F U L L . R E V I E W S


The Ocean - Aeolian - 2006 - Metal Blade Records

Track Listing
1. The City in the Sea
2. Dead Serious & Highly Professional
3. Austerity
4. Killing the Flies
5. Une Saison En Efer
6. Necrobabes.com
7. One with the Ocean
8. Swoon
9. Queen of the Food Chain
10.Inertia
Hailing from Germany, The Ocean is probably one of the most unique bands in the metal world today. They combine the sludgy/hardcore riffs of groups like Cult of Luna with innovative and sometimes bizarre ambient and symphonic effects. Anchored around songwriter/guitarist Robin Staps, the band uses an array of different musicians, both in the studio and live. For example, on “Aeolian,” no less than six different vocalists are used. Most notable among these is Nate Newton of Converge and Thomas Hallbom of Breach. Together the six provide a great variety in aggressive vocals from song to song, ranging from the deepest of growls to the highest of shrieks. Vocal variety, however, is only one of the many factors that make “Aeolian” a great album.

The best term to describe The Ocean’s music is chaos – but chaos with a surprising amount of planning, order, and organization. While on the first few listen it may seem that riffs are thrown almost randomly together like, say, Between the Buried and Me operate, after getting to know each song intimately distinct patterns emerge. The fact that most of the songs on “Aeolian” take a while to figure out makes them that much more enjoyable once the mind can fully wrap around them. In addition, vocal variety completes an already potent formula. I keep mentioning this factor, but it really contributes a lot of “Aeolian.” On “Une Saison En Efer,” for example, almost spoken shouts introduce the song, to be almost instantly replaces by harsh, bellowing screams. This kind of contrast keeps the listener at the edge of their seat – they never know what to expect next.

Fans of extreme and non-extreme metal alike must check out “Aeolian.” Their musical creativity is almost, but not quite, overshadowed by the vast array of vocalists found on the disc. I can’t possibly imagine any human being not being entertained by The Ocean’s unique approach to music.

8.5/10


--Veritas 05.26.06
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: THE OCEAN
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
AeolianThe Ocean
2006
Veritas6/2/2006


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