We left the Swiss band Oregon Trail in 2015 with "Century", as our Istrice reviewed quite positively that release by a still inexperienced group of musicians, moving somewhere between post-rock and hardcore. Since their self-released debut, the band from Neuchâtel came quite a long way and several weeks ago managed to put out their latest effort "H/aven", thanks to the support of Cold Smoke Records and Czar Of Bullets Productions.
Historically speaking, the Oregon Trail was the path taken by all sorts of travelers, settlers, adventurers, traders and whatnot, throughout the Nineteenth Century in North America, before national railroads came in. This Northwestern journey focused on the search for new lands, gold, adventures, and later on even for creative or political reasons, when already urbanized areas seemed to be saturated or stifling some forms of expressions.
Oregon Trail seem pretty close to the latter interpretation of the journey and, in some way, they move towards the haven that apparently (given the «/») gave the title to this album. Apart from the post-hardcore core (see "Aimless At Last"), we might say that in "H/aven" there was some further development of their post-rock side, mainly inspired by Russian Circles (particularly regarding the drumming, as in "Hound's Will"). In the end, there's some room for a pretty intense finale with the epic "Marble Grounds" and its atmospheric and very post- closure.
After having literally consumed the record over the last few weeks, I can say that Oregon Trail have successfully passed the test of the second release (which is notoriously the most difficult one in a career). Let's hope to meet them soon touring in Italy as well: we will do our best in order to be there.