The Ocean
Heliocentric


3.5
great

Review

by FatheringhamDrive USER (6 Reviews)
June 7th, 2024 | 4 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ambitious concept, a bit middling on the vocal delivery

Heliocentric — A theory first proposed by Polish astronomer and mathematician Nicolaus Copernicus in 1543 suggested that, the Sun was in the center of the Universe and Earth along with all the other planets revolved around it. Despite Nicolaus being mostly correct, minus the Sun being in the center of the Universe part, he received harsh criticism for his theory by the Church. Why you may ask? Well this whole theory and reaction to it is the entire theme of this heavy, diverse and captivating record by The Ocean. Before we get into why the poor astronomer was so criticized, let’s the explore the ‘depths’ of The Ocean first shall we?

The Ocean or formerly known as The Ocean Collective, are a German band that was formed by Robin Staps in 2000 and have since made a career out of making progressive music that tackles historical or geographical themes in each of their albums. For instance, their record ‘Precambrian” followed the birth of the Earth and it’s gradual formation. Heliocentric however has a more historical and religious take as it’s theme.

In line with that thought, why exactly was the Church so opposed to the Heliocentric theory? Essentially because it went against the literal interpretation of certain Scriptures that appeared to say the Earth was the center of the Universe. Admitting that they were wrong would of course not do and make them look weak in the public’s eye. Some years later, Galileo summed it up nicely in a letter to a pupil stating that,

“Even though Scripture cannot err, its interpreters and expositors can, in various ways. One of these, very serious and very frequent, would be when they always want to stop at the purely literal sense.” — Galileo

Lyrically the songs vary in perspective from that of God himself, and of course from Copernicus’s viewpoint. We see this plainly in the track ‘Ptolemy Was Wrong’ where Copernicus laments,

“There’s no ambiguity:
If Venus shows all phases like the moon
The earth must revolve ‘round the sun
But no one will believe me:
It’s like nothing
Like nothing I’ve seen was for real”

Interestingly, the album also touches on the how the Universe itself came to be on the track, ‘The Origin of Species” which I’m sure will ring a bell for many of us. It is unclear on whose perspective the lyrics were written in for this song, however we can gather they are in doubt about the evolution theory as the person confesses that

“Yes, it’s quite hard to believe
That we all come from the same seed:
The scrub, the cockroach and the human being
It’s hard to see
How the perfection of complex organs
Was achieved without an engineer

But all you see is the human eye
On top of the mountain peak, so high
A steep wall of rock impossible to climb
Our imagination is left behind”

This naturally brings up a whole new can of worms but does tie into the thread of religion and the order of things. It’s also extremely interesting to note that the father of Evolution himself, Charles Darwin in his own book, ‘On the Origin of Species” admitted that he ‘does not dismiss God and doesn’t know if his theory is true.” Definitely some food for thought there.

While the lyrical content is rich, the vocal delivery of it is hit and miss. Lead vocalist Luic Rosetti has perfectly powerful harsh vocals, however the cleans can at times be cringe inducing. The closest thing I can compare the bad moments to are when a person is going through puberty, and their voice changes pitch or cracks mid sentence involuntarily. In this case, it’s simply a matter of improving on his clean delivery which to be fair, he has done on more recent records.

Musically, the soundscape is diverse featuring horns, strings, piano and a litany of other instruments that are subtly woven into the pieces. A great set of headphones would do wonders with noticing the nuances within the songs.

Taken together as a whole, Heliocentric is another impressive release in The Oceans discography and in classic fashion, tackles grand ideas and themes as the backdrop for their music. Personally I gleaned that generally this record is more about the power of the establishment to squash or encourage contrary ideas, and when we boil right down to it, whether a contrary idea is accepted or not is honestly dependent on pride. Whether a person or establishment is too prideful to admit they were wrong or simply make minor adjustments to their ideas.



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user ratings (743)
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
Xenophanes EMERITUS (3)
Whereas "Precambrian" was like a fierce hurricane, "Heliocentric" is the harmless breeze that follow...

kingsoby1 EMERITUS (3.5)
An overall interesting experiment that sorely lacks in consistency and creative focus....

bodiesinflight57 (2)
The first major disappointment of 2010...and it's a big disappointment....

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



Comments:Add a Comment 
SitarHero
June 8th 2024


14726 Comments


Heliocentrism is the theory proposed by Copernicus.
Heliocentric is an adjective.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 8th 2024


6199 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

There are some great songs on it, but they stretched a bit too much here. They don't sound comfortable on some parts. Still, I believe they needed to go through this process to get to Pelagial, which is awesome.

FatheringhamDrive
June 10th 2024


10 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@SitarHero Good catch, thanks!

Sevengill
June 10th 2024


12168 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review. This one starts and finishes with bangers. Would be a good candidate for redone vox a la Fluxion but that's unlikely to happen.



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