By Matt Lewis
A new release from The Ocean is upon us. Heliocentric, the first album to be released from the The Ocean Collective this year as a second album is forthcoming in the fall, is not so much a concept album as a statement from Robin Stapps, the man behind the collective. Lyrically based on the ideas of Creationism and Evolution, it’s a somewhat chronological walkthrough of ideas from the beginning of science and religion. From the first belief of god creating the earth to the realization that what we were taught to believe was not based in science but of religion and the persecution of the scientific community.
The more I listen to this album the more I get out of it whether it is from the lyrics or the music. Lyrics have never been metal’s strong suit, with the exception of the more talented lyricists like Warrell Dane and and a few select others. Robin has continued to write out a profound look at the history of our world throughout the discography of The Ocean. The lyrics hit home with me, I came from a background where I was taught that god created all and as I grew older I began to question those beliefs and searched for answers. As I searched for answers I too began to question why religion has such a hold on the scientific advancement of the human race. To think in the year 2010 many people still believe in an almighty being that created everything is absurd. I suggest everyone takes a few minutes to read through the liner notes and read the lyrics. It may make you think.
As far as the music goes, Heliocentric progresses from the second disc of Precambrian. It is much more experimental than previous albums. New vocalist Loic Rosetti adds a dynamic not seen before to The Ocean. His clean vocals remind a little of Trent Reznor at times but as the album gets deeper his personality shines through. Songs like “Ptolemy Was Wrong” and “Epiphany” have stellar vocal performances with true emotion that really bring presence to the music. Musically, the album is a mix of heavy guitars, gentle melodies and harmonies. What works so well is the counterpoint to the heavy parts. Melodies brought to life with classical piano, fretless bass and a mix of stringed instruments. This is Robin and The Ocean at its most mature in terms of songwriting and composition. This is an album that should truly be admired for its intelligent design. The band might get comparisons to Between The Buried and Me and I would agree with that except for the fact the The Ocean surpassed BTBAM in cohesive songwriting two albums ago. It’s a shame the scene kids won’t “get it”