Album Review: The Ocean – Pelagial

By on April 13, 2013

PromoImageocRelease Date: April 30th

Label: Metal Blade/Pelagic

HHM Rating:

[xrr rating=9/10]

Dividing their forthcoming album, Pelagial, into five conceptual zones, The Ocean (AKA The Ocean Collective) have created an artistically framed journey into abstract musical depth. The album zones (chapters in a sense) :  Epipelagic, Mesopelagic, Bathyalpelagic, Abyssopelagic, and Hadopelagic—segmented, but still sonically transcendent over span, respectively transit the tone of Pelagial downward; from a symphonic beginning to a raw ending of distorted chaos.

Following its intro, the album’s second track “Into The Uncanny” really kicks it off with an aggressive transition from its initial, elegant composition of exotic rhythm to a more urgent riff-driven delivery: complimented so well by the  death vocals of singer Loic Rossetti—the explosive energy and tight production quality of this album really come to light here. Unprecedented in sound and likely to be seminal: this record is packed with so much elemental diversity that highlights of such can be found in virtually every song—from the crafted blend of speedy, technical guitar work and undertones of doom in the album’s fourth track “The Wish In Dreams” to the amped up progressive/melodeath bridge of “Disequillibrated.”

By the time you reach the end of Abyssopelagic (the fourth zone), its song “Signals Of Anxiety” with distant growls and a looming musical malice, really begins the album’s final plunge into darkness—to be completed by it’s final two tracks: both decorated in metallic madness and vocal onslaught. I’m actually leaving this review curious above all else: pondering how big the impact of this release on the broader “soundscape” of metal will be, and assuming: very. You can pre-order your copy of Pelagial today and be sure to check out the stream for “The Wish In Dreams” below.

Review by Matt Crane – HHM