Sound — 9
"Where our thoughts are, there we'll live. / Whether it be misery or joy, both of which Life freely gives."; Being As An Ocean's Joel Quartuccio yells in "Forgetting Is Forgiving the I." This lyric is one of the few straightforward ones on this record that anyone can relate to. Starting off with the first song on album, "Little Richie" brings new aspects to the table that BAAO have never done before. Take the part at 1:50, for example, when clean vocalist Michael McGough transitions into this soulful voice, while fingers snap in the backround, and the bass is being played. The guitar parts, and drumming in this song are quite incredible as well. "Ain't Nobody Perfect" continues the story of this Rich guy with sweet drum fills, and fantastic bass work. But to me, the key highlight on this album is once again from Michael McGough. The next four songs, "The Zealot's Blindfold," "Sleeping Sicarii," "Judas, Our Brother," and "St. Peter" showcase some of his best moments. "Judas, Our Brother" is the most notable one, where he is sings during the piano parts (not sure who plays the piano here). It's a song that opens up new territory for BAAO, and especially for the genre they play. I couldn't tell you how many songs where the drumming was stellar, but that song, and "St. Peter" were fantastic. At 2:10, Michael McGough sings the chorus softly, but surely, while the guitars, and bass stay quiet, and the only instruments playing are the drums. The songs where Joel shine the most are during the last two songs. Granted, the best parts are actually the way he channels his emotion in the last line of both songs, but to me, he does an exceptional job throughout every song on the album.
Lyrics — 9
Most of the lyrics on this album are deep in religious content or are storytelling. Michael McGough helps makes some light in the context, but mainly during the choruses. In "Sleeping Sicarii," you won't get much more straightforward than during the chorus. "We've waited in exile, in expectancy. All eyes eager towards the Sun. Knowing things had to get better eventually." While Joel does his signature yells later on that may not speak to everyone. "I stir from Sleep as I am handed the wine. Blood and body, take and eat, the Twelve, soon no longer in exile. As I kiss his cheek, I find to my defeat, a mix of Love, fear, and sadness. The Son Of Man handed over; Lamb led to slaughter. (Compliant savior; loving Father.) Bless the spotless sheep. The shame I feel is killing me."
The other lyrics I like from Michael is from "St. Peter": "We are all given dark and light, beautiful contrast, black and white. You can hide in the darkness or strive for healthy progress. Forgive what makes us human; we could grow an earthly heaven."
Overall Impression — 8
Okay, so maybe I wasn't fully understanding how this band works on their last album, but then again, they have showed vast improvement on this new album. In their specific subgenre, not many bands step up to the plate like this on all fronts. Granted, there are bands making kicka-s music for sure, but Being As An Ocean proved themselves that they can go out of their comfort zone. As I have read before, people were comparing this band mainly to Underoath, but I couldn't quite see it back then. I can see it now. As for me comparing these guys to La Dispute, maybe it wasn't so necessary. They are both totally different animals. The only similarities really are that both bands have early post-hardcore influences. I recommend this album to anyone who is a fan of the genre, but hasn't actually given a listen to this band, and to anyone who is a fan of Underoath, La Dispute, Alexisonfire, Hundredth, Counterparts, Capsize, Defeater, or Touche Amore. This album may not make the number one spot on my album of the year list, but it will surely make it high up on the list. Favorite songs: "Little Richie," "Ain't Nobody Perfect," "Sleeping Sicarii," "Judas, Our Brother," "St. Peter," "...And Their Consequence."