Chuck Schuldiner Project

Thursday, September 6, 2018

The Ocean Collective - Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic

Well, it's been a really fucking long time since the last album from The Ocean Collective. Five years to be precise. The band has always played by their own rules, it's just crazy to think that soon they will have been doing this for twenty years. A band for the 21st century, whose entire approach and method of embracing the madness is forward thinking, their latest effort, the masterful Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic is one of the most interesting albums that I have heard all year. It's a prog album, but not wanky, a metal album, but not in your face. It's a record you gotta spin a whole bunch of times to even start to get a handle on.

The Ocean Collective have, on this record, brought their unique brand of prog driven sludge to a whole new level. Perhaps more than on any previous release, the band has created something that feels like more of an extended song than it does a collection of tracks. The ebbs and flows are incredibly powerful and the anthemic triumph of a song like Cambrian II: Eternal Recurrence speaks to what this band has become. They have crafted massive sounding atmospheres on this record, and the deeper you delve the more cool layers you are going to find. It's hard not to fall in love with this piece of sonic poetry, it just has so much to offer.

The driving power of these songs is exciting to say the least. The sense of perpetual forward motion keeps you coming back and the simple fact that The Ocean seem to keep getting better has me in awe. Everything about this record, to use the vernacular, slaps. It's incredibly intellectual, but it makes sense on the first listen. It's tastefully written but does not shy away from being too flashy. It's what you would ask for from a metal record and whole lot more. How could you turn away from the pulsing triumph within?

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