The Ocean
Heliocentric


3.5
great

Review

by Sobhi Youssef EMERITUS
April 10th, 2010 | 219 replies | 33,417 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An overall interesting experiment that sorely lacks in consistency and creative focus.

Let's get this out of the way right now: Heliocentric is not generally a logical follow-up to its predecessors. This is more-so an extension of the Proterozoic side of 2007's Precambrian and a completely different iteration of The Ocean you've all found yourselves masturbating to at one time or another. Even then, claiming it an 'extension' is a reach, as Loïc Rossetti finds himself the center of attention with an extremely melodic and expressive clean-vocal performance. Gone is the pervading sludge-y heaviness of past releases, in favor of further exploration of the post-somethingness of Proterozoic. Atmosphere, melody, through-composed "orchestrations", and other progressive methodologies coalesce into a loose interpretation of progressive metal... more akin to the post-hardcore of Thrice than the raging epic metal of prior endeavors.

But while this change in direction is disappointing for those expecting songwriter Robin Staps to bridge the gap between the two sides of Precambrian, overall, Heliocentric succeeds musically. The wave-like crescendo of "Shamiyam" decompresses effectively into the introductory proggy-polyrhythmic breakdown of "Firmament". Rosetti's vocals are impressive from the beginning but really shine at around the 5-minute mark, bringing Vheissu comparisons full circle. Picking up half-way through, the record really comes together to its full potential - dissonant heaviness contrasting reverb-soaked spacey melody, creatively infused metalcore with more traditional clean/shouted vocals, and heavy borrowing from the near symphonic at times. For a microcosm, "Swallowed by the Earth" hearkens back to The Ocean's past (there's a sludge song title if I've ever seen one) while emphasizing a post-metal future. The true highlight here is easily the Origins duology making up the record's tail end. This is easily some of the most inspired songwriting Staps has ever done, opening with the soul-crushing "Origin of Species" and closing with the beautifully orchestrated saxaphone-led outro of "Origin of God". All of the vocals (screamed, sung, or both at the same time) are tasteful, melodic, and perfectly complimentary to the composition.

If we stop here, this could definitely be material for many a best-of 2010 list. But it's not all divine song in The Ocean. Heliocentric is extremely polar in its consistency, ranging from the derivative and uninspiring ("The First Commandment") to the downright awful. "Ptolemy Was Wrong" could quite possibly be one of the absolute worst songs ever written. A poorly paced power ballad only gets worse when the lyrics are laughable at best. While heliocentricism is a somewhat interesting historical motif, it's fairly difficult to be first-person emotive about a topic that hasn't been edgy since the 1400s. Stupid concepts like this really bring down progressive records, and Heliocentric is no exception. Especially with easily understandable clean-vocals from Rossetti, the lyrical content is truly exposed this time around.

Heliocentric is an overall interesting experiment from The Ocean, but sorely lacks in consistency and creative focus. Hopefully next time around fans can get what they were looking for from Precambrian.



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user ratings (447)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
Eli Kleman EMERITUS (3)
Whereas "Precambrian" was like a fierce hurricane, "Heliocentric" is the harmless breeze that follow...

eternium (3)
If Precambrian was Master of Puppets, Heliocentric is The Black Album....

Benjamin Bland (2)
The first major disappointment of 2010...and it's a big disappointment....


Comments:Add a Comment 
ButcheredChildren
April 10th 2010



5591 Comments


excellent review!!! i completely agree!!

cinaedus
April 10th 2010



26195 Comments


Just heard Ptolemy Was Wrong. HILARIOUS stuff.

Relinquished
April 10th 2010



22332 Comments


Review is absolutely correct.

JAV
April 10th 2010



1883 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Well the lyrics were so much better on past releases. He must have not been able to come up with something that was more obscure in its meaning.
Half good half bad album I think.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2010



8221 Comments


Terrific review, really enjoyed reading it.

Probably won't bother with this. There's enough good new music floating around, so I might as well skip on this

Digging: Metsatoll - Karjajuht

scissorlocked
April 10th 2010



3479 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

WHY???I mean,WHY?????Robin staps was such a good lyricist back to Precambrian....Is it really so bad????

Digging: Fantastic Mr Fox - Sketches

Prophet178
April 10th 2010



6397 Comments


Hahahah I couldn't even make it halfway through Ptolemy Was Wrong.

scissorlocked
April 10th 2010



3479 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Come on,Ptolemy Was Wrong isnt such a bad song.I can't understand why everybody hates it.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
April 10th 2010



4829 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

- The vocal melodies are retarded.

- The lyrics are retarded

- The pacing is very poor

- The lyrics are doubly retarded. So much so that I couldn't really give any more shits about the subject matter. Something emotionally charged half a millenia ago doesn't necessarily have the same effect today.

Digging: Nmesh - Dream Sequins®

HenchmanOfSanta
April 10th 2010



1646 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Agree completely. I might change my rating to a 3.5 after I get the album. I think Ptolemy Was Wrong is terrible and I paid zero attention to the lyrics, so I don't plan on trying to listen to them, but I really liked the heavier songs here.

anotherdeadjuliet
April 10th 2010



263 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Everyone with a negative look on this album is just about as wrong as Ptolemy was.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
April 10th 2010



10553 Comments


lol

Digging: Saintseneca - Dark Arc

AlexTM510
April 10th 2010



1396 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Solid review...although PreCam is better than this I find this a much more easy listen. I started writing some ideas out for the review but yea have yet to finish it.

Thrice comparisons probably won't end but it's hardly a flaw for me

Digging: Daniel Blomquist - measureless oceans of space

botb
April 10th 2010



9281 Comments


a nonrap review whaaa

Digging: Cult Leader - Nothing For Us Here

tuk
April 10th 2010



151 Comments


@Alex, I don't see that many possible Thrice references tbh.

elephantREVOLUTION
April 10th 2010



2702 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

does anyone else think this album sounds a little bit like blessed are the bonds by pax cecilia?

Digging: IDYLLS - Prayer For Terrene

Ryce
April 10th 2010



81 Comments


Pretty spot-on; I was discouraged from reading this by the first two reviews posted, but now that I have, I definitely enjoy what there is to enjoy on this record.

InFiction
April 10th 2010



3586 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

'Ptolemy Was Wrong' is probaly the only song on the record I can't stand, apart from that I love it. I'd probably give it a solid 4.
Great review.

Powerban
April 10th 2010



2380 Comments


does anyone else think this album sounds a little bit like blessed are the bonds by pax cecilia?


Well, not too much. Without the vocals and stuff maybe a bit.

Blessed Are The Bonds takes an elephant shit on this album.

silvr
April 10th 2010



23 Comments


"All of the vocals (screamed, sung, or both at the same time) are tasteful, melodic, and perfectly complimentary to the composition."

Tell me what sort of education you have in singing?
What you stated is wrong.

I can't listen to more than three musics at once because of the singing. It's plain plain horrid.



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