Incisions Review

artist: Oceano date: 10/02/2013 category: compact discs
Oceano: Incisions
Released: Oct 1, 2013
Genre: Deathcore
Label: Earache
Number Of Tracks: 12
In 2012 the band announced they would be disbanding, or at least going on hiatus, but then in a complete 180 they instead went on tour and released this new album after a very short break.
 Sound: 8
 Lyrics: 7
 Overall Impression: 7
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overall: 7.3
Incisions Featured review by: UG Team, on october 02, 2013
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Oceano is a weird kind of creature. The band was formed in 2006, and their first album was released in 2009. The same year their debut album was released the last founding member of the band was fired. Adam Warren (vocals) is the most tenured member of the band, having been a member since 2007. "Incisions" is the band's third studio album and contains 12 tracks with a total runtime a little over 45 minutes. Their first single from the album was "Slow Murder" which was released with a lyric video in January, then followed by the title track in August. The band's sound is not easily definable – except as brutal. There is a mixture of high pitched screeching vocals, low growled vocals and the occasional relatively clean vocal. The riffs go from pounding slow and heavy riffs to fast manic playing to weird off-kilter passages. The drums go from double bass madness to an almost "jazz-like" approach. The album opens up with the track "Eternal Wasteland," which sounds innocent enough at the intro and goes into heavy riffing with dramatic pauses and dramatic bends from the guitar. The vocals switch between a growl and screech - at one point the vocals sound like they're about to break out with some throat singing. The guitar solo is a repeating little melody that ends with the notes sustaining off into the distance. "Slow Murder" is next up and musically reminds me of iwrestledabearonce a good deal, though there are definitely some elements that are completely Oceano. "Slow Murder" is the first track on the album with a lengthy passage with clean lyrics. "Slave of Corporatocracy" is a pretty frantic track, with the vocals switching pretty quickly between the deep growl and the screeching vocals - at times sounding like a goblin arguing with a troll or something crazy like that. "Internal War" starts out with some whispering bouncing between left and right, which is creepy as hell with a good set of headphones. The intro vocals are clean, as well as the guitar being pretty clean. The "clean" vocals phase in and out of having some weird demonic effect going on, then the screamed vocals come in. The guitar sounds like a mix between dropped tuning garage metal and standard almost "cliché" metal riffing, with a little bit of tremolo picking thrown in. "Self Exploited Whore" is up next, with a very heavy groove and some spastic bends and vibrato. Some really interesting stuff goes on in the second half of the track. "New Age Apophis" has a weird ascending type of lick repeating in the early part of the song with a few slow and heavily distorted dive bombs. The underlying melody that goes on during a lot of this track is what stood out to me. "Embrace Nothingness" opens up with some reverse delay and some really atmospheric stuff going on, being accompanied very sparingly by a clean guitar and bass which is soon transformed into a very melodic track with about a half dose of the distortion on the other tracks and possibly the most interesting vocal performances on the album. The solo from "Embrace Nothingness" is oddly classic rock for a deathcore/ avant-garde metal band. The title track, "Incisions" immediately starts out with some synthesizer related sounds - some electronica elements - that aren't present on the other tracks. This is another track with a good deal of melody involved and probably some of the most sing-songy clean vocals on the album. The deep growl vocals are doing this thing that kind of goes along with the drums a little before the minute and a half mark which was oddly hypnotic. "Blasphemous Mask" is another track that is carried by a lot of groove and some interesting lyrics – as well as another guitar solo that sounds like it hopped out of another genre. "Severed Appendages" has an interesting rambling feel to it, as well as a tempo or time signature change that threw my tapping foot off pretty bad. "Disseverance" is probably my favorite riff from the album - again a lot of groove and my foot tapping from the starting line - and the song goes on to have some of my favorite lead work from the entire album; not from a technical or even musical standpoint, but from a creative standpoint. The album closes out with the track "The Reclaimation" which has an interesting little semi-atonal guitar hook and a lot of dramatic pauses in the riffing. // 8

Lyrics: Unfortunately, I had to review the album with a digital copy of the album and so I didn't get the liner notes to see if the vocals were credited more completely than I could find online. Adam Warren is credited with vocals, and Tim Goergen is credited with guest vocals - so to be honest I don't know who was doing what. The fact that the vocal style changed up so much during the album definitely added another element to the project and kept my interest more than it would have otherwise. I was most impressed, however, with the clean vocals (which in my opinion were not utilized enough during the album). The lyrics can get pretty interesting at times, but at other they flirt pretty closely with cliché. As an example, here are some lyrics from "Slow Murder": "I've got nothing/ But this collection of knives/ And decisions to make/ I'll take my time mapping out every incision made/ I have nothing/ So I'll take my time/ Breaking bones/ Savoring your screams for mercy/ Bathing in warm tubs of crimson/ Welcome to the start of our intimate torture session/ Why am I the only one who sees through the lifetime of lies? / Now each cut will signify the way/ You forced me to suffer every day/ As I hold your life in my hands/ As I hold your life in my hands/ As I hold your life in my hands/ Understand/ Now understand/ I'm capable of murder/ I'm capable of murder/ I'm capable of murder." The interesting lyrics do outweigh the cliché by a fair margin, however. // 7

Overall Impression: Oceano is definitely an interesting band, though this album was the first time I gave them very much attention. As they seem to be labeled deathcore, I was surprised by the diversity of the music as I'm usually fairly bored by deathcore. This definitely wasn't the case with this album - the changes in tempo, the weird vocal variations, the oddball guitar solos that didn't seem to belong in deathcore - it all added up to be a fun ride. I would definitely recommend this album to fans of metal in general. They do a lot of things right on this album. // 7

- Brandon East (c) 2013

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