THE OCEAN - Precambrian

The Ocean - Precambrian

14 songs
83:49 minutes
***** ****
Metal Blade


A lot of people were disappointed when the German collective The Ocean turned their back to their classical roots to release the much harder progressive metalcore album Aeolian. They must have sensed also that this was not the right way for them, because their new double album takes them back to their roots. But first we have to listen to a first disc of five songs that could have been from the Aeolian sessions. In fact, Precambrian is a geological journey through the history of the Earth, and as such, the first chapters have to be more chaotic and unbridled, because that’s the way it was back in the beginning of history. The first disc, titled Hadean/Archaean, should be considered an EP, offer twenty-two minutes of intelligent metalcore, but it just the way I don’t want The Ocean to sound. Which explains why I will always stick to the sixty-two minute long second disc, titled Proterozoic, which features nine tracks, most of them rather long. I doesn’t make sense to point any song out, because this good hour needs to be listened in one take. You feel reminded of Fluxion, except that The Ocean sound more mature than ever on this CD. Combining post rock, doom metal with classical instruments and a cinematic atmosphere, they build up atmospheres that are denser than anything even Neurosis or Isis might offer on a good day.

I wonder if it wouldn’t have made more sense to release Hadean/Archaean as a preview EP, to let Proterozoic stand on its own in its flawless perfection. I doubt that there are many people out there who feel like listening to the two parts in a row. Maximum rating for the main menu, but the overall result gets one point scratched because I still think when you are as great as The Ocean, you don’t need to debase yourself to common metalcore structures, even if you are good at it. I still welcome The Ocean’s return to their roots, making them a unique band in an ever growing, sometimes opaque metal scene.

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