The Ocean

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Precambrian Review

by Greg Prato

Although they're best known as the Ocean, this Berlin, Germany, outfit's original name is perhaps more fitting -- the Ocean Collective -- as they are a hefty eight members strong. And on the group's 2007 release, Precambrian, the Ocean continue to specialize in a hard-hitting approach that touches upon such similar styles as extreme metal and doom metal. But unlike the majority of groups that fall under either of these two categories, the Ocean are not a one-dimensional band. No siree, as such styles as prog ("Neoarchean") and even Middle Eastern-esque soundscapes ("Siderian") are used to create some much needed shelter -- albeit momentary -- from all the fury. However, don't be fooled into thinking that Precambrian is all about surprise detours -- ditties such as the album-opening "Hadean" and "Paleoachean" are instant headbanging highlights. The Ocean remain one of the select number of extreme metal acts that refuse to be predictable, and this is especially evident throughout Precambrian.

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