The Ocean - Pelagial
Metal Blade
Progressive/Sludge Metal
11 songs (53'18'')
Release year: 2013
The Ocean, Metal Blade
Reviewed by Jared

With the school semester coming to a much needed end, the only two things on my mind are taking a much needed vacation away from my hometown and to listen to as much metal as I can possibly get my hands on. There’s no better way to start off my summer right then to come across Pelagial by The Ocean. This is my first introduction to the band, but a very good one to start out with. I can’t admit to having much sludge metal in my metal collection, other than Neurosis, but this album was a lot more fun for me in the end since it does take on more of a progressive metal atmosphere. I had a chance to get a taste of their album Anthropocentric from 2010 and was pretty happy to see that they were able to remain consistent from that in terms of sound and production which should make fans happy. They again tack on a concept album. This time the theme resides around the ocean (very appropriate) and all its layers. The result is yet another firm metal release for the year.

The album begins with an oceanic feeling accompanied by clean sounding guitars that seem uplifting yet somber, and then gradually drifts into the first track which I was immediately finding myself enjoying the utmost. The keyboards or symphonic section was very attractive as well before the song kicked into full gear. The clean vocals really steal the show, like they did for me with their previous album, which made me feeling pretty confident about how this album would be throughout. However I did not necessarily enjoy the more metalcore sounding screams they like to express. Bathyalpelagic I: Impasses shined with a beautiful piano section which gives you the sense that the ocean is your surroundings. It’s hard not to hear this theme while listening because they did a pretty outstanding job producing the feeling.

Of course with any album I always lean towards how I feel about the guitar work. Overall it’s pretty solid in every song. They deliver some very mature sludge riffs that will make any metal head ecstatic. Leads are exactly what I expected them to be. At times they get a little funky in terms of sound, but it’s a quality that makes the guitar work unique. It’s nothing that I would go jump immediately on my guitar and try to learn their style of playing, but it can be pretty impressive at times.

The most impressed I was in the album was the catchy choruses they like to incorporate in their music. I especially enjoyed spending my time replaying the track Hadopelagic II: Let Them Believe, due to its mood changes and variety. It’s a little over nine minutes long but deserves a notable mention for the album. I really enjoyed the many heavy and catchy riffs on this track as well as the addictive clean vocals that really put the ice cream on the cake.

Pelagial is yet another solid release for the year. I was a bit unsure of what to hear but came out with a great experience. The metalcore style vocals didn’t sit too well with me, but that was easily eliminated with the outstanding clean singing vocals that shined in every song. After one listen, I had a bit difficulty in having the desire to go back and listen to it all again, but I can safely say it’s a fun album that’s worth checking out in the long run.

Killing Songs :
Mesopelagic: Into the Uncanny, Bathyalpelagic I: Impasses, Abyssopelagic I: Boundless Vasts, Hadopelagic II: Let Them Believe
Jared quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by The Ocean that we have reviewed:
The Ocean - Anthropocentric reviewed by Jaime and quoted 90 / 100
The Ocean - Heliocentric reviewed by Charles and quoted 90 / 100
The Ocean - Aeolian reviewed by Daniel and quoted 78 / 100
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