Sound: Oceano is a deathcore Band from Chicago. I found them on myspace a little less then a year ago, and I have been keeping tabs on them ever since. They finally have put out their debut album "Depths" on Earache Records.
After listening to the entire album through, they definitely wanted to make sure that they were heavy when writing this album. You can tell with the triggered drums and ridiculously down-tuned guitars. I am very, very pleased because every song was executed well. And I noticed that in every song, that breakdowns are not forced. The breakdowns almost sound like it actually belongs there to keep the music flowing good. A lot of bands now want breakdowns to be what people remember them by, and they over use breakdowns. Here breakdowns are definitely not the goal of songwriting with Oceano. My only complaint, is that once again, the songs sound alike. If your not paying attention to the music, you miss the track change and still think your listening to track 3 for the last 15 minutes. But, that's how it is when every other band, and so overall, I am very pleased. // 8
Lyrics: The lyrics are fantastic in this album. I am very pleased that not every song is about someone brutally killing someone else and explaining it in gruesome detail. Actually only 1 or maybe 2 songs are like that. The rest of the songs talk more about scenarios rather.
For example, the song "A Mandatory Sacrifice" says, "Your kind has been aborted. This world abandoned left desolate, depleted of all it's resources... Yet there are survivors scare who hid amongst the ruins where a crucial decision must be made. To die of starvation or take ones life and feed upon their flesh... You're not a heathen for thinking this if God can allow these situations..is God Deaf, or maybe dead? Is God Deaf? God is not deaf, just nonexistent."
The lyrics stay brutal, without talking about gore and guts and what-not. Also, the vocalist must have had a thesaurus, because there is a great use of vocabulary present.
The vocalist has about 3 different vocal styles. There's the obvious high screams and low screams, and then he has this just straightup brutal low just growl that he does. It doesn't sound like inhales, which is always a positive. You will be very happy that there are no "Bree's" in here. He is a very good frontman, and is very good about when to use what style of vocals with the rest of the music. // 10
Overall Impression: This album reminds me a lot of Whitechapel's sophomore album "This Is Exile." It has some very demonic guitar parts, yet still keeps it enjoyable. I personally dislike music that sounds all demonic and satany, but they did a good job integrating it in their music. The vocal styles of Phil from Whitechapel are close as well. But I don't feel like they copied This Is Exile. I fell that it was just coincidence of the similarity.
It's hard to tell what the standout tracks are on this album. I really like the titled track which starts off with guitar chords that are no where near what you would expect. They are really soft and melodic and almost make you think wtf? Until the rest of the band kicks in and it just gets heavy. Very creative.
Other standout tracks in my opinion are "Samuel The Destroyer" and "A Mandatory Sacrifice"
"Samuel The Destroyer" starts out with a drum fill, and then goes right into a down tempo chug with the vocalist giving his lowest growls. Then almost instantly picks up in tempo. Right after that is a breakdown, where the drummers kick drums sound amazing and perfectly on time. Then later on, they loose the breakdowns and go straight into a melodic tone, while the vocalist is is screaming. It is excellent.
"A Mandatory Sacrifice" starts right off the bat with vocals and instruments playing a high tempod riff. Then goes into a fast paced breakdown instantly. Then another high speed riff, with the drummer giving a slow paced blast beat. Then all the instruments stop and the vocalist screams "you can not escape reality's trials with a simple prayer!" The song stays brutal the whole way through without whoring your ear with breakdowns. // 8