German progressive metal rockers The Ocean have released a brand new track and video “Pleistocene,” which will appear on the band’s upcoming eighth full-length studio album, Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic/Cenozoic. The new record will be released on September 25 via Metal Blade Records on CD and digital as well as the band’s own Pelagic Records for the vinyl edition. “Pleistocene” follows the album’s previous singles “Jurassic | Cretaceous” and “Oligocene.”
The new track is almost seven minutes long and begins with thumping drums and guitar before deep, grunge-esque baritone vocals set in. The track’s toned-down feeling comes to an abrupt stop as the band belts out a sludge metal chorus of thrashing guitars and screams before coming back down for the verses. The back-and-forth arrangement creates an uneasy feeling throughout, which is emboldened by the music video’s eerie imagery and black and white format from director Craig Murray.
Phanerozoic II is a direct follow-up effort to the band’s 2018 release, Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic. According to a press release, the two albums combine to create a “sprawling but superbly cohesive paleontology concept album.” Discussing how Phanerozoic II compares to Phanerozoic I, guitarist/founder Robin Staps says the new album is more sprawling than its predecessor. “Phanerozoic II is more experimental, more eclectic in musical style and direction, and more varied in terms of tempos, beats, guitar work and the use of electronics,” says Staps. “This was an intentional choice: we wanted Part I to feel rather streamlined and to have a strong cohesion between the individual songs. We kept the weirder, more daring and more progressive material for Part II.”
The new album was recorded in Iceland, Spain and Germany with iconic producer Jens Bogren. In addition to the vinyl version, the record will be available in a deluxe edition vocal CD, an instrumental CD and a box set completion bundle of both the vocal and instrumental CD albums along with two posters, a pin and a sticker.