Written by: MBC on 31/01/2014 22:18:20

Following their formation in 2006, Chicago-based deathcore titans Oceano quickly rose to the forefront of brutal American deathcore with the incredible debut album “Depths” in 2009, which was followed by “Contagion” the year after. The band took a hiatus in 2012, which many perceived falsely as the end of the band. 2013 then saw the return of Oceano with their third album “Incisions” which was released in October. Oceano has jokingly been dubbed ‘Black Chapel’ in the past due to similarities in style to Whitechapel and the colour of frontman Adam Warren’s skin. On “Incisions” the band has gone into somewhat new territory, whilst staying true to the brutal deathcore sound of past releases. Some fans have discarded the album because of some bold steps in new directions. And yes, the album is different with less breakdowns than previous releases and a lot more variety in tempo, and it even features momentary displays of somewhat melodic vocals. Oceano are such a talented band though that they can make these changes to their sound without destroying it and “Incisions” is nothing short of a great record.

The album starts out strong with the heavy groove assault of “Eternal Wasteland”, a song that has Warren showing off his impressive vocal range with ultra thick deathcore growls, more muddy old-school death metal gutturals, a few high screams and even the new addition to his vocal arsenal, a spoken word delivery which does come as a surprise considering the nonstop brutal vocal assault of previous releases. He switches constantly between these various vocal styles throughout the album and does use the new more melodic technique a few times as well, but fans should not be discouraged by this. It serves as a fine addition to the arsenal of this already very skilled vocalist and provides a new dynamic to the band’s sound.

Second track “Slow Murder” stands as one of the best songs on the album, and is one of the songs where the new technique is most prevalent. Warren uses it effectively as an ominous precursor of the brutality to come, when he slowly speaks and almost whispers: “As I hold your life in my hands, I understand” followed by “I’m capable of murder” delivered with a powerful, thick growl accompanied by the sound of the cocking of a gun over a very slow and heavy breakdown. The whole song is a depiction of the thrill of slowly torturing and murdering someone (hence the title), and although not particularly sophisticated in content, it becomes interesting by focusing on the urge to perform this terrible deed through the eyes of the murderer rather than a mere description of a gore fest; a theme which is revisited a few times during the album. It fits the overall tone and dark atmosphere of the album which lyrically is varied with angry deliveries of themes such as enslavement in the modern world, battling demons, whores and poser Satanists.

There are plenty of highlights on “Incisions” such as the quiet and eerie opening to “Internal War”, the slow, doom-tinged sound of “Embrace Nothingness” or the blasting brutality of “Blasphemous Mask”. Oceano continues to impress with another great album.


Download: Slow Murder, Embrace Nothingness, Blasphemous Mask
For The Fans Of: Whitechapel, The Acacia Strain, I Declare War
Listen: Facebook

Release Date 01.10.2013

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