Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Ocean - Precambrian

Metal Blade Records
Release: Nov. 27th, 2007

The Ocean is immense. It’s a story from Germany of striving for an ideal. In 1999, guitarist/songwriter Robin Straps stopped at nothing to overtake his vision, recruiting a band in Berlin, then absconding a WWII aluminum factory where they built bedrooms, rehearsal spaces, and studios. That was just the start of it…

Precambrian, their 3rd release, proceeds to spread their complex sound and philosophy. Featuring vocalists from Cave In/Old Man Gloom, Converge, Integrity, and Breach singing beside vocalist Mike Pilat. The Ocean uses violins, piano, glockenspiel, etc. supplied by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, alongside their thundering guitars, bass, and drums, to create a somewhat Isis-like ambiance. However, they use sobering restraint: absolute heaviness is not the end-all be-all. Perhaps this creates a new type of heaviness; one that goes beyond pure aggression.

The violins on the album are often used with little accompaniment and offer a sense of tragedy that few metal bands ever have. The transitions into beautifully arranged riffs are clean and disgustingly heavy, like watching Saturday morning cartoons in your underwear then getting kicked in the balls (or tits). The harmonies and tone of the violins and piano might be trying for some listeners, but after listening a few time, the shock may turn to appreciation. Precambrian is an immense work that will take years to understand.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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