There are many different ideas and styles found in only four tracks, the first one simply being a spoken word intro about how despite all the hardships, the heart hasn’t stopped beating. Then it turns into a heavy, almost death or groove metal track called “Awakening”, which alternates between growls and angsty singing that put the song clearly into the new metal category. The more recent, heavier and more death metal-influenced brand of nu-metal, a lot like Malicious Inc or Dr Schafhausen.
They keep the heaviness with the blistering “Sulfur”, which like most of the EP, makes a great use of its tortured screams. The good thing about the vocals is that, both through growls, speak-screams and singing, the singer sounds genuinely hurt and tormented. He has a loud, sometimes over the top but convincing delivery. His most harrowing vocal performance has to be the impressive last track “Skin”, where he goes from melancholic singing to screaming “I want to wear your skin”, and also alternates between singing and insane, scary growls. That track has to be heard to be believed, and I mean that in a good way. It’s the best example of the band’s style, and it’s a really haunting, strange and dark song. It reminds me a little of those really heavy Slipknot songs about serial killers.
And speaking of obvious comparisons, well, that’s one of the weaknesses of the EP: sometimes, it still feels a little like a mix of its influences than its own thing. I’ve already compared this to other previous bands I’ve reviewed, but I feel like Oceans’ music is still not as consistent as Malicious Inc and not as creative as Dr Schafhausen. Oceans reminds me a little of Slipknot, but also of Korn, especially with their clean vocals. The vocalist often sounds so much like Jonathan Davis that I wouldn’t be surprised if he started his career doing Korn covers.
In addition to its generic feel, other weak spots on the EP would be, as I often say, that it’s a little too short, with only 3 songs and one spoken word intro. It’s not Oceans’ first record, but it unfortunately still sounds like an awkward first foot forward, the kind of debut that makes you think the band has potential but isn’t really great yet. As for the vocals, well, I guess the feeling you’ve already heard that voice before and the repetitive, often over the top and angsty delivery are precisely what some people find annoying about nu-metal.
Unfortunately, as a child of the 2000s, I wasn’t brought up to hate nu-metal. So I guess I’m going to defend this EP? If you don’t mind something a little generic, that makes up for its lack of originality by a very genuine, not forced and really harrowing angst, you might like this. It’s not a high recommendation, but there is definitely an audience for that.
Release date: January 14th, 2022
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