The Ocean
Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic


4.5
superb

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (264 Reviews)
November 4th, 2018 | 54 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Ocean is vast and high tide looks good.

The sprawling back catalog of The Ocean Collective’s can be a daunting, yet rewarding experience. Each title has its own part in the band’s integral storytelling and for better or even better, The Ocean has capitalized on gargantuan instrumentation and an appropriation of vocal talent. Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic is a tangible delving of sorts into Earth’s early beginnings; from the Cambrian and the coinciding explosion to the beginning of human history. As interesting as the themed presentation of life and all we know sprawls it’s way into being, it’s almost definitive that most listeners aren’t exactly here for the science lesson, taking instead the majesty that Phanerozoic… offers at length and transforming it into some of the most accessible post-meets-progressive metal you’ll hear all year.

At the core of The Ocean’s swirling pool of ever changing time signatures and lush discordant soundscape there’s an eerie, yet welcoming balance to the band’s new music.The short smooth tones found within “The Cambrain Explosion” build an atmosphere of fragment and dissonance. It’s short lived, directly adding to the clearly harsher (yet completely following) approach of “Eternal Recurrence”, showcasing just how the group’s efforts to date (particularly in the form of Pelagial) have led to this building moment. Phanerozoic… unveils a clashing primal sophistication glossed together in a geological, time conscious manner. The true weight of The Ocean’s fluidity is felt largely in the album’s center and while listeners will naturally gravitate to the Katatonia featured, “Devonian: Nascent” it’s actually the monolithic foreboding presence of “Silurian: Age Of Sea Scorpions” that carries so much of the record. The latter feeds of its own atmospheric drive, becoming a mid paced dirge that relates Rossetti’s clean singing to the calamities of the underlying screams and noises. It’s the contrast that lifts his performance into the upper echelon, combining both of the band’s assets into what could be considered the group’s most conscious and aware release of their career (and by connection, the year). Despite the track’s almost ten minute run time, dragging moments run virtually non existent. The keys dance well around the bass-ier minimalist sections and back Rosetti’s cleaner vocals well, allowing for a bigger climax in the band’s more sludge-based soundscapes. As it turns out, Robin Staps & Co. may have just outclassed their massive Precambrian eleven years and four full lengths later.

“Nascent” by comparison takes the atmosphere built before it and turns it sickly warm. Jonas Renkse (Katatonia fame) melds into The Ocean’s sound-pool well and despite the natural following of the Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic template, his smooth vocal caress dances across the light progressive riffing and accentuates the chorus. It’s haunting and beautiful, creating a simplistic heavy longing for the listeners. It’s here where “The Glaciation of Gondwana” truly melts, allowing for the Phanerozoic… concept to move forward within itself. There’s a lot to take in; layer on layer joins the designed fray of The Ocean’s music (just as it has done for years). Even the minimalist bass riffing that carries one section to the next has a lot to do with the success and respite found throughout the new album. The Ocean are forever instrumentally aware and the band’s captivating musicianship is prevalent throughout the album’s forty eight minute run time. Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic is a journey of sorts, one that predates most of human caring. Even if you’re here for the history lesson, there’s a chance you’re going to miss what The Ocean have to offer on a musical level. Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic is not an album you want to play over and over again… it’s an album you need to play until the end of time, we’ll just need to wait for the record’s second half. If you’re looking for an easy way to define Palaeozoic in 2018, the term ‘album of the year contender’ comes easily.



Recent reviews by this author
Rosetta Sower of WindGhastly (FIN) Death Velour
Gorod AethraMoonshade Sun Dethroned
Architects Holy HellAll That Remains Victim of the New Disease
user ratings (338)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
insomniac15 STAFF (4)
Brilliant post metal for the geek inside you…...



Comments:Add a Comment 
Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
November 4th 2018


9204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Inso's review is great, just a little late to the party.

Coast
November 4th 2018


761 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Great review. I'm here for the science and the music.

Digging: Lubbert Das - De Plagen

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
November 4th 2018


9204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Maybe they are one and the same.

Coast
November 4th 2018


761 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

An entity it is.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
November 4th 2018


9204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This has probably just hit the top of my aoty list

Hawks
November 4th 2018


66816 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It’s top 15 for me but that just goes to show how good this year has been for me.

Digging: Jute Gyte - Verstiegenheit

GhostB1rd
November 4th 2018


2371 Comments


How deep is this?

Dewinged
November 4th 2018


13749 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fantastic review Rob, couple of fixes if I may, all in first para:



Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic s a tangible... (missing an "i" I believe)



some of the year’s most accessible post-meets-progressive metal you’ll hear all year (not wrong per se but I think one "year" would be enough?)



I am feeling a The Ocean binge soon topping it with this beauty.





Digging: Two People - First Body

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
November 4th 2018


9204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good spots Dewi, looks like all that I was stumbling around on my phone to type. Will get on that.



Yeah it's going to be hard to put this album down to listen to something else but I must.

Hawks
November 4th 2018


66816 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Jamming this again now damn yeah idk it might be too 5 this year. Ugh so many great ones to choose from.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
November 4th 2018


9204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

There's going to be a few interesting lists come end of year time for sure. I think I've only given this rating to 3 albums this year so that should be a little easier for me haha

Dewinged
November 4th 2018


13749 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I usually rate higher than I should but this is a given.

teamster
November 4th 2018


3623 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yes, both reviews are great. Thank you guys. This album has vaulted into my top 5 for 2018.

Digging: Nauticus - Disappear in Blue

Hawks
November 4th 2018


66816 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Same with Dewi. I just really enjoy a lot of stuff idk lol.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
November 4th 2018


9204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

That rating chart looks kinda cool atm too.

Flugmorph
November 5th 2018


20499 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

great review my dude, flows about as well as the record itself.

Flugmorph
November 5th 2018


20499 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

this is also just my third 4.5 of the year even tho i jammed a lot.



another little typo spotted: "As it it turns out, Robin Staps & Co."

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
November 5th 2018


9204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Love you Flug, for both comments

Hawks
November 5th 2018


66816 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I have like 25-30 albums 4.5’d from this year lol.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
November 5th 2018


9204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Our resident sput Oprah



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy