Having never experienced or listened to The Ocean before, you could say that this was a bit out of my depths. The German post-metal band who last released two albums back in 2010 (Heliocentric and Anthropocentric) now embrace us with more sonic beauty, based around a concept where it takes the listener on a journey through – of all things the ocean.
Spread out over two discs, with one disc featuring vocals and the other disc with the same songs, but purely instrumental, this is an album that will definitely sink its way into your bones. The first disc is definitely my favorite side if you will, as I really love the amount of the music that is contained on it, ranging from the soft opening to the almost sludge-filled closing track.
The album shifts and turns much like you’d expect. It starts off very gently with the opening track “Epelagic” which lasts about a minute, then moves onto “Mesopelagic: Into The Uncanny” which is still soft and gentle, all the while there is intricacy and fine musicianship on display. Once the album hits the midway point, it feels as if you are halfway between the surface of the ocean and the bottom, I can feel the album itself shift a little and allow for much more heavier things to be introduced.
I’m not saying that the album goes completely metal, but definitely the introduction of heavier guitar tones and melodies, whilst keeping that softness. For the past few years now, I’ve been getting into what’s known as post-metal and this album definitely fits right into that category, but at the same time there is a quality about it, of a band who know how to play their instruments. Initially recorded as an instrumental album, due the to vocalists’ Loïc Rossetti illness affecting his vocal chords, the second disc is purely an instrumental album.
Initially recorded as an instrumental album, due the to vocalists’ Loïc Rossetti illness affecting his vocal chords, the second disc is purely an instrumental album. Listening to the second disc, I could pick out all the nuances of the album whilst not being distracted by the vocals. All that said being said, the album finishes with a final flourish. As you descend to the depths of the ocean (by your own choice or not), it is clear that with second half of the album with tunes such as : “Demersal: Cognitive Dissonance” and the closing track “Benthic: The Origin of our Wishes”.
After listening to both discs, I’m left feeling happy that I took the time to listen to The Ocean, having just go to grips with the post-metal genre. I really enjoyed listening to the album, finding that I gave it repeated listens before making my mind up. For an album that is released in 2013, it is one to treasure.
RATING: 5 / 5