REVIEW: OCEANS – “The Sun and the Cold”
Dawn 'Mama Love' Brown
Some of the most influential bands in music history have been international in nature, originating in the largest countries and the most remote regions of the world. A lot of new music is currently coming from all corners of the globe. Alien Weaponry from New Zealand, The Hu out of Mongolia, incredible new bands are storming their way out of their habitats and making their mark on metal.
While the aforementioned groups showcase their cultures heavily in their music, many new bands are adopting a more Western sound culling from many genres simultaneously. One new band that pulls this off well is Oceans, a brand-new four-piece outfit from Vienna, Austria/Berlin, Germany. Consisting of Timo Rotten on vocals and guitar, Patrick Zarske on guitar, Thomas Winkelmann on bass and J.F. Grill on drums, Oceans came together in 2018 exploding onto the scene like lightning having released three singles and two EPs since their formation. ‘The Sun and the Cold’, set to drop in mid-January, is their debut full-length album with 11 tracks of an amalgamation of several genres under an overarching progressive umbrella that ties it all together.
The multi-genre influence is evident right out of the box with the opening of the title track, “The Sun and the Cold”. A few subdued notes flourish into a cacophony of death metal blast beats which, after a few seconds, drops off into moody modern metal vocals. “We Are the Storm” is decidedly modern metal with both clean and guttural vocals and a fast, almost bouncy bassline which takes a 180-degree turn mid-song changing to a slow metal riff. The change-up works well. “Dark” is another that opens with frantic blast beats that lead into a death metal inspired work with an effectively atmospheric chorus. Grill’s drums in this song are technical and intricate and compliment the song remarkably.
“Paralyzed” showcases the combination of clean and gruff vocals in a slower progressive-style composition with an opening slightly reminiscent of Type O Negative. It’s definitely a stand-out. “Take the Crown” is another that is wholly modern metal utilizing a backing synth track and tiered vocals. “Legions Arise” opens with more of Grill’s awesome drum work which leads into the multi-vocals so prevalent in today’s music. This is another with the slow metal riff that lends to the overall sound of the song. The album is rounded out with a handful of other songs that all follow in this same vein. All of the songs have vastly varied characteristics of various genres, from the blast beats to the multi-layered vocals and ethereal instrumental performances. Other tracks of note include “Polaris” and “Water Rising”.
It is really no surprise that these guys were able to land a contract in less than a year of existence. They are masterful musicians who are doing some very inventive writing. Listen to this album repeatedly and you’ll hear something new every time. Oceans are just unique enough to be difficult to compare to other bands and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.