Sound — 8
Oceano returns with their sophomore effort, "Contagion." On their debut album "Depths," I was mainly taken aback by the hammering gutterals of the band's frontman Adam Warren. Nowhere before have I heard such deep and crushing vocals from any other band in the genre (some call it Deathcore, I just call it metal). They reach a new level of brutality on this album, with the first obvious change being the two new guitarists, Devon Shidaker and Nick Conser, who each bring something new to the table when looking at their last effort. None of their riffs are groundbreaking, mind you, but they are refreshing to say the least in this band's case. Instead of the long, drawn-out notes that comprised the solos of "Depths," Devon and Nick implement some sweep picking, which really mixes it up between the cliche palm-muted riffs. The bass, Jason Jones, is drowned out within the guitar, sadly. The drum work by Daniel Terchin has seen some progress (he's no George Kollias) but he display masterful control over his instrument. Overall this sounds like what you would expect from a sophomore Oceano album, which is not necessarily a bad thing for fans of the genre.
Lyrics — 5
The subject matter of the lyrics, according to the band's vocalist, are supposed to illustrate the concept of the government fighting a human-engineered virus and its effects or something like that. They're honestly not the most interesting lyrics, but they obviously fit the concept and mood of the album well. Adam, as mentioned before, has worked a little more on annunciation of the vocals rather than puking out mere syllables present on their last album.
Overall Impression — 8
In comparison to other bands such as Whitechapel, JFAC, and Born Of Osiris (all personal favorites), Oceano carves another level of brutality into the genre and is easily one of my favorite bands (My favorites ever being Emperor, Animals as Leaders and Death haha). The instrumental "Exist in Confinement," album-opener "Precursor to Enslavement," "Weaponized" and album closer "Ending Intellect" are my personal favorites. I love the pitch-black mood of the instrumentation along with the powerhouse vocals of Adam Warren, when you listen to it you know its Oceano. That being said, it is purely for FANS OF THIS MUSIC, catering to fans of breakdowns and down-tuned palm-muted riffing with immense gutteral lows and shrieking highs in the vocal department. I think its pretty good.