drum beats and acoustic instruments.
"Our music is about honesty and dealing with certain emotions that have caused some difficulties or challenges in life. It's about expressing yourself and dealing with negative feelings in a way that other people can identify with them," adds Riitu, who describes her attitude towards music itself as follows: "Music is very important to me. It’s almost as important as the air that I breathe. Music gives a meaning to my life. It’s also a sort of therapy to me. With music I can express the thoughts and emotions that I go through. I’m the kind of person that I have a very vivid imagination and I feel that this is a quality that is very useful in making music. Music connects me very strongly to my emotions in a way that sometimes feels even a little bit excessive. It is very important to me to communicate with the people listening to our music. I mean an emotional level connection that would make the people try to understand the feelings we have put into the blend that has eventually made the music exist. I am also very visual in my composing. I would like the mere music and the sound to fill the whole inner space of the person listening with images and landscapes. Today the world is packed with visual information and leaves less to the imagination which is kind of a negative thing sometimes. In the end, I would love to think that our music will prevail after everything we’ve gone through."
On May 21st VELVET OCEAN released the latest music video, this time for the album song "Elysian Fields":
VELVET OCEAN • Online:
01. It’s So Hard 03:20
02. Tonight 03:47
03. Requiem 05:05
04. Butterfly 05:27
05. Truth Or Illusion 03:01
06. Elysian Fields 03:58
07. Broken 03:58
08. Innocent Eyes 03:28
09. Lullaby 04:14
10. Salvation 03:58
total: 40:16 min.
Riitu Ronkainen • Vocals
Jarkko 'Jake' Ronkainen • Guitar, Vocals
Jani Lehtinen • Guitar
Tuomas Vesa • Bass
Jami Alaverronen • Synths
Arto Alikoski • Cello
Bastian Schallschmidt • Drums
2020 • Purposes And Promises (Full-length)
VELVET OCEAN are available for interviews via phone, Skype & e-mail
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