The Ocean

Heliocentric

Written by: AP on 09/01/2011 19:46:55

While The Ocean have followed an artistic muse throughout the years, the concept and expanse of ideas they tackle upon "Heliocentric" are ambitious to say the least. The first of two interlinked albums that explore Christianity, creationism, celestial bodies and the philosophical views surrounding them throughout the ages; one has to wonder if new vocalist Loic Rossetti knew what he was getting himself into when he joined the band late in the process of recording this opus. His contribution is nonetheless one of the key elements in the band's seismic shift from past aggressive tendencies to a more lush, textured soundscape that truly complements the lyrical focus of "Heliocentric" on the formation of the universe and the scientific and religious theories accompanying.

Rossetti's pronounced melodic range, exploited heavily here, means the band is no longer extensively mining the back catalogue of Neurosis and Isis. Rather, The Ocean finally discover their own strength and take steps to distinguish themselves in the burgeoning post-metal scene. Armed with grandiose arrangements ripe with strings and piano, "Heliocentric" comprises jarringly beautiful operatic elements, resilient melodies and an almost folky tenderness while leaving the roaring opposition to a minimum. Inherently graceful and ominous, the continued waves of melancholy and ever so slight nuances of repressed hostility weigh the album down in contrast with the previous double album "Precambrian". But while such refrains may break the deal for some listeners, the topics at hand demand the lofty, ethereal tinkering that prevails on "Heliocentric".

That is not to say that the weight has diminished to oblivion though, as songs like "Firmament", "The First Commandment of the Luminaries" and "Swallowed by the Earth" provide ample contrast to the gentle posturing in the middle of the album. But the treasure, as it has been suggested, lies at the end of the rainbow, in the conclusive dualism of "The Origin of Species" and "The Origin of God", which unleash the full might of The Ocean Collective. Orchestral sections mingle with resilient bass lines, whispering ambience and monolithic force as heavy as their subject matter in a dazzling display of songwriting prowess, providing both a satisfying finale and the perfect preamble to companion piece "Anthropocentric", the heavier affair.

Download: Firmament, Swallowed by the Earth, The Origin of Species / God
For the fans of: Burst, Intronaut, io, Oceansize
Listen: Myspace

Release date 12.04.2010
Metal Blade

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