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Floating Worlds - Battleship Oceania

Floating Worlds
Battleship Oceania
by Max Elias at 15 May 2019, 8:40 AM

Progressive rock/metal bands have never been ones to shy away from atmosphere and ‘out-there’ sounds, and FLOATING WORLDS is no exception. First track "Oceania" starts off with about a minute of ethereal, calming ocean sounds, and when the riffing starts, it is soon joined by overlaid symphonic keys, lending a transcendent air to the track. It is an instrumental intro, though there is some chorus ‘ahhing’ added in for effect. Continuing the ocean theme, "Sailing in History" opens similarly, but this time a plaintive flute-y melody accompanies the maritime atmosphere. The vocals are similarly plaintive at first, and they move in perfect tandem with the underlying keys. Percussion doesn’t kick in until past the 3-minute mark, and guitars follow soon after. The vocals remain soaring, and the heavy chugging is fairly straightforward; the melodic work is still being handled by the symphonic instruments. There is a bare-bones lead towards the end, showing that this is a band more concerned with musicality than being impressive.

"New Mission" is the first song here to start off heavy, after a brief spoken intro. It sounds like classic metal for the most part, although the break 2/3rds of the way through where everyone but guitars cuts out and the vocalists yells “faster, faster” is very thrash inspired, structurally if not musically. "Empire of the Media" is very strange, there’s no dancing around that. It opens with some ‘newscaster’ audio on top of a calm groove, and when the dynamics rise, it introduces a happy keyboard melody I would expect to hear on the floor of some club, not on a metal record—progressive or otherwise. Apart from that it’s a sparse song, with none of the other instrument really doing much to stand out. Equally unexpectedly, it’s the first song thus far with a real guitar solo, which is unfortunately similarly poppy. All things considered, I’m not sure why they thought a dance-pop song would fit on here.

The keyboards dominate again on "The Curse", but in more of a haunting, malicious fashion (which the title probably already tells you). It sounds mostly like background music to me honestly; that is until around the four minute mark, when I do admit I enjoy the solo keyboard line that plays. Guitar soon joins in on top, mirroring what the keyboard is doing. I’m getting tired of saying it, but the keyboard is again the most prominent thing on the next song, "Retribution", which goes for more of an ‘epic’ vibe than a ‘heavy’ one, despite the uncommon near-constant presence of the guitars. The vocals do sound a bit angrier than usual, but with his voice rage is difficult to convey.

There is a song called "Game of Thrones" here, which excites me as a concept, since there are few franchises with such potential for metal adaptations. However, FLOATING WORLDS takes a decidedly different approach than I would expect (or enjoy, if we’re being honest); more mournful than strident, with not nearly enough riffing, and the eventual solo, characteristically employing their ‘less is more’ approach, is not what is needed here. Again, there are punchier moments, all of which are driven by keyboards. With everything that’s been said about this album, we do have to acknowledge that it is wholly original. And if you prefer lighter, more atmospheric and orchestral music, you’ll probably enjoy this more than I did, because it is well-done from an objectivity standpoint.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Oceania
2. Sailing in History
3. New Mission
4. The Empire of the Media
5. The Curse
6. Retribution
7. Game of Thrones
8. Captain Evil
9. The Last Goodbye
10. Divine Love
11. Eternal Sleep
12. Island of Dreams
Lineup:
Jon Soti - Vocals
Andreas V. – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Sophia Assarioti – Guitars, Keyboards
Michalis Papadopoulos - Bass
Nikitas Mandolas - Drums
Record Label: Pride and Joy Music
     


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Edited 17 July 2019
 

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