Review Summary: You will enjoy this, not for what it creates, but what it suggests - this band had potential.
Oceana are a complicated yet intricate act to say the least, they use a wide array of techniques in their songs. One minute they can be brutalizing with a constant wave of sound and distortion, or shooting you through carousel of the most poppy chorus known to grace a band of their genre. If I was to best equate them with somebody else, I would say take A Day To Remember, give them whatever they seem to not be able to get right, and you've got Oceana.
In every dimension of they're songs they're miles ahead, where they're getting angry with you, like the opening track Breather II.
they're bleeding your ears out with piercing screams that bridge into metalcore. They may wanna switch things up a bit, give you a little breathing room and go poppy, well they bring it in well, it's quick guitar jabs and pulsating drum beats, mixed with graceful clean vocals battling with screams of agony, that's all in the chorus of the song, The Family Disease
. Lest us not forget what makes this tennis match, between the first 3 songs and us being the ball, provided by the band isn't complete without The Constrictor
which is just one complete tirade of a song; employing everything we've come to love about the 'new' Underoath with more emphasis on the electronics.
Ah, but enough about the perfect 1-2-3 punch that I near bantered on about earlier, this album contains several more masterpieces this world might not be ready for. Oceana sure are the master manipulators, as they build the tension about as good as a Michael Jackson video. The perfect example of this found in, The Abortion Plan
which uses the most depressing vocals I've heard on a record for quite sometime. There's such a brooding tone flowing through the chorus that it's quite infectious, he's just rambling for its 30 second entirety, but works perfectly with the cryptic riff offered by Alex Schultz, stalking the entire presence on the song. This, my friends, is what I like to call the BEST song on the album.
What else can they do!? Well, am I glad you asked that, because we're now embarking on what Oceana does best, some may call them breakdowns, but they're not. I like to call them journey's. They do this several times, but I'll call to your attention their best one, Boa
which absolutely stops the track in its steps. I mean, this song is moving from the get go, it's a complete sonic boom of aggression, and then 1 minute in we're taken on a journey, of just great musicianship provided by Denny Agosto on drums, and the beautiful interweaving of Brennan Taulbee and Keith Jones screaming their poor little hearts out. Albeit this song wouldn't be anything if it didn't include what they're master of, the tension is built up several times here, before explosions of what only be described as sound/noise.
Alas, what does this band do wrong then to not garner that fantastic 5 or even 4.5 rating? Well, they're not truly that original. Halfway through the album I hit my head for not noticing that through most of Mr. Jones' blood splattering screams, he resembled somebody else, oh too familiarly, Wayne Static. Also they rely on their formula too much to work for them before they start crossing over into predictability and we expect what's coming, we enjoy it, but still. Kind of like watching Titanic, which transitions perfectly into saying that it's unfortunate to see the band capitalize on their few mistakes and truly come back to astound us, but they've gone under as well.
Last Word: Every song on this album is worth listening to. Tracks worth mentioning, The Abortion Plan,The Family Disease, Boa, Devil Walk God Walk (Heaven Walk, Hell Walk)