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Rating explanation

Ocean, The - Fluxion (8,5/10) - Germany - 2009

Genre: Sludge Metal / Post Rock / Metal
Label: Metal Blade Records
Playing time: 56:57
Band homepage: Ocean, The


  1. Nazca
  2. The Human Stain
  3. Comfort Zones
  4. Fluxion
  5. Equinox
  6. Loopholes
  7. Dead On The Whole
  8. Isla Del Sol
  9. The Greatest Bane
Ocean, The - Fluxion

For an album that is very atmospheric and definitely well defined within the Post Metal genre, “Fluxion” is very dirty, fast and aggressive. Although it has a lot of slow, more typical Post Metal soundscapes, within its near hour long running time is a simply beastly Metal experience. Huge, pounding sometimes even Death Metal like riffs smash through the faster sections, which coupled with the speedy percussion and dominant vocal performance give the album an edge over some of the more generic Post Metal bands.

Opener “Nazca” is a good introduction to the band's sound. Entirely instrumental, the song ebbs and flows through several different passages, alternating tempo and playing around with different dynamics. The riffs are very heavy and somewhat Sludge influenced, while the keyboards are 100% Post Metal. When it finishes, you are thrown straight into the deep end with “The Human Stain”, and are introduced to the beast of a vocalist. Alternating between throaty screams, hoarse shouts and deep Death Metal roars he is a lot more powerful and forceful than the usual Post Metal vocalist, he gives the music a much more dominant and aggressive feel which really helps.

The majority of songs only last around four minutes, reasonably short for a Post Metal group. This in turn gives the band a more urgent feel to their music, songs never brood about unnecessarily, and while atmosphere is created through many different ways, it never feels forced. The riffs are a lot more quick and hard-hitting than their contemporaries, and they go hand-in-hand with the vocals to create a huge, bestial sound.

The last two songs are the longest, both extending over ten minutes, and they really show even more potential from the band. Whereas the rest of the album charged through with an almost reckless, urgent feel, these two are brooding and deep, much more similar to the usual Post Metal act. But, when used with the forceful feel the band give off, it creates a wholly more unique feel that makes it much more exciting. THE OCEAN aren't there yet, they could do with creating a couple more songs like this as at some points the rest of the album simply flys by without much memorability, but they're great at what they do – creating hard-hitting aggressive Sludge/Post Metal, and “Fluxion” is a great example of this.

(Online September 10, 2009)

Raven Blackburn

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