Release DetailsLABEL Metal Blade Records
RELEASED ON 3/7/2006
posted on 3/2006 By:
The Ocean, much like Opeth, enjoy exploiting the inherent tension between soft and hard music and also like Opeth; they recorded two separate albums at the same time, one entitled Fluxion exploring a lighter sound, complete with a full orchestra, and a heavier one with just the usual suspects: guitar, bass and drums. Aeolian is the latter. But that’s where the Opeth comparisons stop. The Ocean, at least on this effort, come across as much more in the vein of Botch if a bit less eccentric and a bit harder edged. They belt out slow moving, technical low end crushers that proceed in fitful starts and stops often punctuated by dissonant off tempo guitar screams but they don’t have Botch’s tendency to wander, instead staying focused on the pummeling riffs. The lengthy songs, with a few clocking in at over seven minutes, are sometimes sewn together by moody ISIS like atmospherics, albeit a bit more industrial synth driven, or dark Neurosis style lead guitar wails, but the main thrust is a crushing wave of dense metal awash in intricate time signatures.
Adding to the sense of many different styles at work here are no less than six different singers. With the exception of a high pitched Napalm Death style screamer, it’s actually fairly hard to tell the difference between them as they all have a low end bark that suits the music well. I think it’s good the different vocalists are fairly indistinguishable as it would have been distracting to have a wide range of different styles.
The Ocean have managed to mix two fairly distinct styles into a strong combination of bludgeoning low end dynamics segued by lighter, industrial tinged dirgecore. This makes for a great listen but I found myself wishing they would mix in even more of the light/heavy contrast than found here and maybe even some of the orchestra elements to add more depth to the slower sections. Hopefully on future releases, instead of sectioning it off on a separate record, they incorporate the full range of their sound rather than the limited spectrum we’re shown here. Then they would have something even more unique than this already accomplished sound.
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