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The Ocean - Precambrian (CD)

The Ocean
by Ian Kaatz at 04 April 2008, 1:24 PM

Being a former geology major I was instantly intrigued by the track titles on the album since they are all geologic time periods. After I had examined the lyrics though they weren't really singing about the progression of the evolution as much as they discussed the darker side of mankind or at least from my interpretation. Also in the liner notes that took me by surprise were the ridiculous amount of musicians on this album, good grief.

The band began in 2000 with Robin Stap and he had 40 different band members over the next two years until a lineup solidified. Their debut was a 30-minute track called Islands/Tides, which was followed by another album in 2003 via Make My Day Records. They got signed to Metal Blade in 2005 and have since released two albums via the label. Look for a headlining U.S. tour soon.

In the first track Hadean, I hear a guitar tone similar to that of MESHUGGAH and some musical patterns rivaling NEUROSIS. The vocalist is more along the lines of NEUROSIS as well. The structure of Eoarchean is definitely toned down and less complex and the sound goes more in the direction of MASTODON. Well at least at the beginning anyway, towards the end there is a very Tech Metal sounding part, which kind of grated on me. Though a sick guitar solo immediately followed it rather just ultra fast wankery, the solo had a nice clean sound that really added to the song. The next track starts very differently and contains pretty much a straight up Hardcore sound. The chorus has an interesting guitar effect that is like something I haven't heard before very interesting and impossible to compare to something. From there goes into a passage that could is in the same vein as a more melodic MASTODON with a bass heavy groove.

Another turn musically with the fourth track, here I am hearing more of a slightly faster CROWBAR sound. The guitar progression at about 2:25 is really sweet, though I don't know the name of the technique. Then the vocals change to one of their various vocalists to a more NILE guttural vocal from the NEUROSIS style I was hearing earlier. The song the proceeds to pick up in part to just a slightly faster Sludge with come Hardcore influence as well as a smidge of Tech Death. Neoarchean begins with a much more melodic but still heavy guitar part with the song then ripping into a slightly less complex version of THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN. The dual vocalist approach on this track adds to the overall sound of the track, but pretty much stick the same style as the majority of the first disc.

On to the second disc, which begins with an intro track, featuring a saxophone and a rather peaceful guitar part. The end of the first track flows perfectly into this one and sets it up for some really awesome clean vocals and the glockenspiel used on this track is also interesting. The song then picks up with some Hardcore-ish vocals with a nice strong guitar part. The song repeats a pattern of going back and forth between the two extremes with more tranquil parts being more much interesting musically. The medium tempos on this track are some of the only ones thus far on the album. The band towards the end of the track goes back to their NEUROSIS/MESHUGGAH onslaught, but with a violin twist that makes it sound that much more EPIC and better as a whole. I don't think Orosirian really brings anything new to the table that hasn't already been done all over this album except for the strings and clean vocals which were only used on the last song thus far. Once the strings kick in actually makes this song quite a bit better.

Statherian begins with a speech by Kevin Spacey though I am not sure what it is from since I am not a fan. It is all instrumental except for the speech that is at the beginning and then at about 4 minutes then it appears again once the song picks up. This track is a total Post Metal sound with a very doomy and slow drudgery. Overall not a bad track at all. The fifth song is much like the lat one in its overall sound, but adding a tinge of Hardcore to the sound as well. The sixth composition is where they basically rehash ideas from the earlier parts of the disc. The rest of the record is pretty solid if you like this kind of thing, but I can only listen to it small amounts.

THE OCEAN COLLECTIVE is for anyone that likes the Post Metal sound that is somewhat of a trend currently.  Fans of any the bands mentioned above would at least find the music to be interesting. I look forward to hearing more stuff from them in the future and hope for a more solid album from beginning to finish.

 THE OCEAN - Queen of the Food Chain - LIVE - Berlin

3 Star Rating

Disc 1

Hadean - Hadean
Archean - Eoarchean
Archean - Palaeoarchean
Archean - Mesoarchean
Archean - Neoarchean

Disc 2

Palaeoproterozoic - Siderian
Palaeoproterozoic - Rhycian
Palaeoproterozoic - Orosirian
Palaeoproterozoic - Statherian
Mesoproterozoic - Calymmian
Mesoproterozoic - Ectasian
Mesoproterozoic - Stenian
Neoproterozoic - Tonian
Neoproterozoic - Cryogenian
Torge Liesmann - Drums, Percussion
Matt Beels - Guitars
Robin Staps - Guitars, Vocals, Samples, Creative Despotism
Walid Farruque - Guitars
Mike Pilat - Bass, Vocals
Hannes Huefken - Bass
Jonathan Heine - Bass
Stefan Heinemeyer - Cello
Karina Suslov - Viola
Christoph von der Nahmer - Violin
Katharina Sellheim - Piano
John Gurtler - Saxophone
Daniel Eichholz - Glockenspiel
Jonas Olsson - Tambourine
Tomas Svensson - Additional Samples
Rene Nocon - Vocals
Nico Weber - Vocals
Nate Newton - Vocals
Tomas Hallborn - Vocals
Dwid Hellion - Vocals
Jan Oberg - Vocals
Caleb Scofield - Vocals
Eric Kalsbeek - Vocals
Jason Emry - Vocals
Meta - Vocals
Record Label: Metal Blade


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