The Ocean

Pelagial (Metal Blade)

SXSW 2014 Records

The Ocean

Pelagial (Metal Blade)

On sixth LP Pelagial, Berlin's Ocean interweaves two seemingly opposing forces: the visceral emo blasts of metalcore, and the grand widescreen sweep of progressive rock. Thus the mood swings from the Quadrophenia-like piano intro of "Epipelagic" to the screamo nose punches of "Bathyalpelagic II: The Wish in Dreams," meld pretentious and pugnacious into a tapestry where one thread picks up before the other ends. All the better to play out the band's concept of exploring the depths of the sea as allegory for stripping back the layers of the psyche, with each tune a chapter in a book that veers from exciting to dull. Singer Loïc Rossetti lacks color, despite his range, while too many choruses cry out for eyeliner and an audience of angst-soaked teenagers. The music moves impressively nonetheless, like an architeuthis through the depths, making the instrumental version on disc 2 the best bet. (12:10am, Dirty Dog Bar)

**

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