Berlin-based atmospheric post metal collective The Ocean will return with the follow-up to their critically acclaimed Phanerozoic double album— Holocene— on May 19th. On this new record, The Ocean are presenting a gear shift toward the electronic world while reaching new depths of heaviness at the same time.
This heaviness is palpable on the band’s new single “Subatlantic,“ which starts off with trip-hop beats and dark psychedelia and slowly gains momentum to eventually culminate in an unexpectedly heavy grand finale of the album. Intricate and heavy guitar riffs are built over a propulsive rhythm section and when vocalist Rossetti eventually screams “prepare for departure,” it’s become clear that this is the closing of not just a record, but a series of paleontology-inspired albums that the band started 16 years ago with their seminal Precambrian LP in 2007.
Subatlantic‘s brilliant new music video, once again directed by Drew Storcks, continues right where the previous album track, “Parabiosis” left off. In the new video, the doctor-protagonist whose patients signed up for a de-aging program and ended up in their own personal purgatories (pictured in the previous video) is being chased by an anonymous masked figure through rainforest and across tropical beaches. The clip was filmed on tour in Puerto Rico after the band’s recent North American tour with Katatonia, with band members acting in the clip.
On the first half of “Subatlantic,” The Ocean‘s Massive Attack influence is quite obvious and makes more sense than listeners could have ever guessed within the context of this band. The Ocean‘s Peter Voigtmann mentions: “We’re all huge fans of ‘Mezzanine,’ which is still one of the best-produced albums to date. It has aged incredibly well. And for me it is an immensely heavy album too, a different kind of heaviness but one that somehow connects logically with what we’ve been doing with The Ocean over the course of the past two albums.”
For more than two decades, Berlin’s The Ocean have been churning out stellar releases between progressive / post metal and heavy rock. Across their vast discography, the band has been on a continuous crusade against close-mindedness, ignorance and intellectual obstinacy, from the distinct anti-Christian sentiment of their -centric records through the psychological, Tarkovsky-inspired contemplations on Pelagial to exploring Nietzsche’s ideas of amor fati and Eternal Recurrence on the Phanerozoic albums.
On Holocene, The Ocean continue their strife, tackling subjects like the morbid grand-scheme social quest for eternal youth (“Parabiosis”) or how our current day’s instagram-society is epitomizing Guy Debord’s visionary socio-economical analysis in the “Society of the Spectacle” (“Preboreal”). The booklet of the album is peppered with quotes by Debord and Raoul Vaneigem. Debord was a founding member of The Situationist Internationale, a French protest movement made up of avant-garde artists and political theorists that sought to create ‘situations’—moments in which the monotony of everyday capitalist routine was disrupted without having to buy commodities. They wanted to encourage people to find moments of truth and real experience among the all-pervasive consumerist lie.
Holocene will be released on physical and digital formats on May 19th via Pelagic Records. Pre-order the album here.