Review Summary: It's the end of the world, and this is one hell of a soundtrack
Oceano are a deathcore band formed in the mid 2000's as part of the 1st wave of American Deathcore, and this is their 5th full length, released on their new home of Sumerian Records.
The usual tropes of deathcore are ever present, double bass, chugging guitars, breakdowns and immense gutterals blanket the record like snow.
The album has 10 tracks, all but 3 barely reaching 3 minutes (excluding The Great Tribulation, Illusions Unravel and the title track Revelations) which is both the albums greatest strength and weakness. The songs are short enough to keep us yearning for more, but too short to feel satisfying. This is the first album recorded with Andrew Holzubar on drums and also their first as a 4 piece.
Adam Warren – lead vocals (2007–present)
Scott Smith – lead guitar (2014–present)
Chris Wagner – bass guitar (2014–present)
Andrew Holzbaur – drums (2015–present
Just like on their previous album, Ascendants, Oceano have incorporated more melody and atmosphere into their songs, with eerie synths creeping either introducing, ending or just backing the core tracks, which works in their favour most of the time, however there are peak moments where they overpower the other instruments, which is a big deal considering Adam Warren's gutturals are pretty hard to overpower.
Production wise, as stated, the eerie synths are usually pretty low in the mix, but do have peak moments especially in the intros of the songs "Dark Prophecy", "Path To Extinction" "Majestic 12" the instrumental track "Final Form" and"The Event" and do a terrific job at easing the listener into the hellish carnage that kicks in the door as Adam roars amidst chugging guitars and earth shaking double bass drums.
Lyrically, Adam has evolved from the days of Depths, as this album whilst not a true concept record, continues the story of the Ascendants, passing judgement on humanity's actions, which are ever present in lines such as
"Bodies will scatter
A floating graveyard
Witness the remains as reminder of the
Planet you ignored"
from track 9 "Human Harvest" my favourite on the album.
Vocally, Adam's voice is as guttural as ever, but his fry screams have really improved in quality and his clarity with words has improved as he's been performing this kind of singing, cementing his place as one of my favourite vocalists, along side Brooke Reeves from Impending Doom, Tim from Within the Ruins and Phil Bozeman from Whitechapel.
Musically, the 10 tracks on the album follow the same formula, which is not necessarily a bad thing, it's the formula that has kept them afloat as a band. After an eerie intro, the guitars chug alongside ripping double kick drums, however the snare drum is pretty high in the mix for a deathcore release, and it sounds pretty good, which makes a nice change. You'll occasionally get the odd melodic lead such as just before the breakdown in "Human Harvest" which is also preceded by clean plucking as the rhythm guitar chugs in the background.
I feel the band has got this formula down, and I would like to see more experimentation in future releases. The addition of the eerie synths in Ascendants went over really well. I'd like to hear Adam experiment with cleans, not Teehee's, but actual clean singing. Perhaps some kind of dark melodic ballad, with guttural overdubs backing the cleans. And I do like the idea of the instrumental, I would make it the one track on the album where you literally try anything, because I will admit Final Form sounds like an Animals As Leaders B-Side.
Overall, TLDR, Oceano have delivered another solid release, but I feel its time to shake things up again like Ascendants did.