Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Ocean - 2010 Anthropocentric

Band : The Ocean
Album : Anthropocentric
Release Year : 2010
Genre : Sludge / Progressive / Experimental

Tracklist :
1. "Anthropocentric"
2. "The Grand Inquisitor I: Karamazov Baseness"
3. "She Was The Universe"
4. "For He That Wavereth…"
5. "The Grand Inquisitor II: Roots & Locusts"
6. "The Grand Inquisitor III: A Tiny Grain of Faith"
7. "Sewers Of The Soul"
8. "Wille Zum Untergang"
9. "Heaven TV"
10. "The Almightiness Contradiction"
11. "The Grand Inquisitor IV: Exclusion From Redemption"

The Ocean Collective (usually referred to as "The Ocean") is an experimental metal band from Berlin, Germany. Their work combines elements of modern hardcore and technical metal with classical music and electronic soundscapes. The band often describes its sound as "ambient soundtrack doomrock".
It’s fair to say that The Ocean’s latest endeavour divided their fan base somewhat. The release of Heliocentric earlier this year saw the group in a whole new dynamic, now a band as opposed to a collective, complete with a new singer. Heliocentric also marked a significant change in sound for the band, taking out a large chunk of the metal found on masterpiece Precambrian, replacing it with a lighter atmosphere, amongst other things. While most were unhappy with this change, The Ocean succeeded in what they set out to do with Heliocentric, creating an album that is just as worthy of sitting alongside their already outstanding discography. In many ways, Anthropocentric is the perfect completion of the double album, being of just as high quality and rounding out the band’s critique of Christianity in interesting fashion.
While Anthropocentric doesn’t hark back to the heaviness of the band’s earlier efforts, it does provide the perfect contrast to the lighter Heliocentric. Opening jaunt and title track ‘Anthropocentric’ signals this straight away, exploding out of the blocks with layers of sludgy guitar and growls. Much of the record follows in similar fashion, with the traditional Ocean heaviness juxtaposing beautifully with the band’s newly found atmosphere.
Again with Anthropocentric, Robin Stapps has shown he is an absolute genius when it comes to song writing and arrangements. One only has to look at songs such as album highlight ‘She Was The Universe’ for confirmation of this. Elsewhere, the brilliantly named ‘Sewers of the Soul’ displays some excellent work by bassist Louis Jucker in tandem with Stapp and Julian Lido’s duelling guitars. Drummer Luc Hess also deserves kudos for yet another amazingly consistent effort, with some very impressive fills to be found (‘Heaven TV’ and the title track).

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