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The Ocean - Pelagial Award winner

The Ocean
by Spyros Stasis at 10 June 2013, 9:28 PM

THE OCEAN takes a different turn on their newest release. By using a more introvert concept for their album, “Pelagial” explores the depths of the oceans, as well as those of the band. Even when the record is compared to previous releases of the band, from “Aeolian” to the excellent “Precambrian” and to the last two albums, “Heliocentric” / ”Anthropocentric”, there is an obvious edge that the band has attained here, and that is maturity.

Even though the four last albums from THE OCEAN were excellent, it is clear that “Pelagial” is the album that everyone has been waiting for the band to release at some point. Paying tribute to their past, THE OCEAN includes sounds that have been in their repertoire for all these years but they are also taking things a step further. Everything seems to be working better for them here, from the musicianship, the feeling, the ambiance, the structure of the songs, THE OCEAN have been improving constantly and there is no stopping them now.

The idea behind the album is to dive from the lighter, more easy to get side of the band with their post metal sound, only to finally crush into their destructive sludge sound. Therefore they split “Pelagial” according to the pelagic zones of the seas, starting with “Epipelagic” intro that merely scratches the surface. The “Mesopelagic” and “Bathyalpelagic” zones show the more emotional, post metal side of the band, with great melodies coming out from everywhere, an enclosing atmosphere, clean vocals, keyboards parts. Still do not think that you will not find and aggressive parts in those zones, they are carefully placed in order to give more variety to the music but the feeling of these parts is not as dark as what is going to follow. These tracks are friendlier to the ear than what follows.

THE OCEAN lead us deeper into themselves/the seas with the next two zones, “Abyssopelagic” and “Hadopelagic”. Everything starts to get darker, more obscure and gloomier. The weight of the songs has not changed drastically but the shift on the ambiance and the emotions that the music transfers to the listener are much more melancholic, with the desolate guitar melodies and the very passionate vocal performance leading the way to what is their most extreme moments. The final two zones “Demersal” and especially “Benthic” are filled with sludge filth, slow tempos and, in the case of “Benthic”, an almost ritualistic vibe. The effects are taking over in places expanding the spectrum of the band.

This is THE OCEAN at its best and it their latest effort is easily one of the best experimental albums of this year. If you are a fan of the band then you probably already have the new full-length, if you are not then “Pelagial” will make a fan out of you.

5 Star Rating

1. Epipelagic
2. Mesopelagic: Into The Uncanny
3. Bathyalpelagic I: Impasses
4. Bathyalpelagic II: The Wish In Dreams
5. Bathyalpelagic III: Disequillibrated
6. Abyssopelagic I: Boundless Vasts
7. Abyssopelagic II: Signals of Anxiety
8. Hadopelagic I: Omen of the Deep
9. Hadopelagic II: Let Them Believe
10. Demersal: Cognitive Dissonance
11. Benthic: The Origin of Our Wishes
Louis Jucker – Bass
Luc Hess – Drums
Jona Nido – Guitars
Robin Staps – Guitars
Loic Rossetti – Vocals
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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