THE OCEAN – Precambrian

Unlike most bands out there, THE OCEAN‘s name accurately describes what the band is all about. Precambrian is without a doubt the band’s most ambitious and compelling work, spread out between two discs. Disc one, Hadean/Archaean, is composed of five songs that collectively are heavier, more in your face, and brutal than disc two, Proterozoic. Hadean/Archaean contains a nice variety of brutal, heavy handed riffing displaying more of the band’s violent side. However, the real focal point of Precambrian lies within Proterozoic. The disc is a long emotional journey that easily takes the listener to another place. Things start out with somber and depressing tones as the fragile guitar riff rings out during opening song, “Siderian.” The 10:57 long “Rhyacian” slowly but surely raises the energy level while maintaining the tone. The song could even be considered a mini-album within the disc itself with its numerous song sections. “Orosirian” shakes the listener with its thunderous riffs and features a great middle break with strings and female and male clean vocals that eventually crescendos into a brilliant ending. “Statherian” brings things back down and allows the band’s classical string players to shine on this predominantly delicate song. The rest of the album consistently flows in much the same manner. There’s an ever shifting dynamic between heavy and lighter song sections, which conjure up mental images of the band’s namesake. While it is accurate to state that NEUROSIS form much of the band’s foundation and influence, it is a bit misleading with regards to Precambrian considering how much the band have come into their own. The album as whole may not change the world but it’s significant enough to warrant serious attention and admiration. Creative works such a Precambrian are the types of anomalies in underground heavy music that keep the scene progressing in all the right ways. (Metal Blade Records)

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