The Ocean is a band from Germany who set sail in 2000 and anchored their debut in 2004. Since then, they have had a string of releases. The band is known for its experimental qualities and uncanny musical style. Listening to their albums is analogous to being on a roller coaster that takes all kinds of unexpected turns and twists, and every twist presents something new. Their latest work, Pelagial, is likely to be considered by many as their best work to date.
Pelagial starts out with an unusual introduction that one may not expect from a metal release. The intro is a soft, calm and soothing instrumental that makes use of peaceful ambiance and classical sounding pianos. It’s a strange comparison, but it’s reminiscent of post-rock bands such as sleepmakeswaves and Explosions in the Sky. The second track, “Mesopelagic: Into The Uncanny,” continues this trend, leading with clean guitars and harmonious bass. Here the album declares itself. The riffs are distorted and heavy throughout the album, but they are also interesting. The songwriting is very similar to bands such as Neurosis, who incorporate a large amount of experimentation. This experimentation takes the form of mixing different instruments, using unique song structures that deviate from traditional song arrangements and tempos, and making use of clean and harsh vocals.
As a result, the album is fresh, exciting and electrifying. A notable stand-out track is “Bathyalpelagic II,” which presents single note action and chord progressions before ending the song with an elegant piano piece. Another highlight is “Abyssopelagic II,” which is a slow tempo anthem that invokes relaxation and comfort. Additionally, this is a concept album, which gives the lyrics character and substance; The Ocean have done a fantastic job integrating their concept into their music.
In short, Pelagial is a piece of art worth listening to. With some strong numbers, crisp production work and talented artistry, there isn’t much to complain about. Definitely a must-listen for those who enjoy experimental sounds, slow paced metal and clean vocals.