The Ocean Collective
Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic
Metal Blade
★★★★

It took about a decade of band member stability for The Ocean to create an album like Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic. The power chords that launch “Cambrian II: Eternal Recurrence” is so distinctly percussive to your brain that it is the greatest musical punctuation I have heard, sending shock wave after shock wave of effect. It helps when the opening number, “The Cambrian Explosion,” is served solely to build up to this moment —the ambient piano, the atmospheric hues, the detonation.

Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic is undoubtedly an amazing album drenched in complicated guitar compositions. Loïc Rossetti’s vocals become a part of the whole. Rossetti’s vocal force is like standing in a wind tunnel of gravel. The brute force in their progressiveness is what gives this album solidity. However, he proves his dynamics in “Silurian: Age of Sea Scorpions.” It’s a song that feels more of a progressive metal statement than the rest of the album presents. The Ocean Collective has been one grandiose experiment from their founding so to expand their own foundational work is expected.

The Ocean – Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic

When you sit through “The Carboniferous Rainforest Collapse ,” you feel the immediacy and sadness in a natural state of turmoil. The confusion the time signature gives the listener is a dizzying effect of delusion. As the music breaks down your tough stature, it becomes a beautiful and angry instrumental expression.

I don’t know what I like better, the monstrosity of metal this band is capable of or the angular progressive intimacy they immerse themselves in. They don’t need to prove either yet they encapsulate both moods well.

There is a deep complexity the way The Ocean Collective bends the laws of nature, turning into gods of metal as the natural world falls before them. This album is a great achievement.

Categories: Reviews

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