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Live Review: The Ocean

22 April 2015 | 1:03 pm | Jonty Czuchwicki

A powerful display from The Ocean.

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The Ocean are one of those prolific bands that leave audiences in awe in the wake of a performance; one that combines music, imagery and lighting to push beyond the boundaries of the sonic experience you may see at a traditional live music concert.

Inside the package is Pelagial performed live; the composition is classical in the sense that artists such as Bach or Beethoven had ethereal visions for their pieces that the compositional process had worked towards. That’s not to say that Pelagial is more culturally relevant or important than Bach, but that the vision for a pertinent piece of art has been made tangible and has a profound effect upon audiences subjected to it. Musically The Ocean adore riffs akin to Neurosis and Cult of Luna, and draw similarities to Tool and early Mastodon. Woven into this physically and emotionally profound journey is Pelagial, a film by Craig Murray. This visual representation accompanies the live performance on a giant projector screen. The imagery depicts a beautiful Siren, seduced by the surface of the ocean. Her naked body swims amongst the coral and sea life as the tension builds and the composition grows more crushing as she’s dragged down to the darkest depths of the sea by sinister forces. Tentacles wrap around her struggling body as gargantuan guitar riffs feel as if they’ve intensified the Earth’s gravity. It amplifies the way you feel as you’re being subjected to these vibrations.

Pelagial is so experientially intense when performed live that some folk wouldn’t be able to absorb the performance with their full attention. The technical musicality is fierce, with the formally trained Damian Murdoch firmly holding the torch at select momeThe Ocean are one of those prolific bands that leave audiences in awe in the wake of a performancents where his fingers fly across the fret. His expression is a smirk as this proves effortless for him. The dynamic lighting increases the atmosphere by casting each member into dark silhouette, shadows of their human form. Drummer Paul Seidel is a lynch pin as well as a cathartic metronome. His drumming is never oversaturated yet when a moment is taken for analysis, especially from the standpoint of a fellow drummer, what he puts down is not at all easy to play. The fifth element to The Ocean is Loic Rossetti. His vocal ability is unmatched, sounding inadvertently like a tyrannosaurus rex.

In a diminutive moment he dives from the second storey balcony into the crowd in what was not only a powerful moment, but also one of the best heavy metal shows of the year.

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