The Ocean
Aeolian


4.5
superb

Review

by Andrew Gold CONTRIBUTOR (66 Reviews)
February 16th, 2013 | 128 replies | 6,551 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The stars are fading away

Back when The Ocean was actually a “collective,” they were a much more exciting band. Not to say Heliocentric and Anthropocentric are bad albums, because they’re not, but when compared to their first three albums, they sound like a completely different band. Gone were their dense walls of sound, wide array of vocal styles, and overall it felt as if a certain weight to their sound was missing. The sound of early The Ocean albums was massive. Not only massive in a balls-heavy musical sense, but the sheer density of the albums allowed you become completely immersed in their atmosphere. The most massive of them all and, in general, one of the dirtiest, sludgiest, and disgustingly heaviest progressive metal albums ever recorded is 2006's Aeolian.

On Aeolian, The Ocean constantly barrages you with influences ranging from Meshuggah to Converge, with borderline Between the Buried and Me-esque spastic song structures, and even entering grind territory when the song calls for it. What’s more impressive is how none of the album’s 53 minutes are boring. Even the weakest song ‘Necrobabes.com’ has enough experimentation going on to make it worthwhile, and it also has some of the most interesting lyrics on the album:

You're my fetish
My favorite toy
Pierced with needles
I'm sure you'll enjoy
Gagged and hogtied
Spanked and caned
I'll always savour
your grace in chains


And they only get more disturbing from there. ‘Dead Serious & Highly Professional’ comes at a close second with its unsettling lyrics;

I'll fuck your dog
Do you still wanna get along with me?
I'd rape your daughter
On payment of a small fee


Yeah... no thanks.

As entertaining as the lyrics are, the true strength of The Ocean lies in the instrumental proficiency. Torge Ließmann is an absolute beast of a drummer, and musical extraordinaire/The Ocean-mastermind Robin Staps creates some of the most dynamic riffs the genre has to offer. Whereas metal is primarily all about the riffs, the vocals play just as big of a role in Aeolian. This is more than likely due to the seven vocalists featured on the record. Yes, seven vocalists, including some big name artists like Nate Newton (Converge) and Sean Ingram (Coalesce). The Ocean’s full time vocalist, Meta, is a powerhouse of his own, having ear-piercing highs and lows guttural enough to make your balls ache.

As said before, Aeolian is a heavy record. The production is so thick you can slice it with an axe, and the riffs can be downright haunting at times; e.g. the doom passage in ‘The City of the Sea’. Plus, nothing says heavy like breakdowns, and the breakdowns on this record are unparalleled. ‘Une Saison en Enfer’, ‘The City in the Sea’, ‘Swoon’, and ‘One with the Ocean’ have utterly crushing breakdowns, and as far as hardcore music goes, they’re without a doubt among the heaviest breakdowns ever written. Mellow passages are few and far between, but when they do appear, such as the glorious intertwining of strings in ‘Inertia’, they’re done right – not too overdramatic and fitting perfectly within the gloomy mood of the album.

For any fan of hardcore, sludge, post, or doom metal, or generally anyone looking for an album dark enough to put you in a hypnotic, bloody trance, The Ocean’s second LP will not disappoint. Despite the band's original intention of having Fluxion and Aeolian released as a double-album, Aeolian needs to be listened as its own entity to be fully appreciated. It's actually a blessing in disguise that the albums weren't released together, as it makes this The Ocean's most focused and consistent record to date. When it comes to soul-crushingly huge albums, Aeolian rests comfortably alongside Neurosis’ Through Silver in Blood and Cult of Luna’s The Beyond. Yes, it's that good.

“Can you still the stars through layers of grey
Or have the city lights taken their place?
The stars are fading away…”



Recommended Tracks:
The City in the Sea
Austerity
Une Saison en Enfer
Queen of the Food-Chain



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Can you still the stars through layers of grey Or have the city lights taken their place?...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
February 15th 2013



20658 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is pretty much as high as a 4.5 can get for me so forgive me if i sound fanboyish in the review, i just really really love this
album.

Digging: Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails

oltnabrick
February 15th 2013



30161 Comments


Precambrian is their best

i havent heard this one in a while though

Digging: Miyuki - Fellow Citizen

Wizard
February 15th 2013



19248 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

with borderline Between the Buried and Me-esque spastic song structures

Whoa, whoa, whoa! This album is a much smoother anal insertion.

Digging: Nachtmystium - The World We Left Behind

wacknizzle
February 15th 2013



12647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review Andrew, pos'd. Never really thought of this as a sludge album, then again I haven't heard it in a while, all I know is that this shit pummels face. Gonna jam this later for sure, I always forget how awesome this album is, might bump my rating after another listen.

Digging: Systems - Ghost Medicine

CaptainDooRight
February 15th 2013



28360 Comments


hi


Digging: Tukaaria - Raw to the Rapine

MichaelSnoxall
February 15th 2013



12163 Comments


Precambrian is their best [2]


But I'd honestly call this deathcore with a lot of progressive elements. But yeah, good alb and decent review. I don't like your last paragraph, but other than that it's good. Pos.

wacknizzle
February 15th 2013



12647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah I always thought this was borderline deathcore or metalcore with death metal influence.

Listen to this and No Tears For The Creatures back to back and you have such a blast your neck will hurt by the end from all the headbanging.

Hola' El Capitan

MichaelSnoxall
February 15th 2013



12163 Comments


This isn't really a sludge metal album, it has some sludgy elements, but overall it's not. Precambrian has some heavy post-metal elements, but these days I just call these guys progressive metal.

mindleviticus
February 15th 2013



8171 Comments


The Ocean rule. Why does everyone not like Heliocentric as much as anything else they've done?

Wizard
February 15th 2013



19248 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Easy, cuz is suckz.

JAV
February 15th 2013



1921 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

How dare you review this after I did.
This will not stand, we are at war.

Pos

mindleviticus
February 15th 2013



8171 Comments


It doesn't suck, it's just different. The dynamics on that album are sharp and crisp and the vocals
are very fervent. Its just more calmer than what they did. It's in no way a bad album at all.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
February 15th 2013



20658 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks guys. Took out the first sentence of the last paragraph, I think it flows better now

And I love Heliocentric, it's a high 3.5 for me but its def their worst

mindleviticus
February 15th 2013



8171 Comments


Why?

GiaNXGX
February 15th 2013



4867 Comments


fluxion>>

good review.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
February 15th 2013



20658 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Why is it their worst? Or why do I like it?

mindleviticus
February 15th 2013



8171 Comments


what makes it their "worst"?

eternium
February 15th 2013



16307 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

But I'd honestly call this deathcore with a lot of progressive elements.


Dumbest comment on Sputnik in awhile.

Second best The Ocean. Post-Precambrian stuff is mediocre compared to this.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
February 15th 2013



20658 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well it's just my opinion but I find it too inconsistent. It has some of their best songs aka Firmament, Swallowed by the Earth, The Origin songs, and some questionable ones like Catharsis and Ptolemy but I wouldn't call any of them bad

again I really like it. I just like their other albums more

mindleviticus
February 15th 2013



8171 Comments


Yeah, but being inconsistent doesn't make it any less strong than anything else they've done. A lot people on here think that being inconsistent is a bad thing, but it's not. It's just about the way it's executed, and for some albums, inconsistency just relies on how it's executed.



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