The Ocean


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The Ocean, a largely Berlin-based musical collective, occupy a space right near Neurosis, Isis, and Cult of Luna in the post-metal arena. Their music combines ultra-heavy riffs and extreme vocals (barks, howls, screams) with keyboards and orchestral instruments (violin, viola, cello, glockenspiel) to create shifting moods -- sometimes angry and headlong, sometimes droning and quite beautiful. They're ambitious, challenging themselves and the listener at all times. Fluxion, originally released in 2004, was meant to be one half of a two-CD set, but the label, Make My Day, wasn't willing to go for it, so it and its more straightforwardly metallic counterpart, Aeolian, were issued separately, the latter on Metal Blade. Now that label has reissued Fluxion with re-recorded vocals. The songs are sprawling and progressive, occasionally approaching a kind of fusion of metal with modern classical that's unprecedented in extreme music. This is an album that deserves a wider audience than it's received thus far, and the Ocean is a band worth following wherever they may roam, musically speaking.

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