Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Ocean - Pelagial

Oh. My. God. 

I don’t even know how to begin this review.  I really don’t.  I think I’ve said that before.  How do you describe music that takes you from the shores of the most beautiful beach and drags you down to the hellish depths of the frightening sea?  This concept album does just that.  It describes the layers of the ocean going from light piano driven classical music to hellish sludge metal… and it’s all beautiful. 
The Ocean is a band that comes off as progressive metal, but that doesn’t keep them from shattering every boundary possible.  Pelagial opens with a piano track (Epipelagic) that would fit perfectly between songs by major classical composers.  When the guitar and vocals kick in during Mesopelagic: Into the Uncanny, it’s obvious that you have something special here.

What transpires is an incredible descent.  They obviously wanted to get heavier as they went on.  You’ve got incredibly fast moving songs like Bathyalpelagic Ii: The Wish in Dreams which end in a slow piano outro, which fades into the sluggish and powerful Bathyalpelagic Iii: Disequillibrated.  You never know what direction this band and album will take you. 

It’s just a completely powerful experience.  As you become accustomed to the changes in flow and song structure, you are treated to a smorgasbord of influences and sounds.  The written (well, typed) word just doesn’t do it justice.  Imagine if you had an amazing mix-tape of an album featuring songs ranging in heaviness.  You open with a couple of Thrice jams.  Really amazing music that captures your attention and mood.  Then you move into a couple of Mastodon metal (in other words, off of Leviathan, not more recent releases) songs.  There is some singing and some incredible production.

Then suddenly, you get some technical Between the Buried and Me, with math-metal riffs and straight screaming.  Then… oh shit!  There’s some Tool! Throw a few darker Thrice style songs before ending with some songs that wouldn’t sound out of place on an Advent album, slow, sluggish, and straight-up brutal doom/sludge style. Throw in a random orchestral piece, and you’ve got The Ocean’s opus. 

Oh, but take away the jarring effect of changing bands and sounds and make it a cleanly executed concept album with a band capable of taking on such heavyweights as mentioned above in their own genre of music and give them all a run for their money. 

Oh, and you also get an all instrumental version of the album if you purchase the entire set.  It’s well worth owning.  The music alone is incredible.  The vocals just push it up over the top. 

While this may make little sense to you upon your first reading, give the band a listen and you’ll hear exactly what I am talking about. 

It’s just incredibly captivating.  Easily… EASILY… my album of the year right now.

--The Professor

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