Reviews The Ocean Precambrian

The Ocean


Robin Staps, The Ocean’s high-striving frontman must be one hell of an easy person to work with. It’s either that, or he is a dictator of epic proportions and has an ego the size of Mount Kilimanjaro. When our favorite music magazines are riddled with tales of inter band friction, even when talking about three douchebags who recently took the plunge from jamming in a garage to jamming in packed clubs, Robin Staps manages to conjure up a work where no less than twenty-six musicians were involved. The result of this cooperation is a deeply ambitious piece of work. There is an old Swedish saying that goes “Too many chefs, don’t make a good soup.” But that does not seem to be the case here.

There really is no other way of describing a musical piece consisting of two separate albums, chronicling the early days of Earth and successive geological eras, but to say that it is an exceptionally ambitious recording. It’s hard for me to say whether The Ocean have undergone a musical evolution since Precambrian is the first work I have heard from them but it’s enough to be impressed.

A lot has been said about their sound and comparisons to Neurosis and Isis have been made on more than one occasion, which is a daunting duo to be put alongside as they are both giants of the genre but the opening chords of the first song bring, to me at least, to mind a different colossus - Meshuggah. “Hadean - The Long March of the Yes-Man” has the kind of rhythmic rumble that makes me think of Chaosphere and the way it manages to sound repetitive but technical at the same time is a contrast that, strange as it may sound, works wonders.

The first recording consists of a twenty-two-minute mini-CD that favors technically astute and gut churning heaviness. Put simply, it’s a short sharp shock that is more sonic aggression in the shape of shorter and faster songs. That initial attack is a preparation for what is on offer later. The significantly longer Proterozoic demands more patience from the listener because the songs are slightly longer and more dynamic in their slow build up but just as rewarding. They offer more scope and a different type of emotional heaviness.

The calm moments are simply breathtaking and it’s the subtle use of electronics that just gives them the edge. They are the kind of moments that are custom made for listening to while staring out of a train window at a beautiful landscape. Make sure to listen to this album all the way through to enjoy the full scope of it.

8.5 / 10Mirza
KFAI - Undead
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8.5 / 10

8.5 / 10

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