Sound — 8
I'm new to Isis, so Oceanic is my first impression of the band. The sound of the album is good. The music and instruments create a mesmerizing ocean of sound that grabs hold of you. This ocean is no better exemplified on Maritime and Weight. The guitars can be crushing and powerful, but also soft. The sound brings to mind similar bands such as Tool and Neurosis, but Isis has managed to take the best of both bands and create their own unique sound.
Lyrics — 6
Although it's somewhat difficult to find the lyrics to their respective songs in the booklet, what I have read on websites is absolutly beautiful. The lyrics could be mistaken as poetry, they're so good. My biggest problem with this album is Aaron Turner's vocals. My first impression was that he was simply shouting the whole album. It's hard to match the lyrics with the vocals. Most of the time, you won't hear him, as the album is largely instrumental. The three part instrumental of Untitled, Maritime, and Weight is a fitting break from Turner's relentless vocals. If his voice had a more Maynard James Keenan type of style to it, maybe this album would've been better.
Overall Impression — 8
The album overall seems fair. If I give it a few more listens perhaps my opinion will change. It's not as good as other progressive metal band records such as Tool's Lateralus. It has the potential to be great, but it falls short. The songs that stood out to me the most are the aformentioned three instrumental tracks. From Sinking also stands out to me. Other than that, I can't name any really stand out tracks. I love the music and how the album is chaotic yet beautiful at the same time. The only drawback is Aaron Turner's shouts. I'm not sure if I would buy this album again. It seems good, but not what I expected it to be.