Oceans – “The Sun And The Cold” (Nuclear Blast)
Battle Helm Rating
Formed only last year but already signed to Nuclear Blast, this is an astonishing debut that is literally dripping in atmospheric melancholy, deep emotions and visceral savagery! Mixing post death metal with nu metal, djent and a hint of prog, Oceans are a mix of German and Austrian musicians, but spring chickens they certainly aren’t, having toured throughout Europe and North America with previous bands, releasing 3 prior singles that soon got the attention of everyone, before issuing this incredible release. Truly living up to its title in the darkness from its heaviness, yet also illuminated by blinding melodies and undeniable passion, the 11 tracks go straight to your heart and deep into your soul. And you will never be the same again. Right from the stunning title track where blast beating, shoegaze guitars and even a piano evoke a stirring main melody where post hardcore vocals and death metal growls collide in a beautiful soundscape gradually building towards an intense climax, the emotional reach of the music is inescapable. And why would you want to, when the tearful melancholia of ‘We Are The Storm’ rolls right across you oh so blissfully with its moving guitars, even with the chopping mid song djent piece led by death metal growls, the return to the song’s initial serenity is like dawn itself breaking. Indeed, the build up on ‘Paralyzed’ with its clanging guitar tones and piano providing melancholic utopia is dramatically offset by a shoegaze wall of noise graced by growls, singing and rasps in the wind and is nothing short of overpowering on what must be a peak in this already emotionally challenging release! Shifting into nu metal with alternating screamo and soulful singing and likewise on the guitars in ‘Take The Crown’, the powerful melodies are simply irresistible, as is the intense shredding while on the quieter, but no less reaching ‘Legions Arise’, the presence of 90s melodic death metal in the twin guitars more than makes their worthy presence felt to great effect. A stupendous release in every aspect, it’s all here on “The Sun And The Cold”.