Whether we want it or not, we’re living in postmodern era: looks like everything was already invented before and the only thing that left is to merge thing that cannot be merged at first glance. E.g. Alien Weaponry and The Hu doing exactly this: they merge folk music from their homelands with metal. It turns out unusual and that’s why it’s interesting, but such thing isn’t new at all: Sepultura already made it in the end of 20th century. But if we’re talking not about such “exotic” music, the question here is more “how to merge” and not “what”. The new band called Oceans manage to merge classical Death metal with Post Metal and lots of elements from different genres.
There are four guys in the band: Germans Timo Rotten (vocal, guitar), Patrick Zarske (guitar), Thomas Winkelmann (bass) and Austrian .F.Grill (drums). These guys played in various bands before, gained experience and sharpen their skills. In 2017 they founded a band, without name at that time and started to work on the music. Next year Oceans release three singles which gained attention and in 2019 after signing a deal with Nuclear Blast they release two EPs (Into The Void and Cover Me In Darkness) and went to the tour with Cellar Darling. Now, in the beginning of 2020 the band release their debut album The Sun And The Cold; not bad for the new band, isn’t it?
The very first, self-titled song “The Sun And The Cold” starts as typical Death Metal with brutal riffs and blast beats which changed with slow tempo, clean vocals and keyboards; then extreme vocals, guitar riffs’ brutality and prohibitively fast drums are back. That happens few times in the song while all elements here merged seamlessly so the song sounds solid and not like some ridiculous Victor Frankenstein’s Death Metal creation. However, it’s only the beginning of the album and further music becomes more and more interesting and various.
Next one “We Are The Strom” starts powerful and melodic, reminding 2010s Amorhis then slows the tempo sharply, turning up to Deathcore with hefty breakdowns, gutturals and boing back to the melody where it started. “Dark” is the darkest and brutal Death Metal with great J.F. Grill’s work, changed with melancholic Post Metal. By the way, Timo Rotten manages as growling and scream and with clean vocals perfectly, rapidly changing them. The same thing can be said about “Paralyzed”, one of the most outstanding songs in the album: it starts with melancholic guitar and same vocal, but here riffs become heavier, drumming – faster and Timo takes out hysterical screaming or aggressive growling.
“Take The Crown” suddenly goes Nu Metal: some kind of Linkin Park or Staind with modern sound and much more heavy, moving to Metalcore in the end. Almost the same thing happens with “Polaris”. But in the middle it sounds like Paradise Lost from latest 90s with rich keyboards. “Truth Served Force Fed” sounds like the product of Arch Enemy, Skillet and let’s say OOMPH!‘s orgy; while sometimes you can hear one band prevails and sometimes it mixed together equally and all this happens in one song. The album ends with the song “Hope”, melancholic Post Metal, which becomes heavier, emphasizing emotionality but keeping melody.
For me the main lack of the album is the arrangement of the songs. The most remarkable should be in the beginning, of course, but seems that the band decided to show all their aces and the album becomes a bit hazy in its second half, but it’s only a matter of opinion. Also there are some concerns that Oceans raised the bar quite high with their debut and it’ll be very hard for the next album to be successful like this one, not talking about to surpass it, but only time will tell. At this moment, The Sun And The Cold is great, outstanding debut, where everyone can find something for him and discover new things with each listening.
Last but not least: notwithstanding the album’s diversity, The Sun And The Cold is quite solid work, very deep, very emotional and very dark with timid hope to the ray of light in this whole darkness.
The Sun And The Cold was released on January, 10th via Nuclear Blast.
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