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Album Review: The Ocean - Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic

30 October 2018 | 4:45 pm | Rod Whitfield

"This is an album that somehow manages to be grim, gloomy, conceptually dystopian and devastating, but inspiring and cathartic at the same time."

More The Ocean More The Ocean

This is the type of album that you kinda need to prepare yourself for. It is not an easy listen by any means, in fact, it’s quite a harrowing (in the best possible way) affair. But, if you go into it with the right mindset, that is, leaving your need for instant gratification at the door, it will leave you exhausted but elated.

Something that may strike you upon initial listens, literally and figuratively, is the sheer bone-crushing heaviness of Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic. After the brief, ambient but building intro The Cambrian Explosion, Cambrian II - Eternal Recurrence explodes from your speakers, although in a slow burn kind of manner. Of course, like any progressive band worth their salt, they know exactly when to pull back to some moody ambience and when to let the melody shine. And that typically Oceanic sense of dynamics pervades the entire record.

This is an album that somehow manages to be grim, gloomy, conceptually dystopian and devastating, but inspiring and cathartic at the same time. It’s difficult to comprehend how they’ve pulled this off, but they have.

Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic truly is like swimming in a great, unfathomable ocean that is turbulent and dangerous one minute then serene the next. It truly is an album to immerse yourself in. So buy it, dive right in and let its wonders wash over you in waves.