Many bands struggle to release two albums in the space of three or four years. For some it can be even longer than that. Phil Elverum, Mount Eerie's sole member has decided to squeeze out two full length efforts in the same year, releasing them four months apart rather than packaging them up as a double album. Elverum has made clear that the two albums combine to make a whole, so why release them separately rather than at the same time? A shrewd PR stunt? Doubtful. The answer lies in the records themselves.

Clear Moon (part one of two) was released to critical acclaim despite its difficult material at times. It is dark and mysterious, yet welcoming. It conjures a feeling of fragility and intrigue, the music casting a spell upon the listener. It also benefits from really listening to it - actually sitting and absorbing the music rather than putting it on in the background. Ocean Roar is no different in this sense; however it is notably and obviously much heavier, louder and darker. The press release states that it goes "deeper into the fog and wall of noise, still asking, half remembering a dream of a midnight road trip to the ocean from 20 years ago." Many of the tracks are instrumental and the ones that do feature vocals are few or the vocals appear for short periods among a collage of sound. This is experimental music with a heavy (metal) heart and ambience flowing through its veins.

To start an album with a ten minute monster of a song is certainly ambitious and 'Pale Lights' quite possibly sums up the album as a whole. A third of the way through, the volume of the band decreases, leaving it loud enough to form a faint rhythm. Elverum then whispers over a quaint organ before exited and all hell breaking loose again. It is an inspired trick and works wonderfully, yet the amount of time we are subsequently battered with two chords and an army of organs seems to spoil it.

'Waves' follows a similar format to 'Pale Lights' and is an amazing evocation of an unrelenting and unforgiving sea. It is not easy listening by any stretch of the imagination; in fact it is hideously invasive, but the way Elverum has made the guitar noises sound like crashes and splashes is enthralling. 'Engel Der Luft (Popol Vuh)' and the second 'instrumental' further the wall of noise trend, but this continuance detracts from its impact, ultimately leaving the tracks and this aspect of the album flat.

There are only two tracks that you could consider actual 'songs' in the classic sense, and they are the title track and 'I Walked Home Beholding'. 'Ocean Roar' is a fantastic piece and almost seems like a remix – the swirly surrounding textures feel detached from the song itself and the vocals are delivered beautifully. The latter feels more personal than anything else here; "the whole town had been abandoned, except for me." It is a rare moment of human thought amidst an album of natural themes and unnatural sounds.

It is almost impossible to disassociate Ocean Roar from Clear Moon. On one hand this makes Ocean Roar a better album than it may actually be. You had to spend time with Clear Moon to unlock its treasures and it makes you look and work harder to find them in Ocean Roar. On the other hand, it also highlights how inferior it is to Clear Moon. There are definitely points of real quality and interesting experimentation but it feels like it is missing a few more significant moments and would benefit from maybe a little less din.