Anthropocentric review by The Ocean

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  • Released: Nov 9, 2010
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (23 votes)
The Ocean: Anthropocentric
1

Sound — 9
After what seems like a small enternity after Heliocentric (despite it being a few months, must just be my bad body clock) The Ocean has graced us with a gift (Heh). Much in the same way as Precambrian was split in to two CD's, one heavy and orchestral, the other VERY heavy and not as orchestral. Continuing with the proggy-sludge-score sound of before, Anthropocentric takes a critique of christianity and creationism through the story of the Brothers Zaramasov and the second coming of christ. The music, as it did on Heliocentric, makes a grand canvas for telling a story and much like many new releases these past few years, most of the songs interlink with one and other, both story wise and track-by-track. Keeping many (if not all) of the musical elements of Heliocentric, the core sound of The Ocean Collective remains unchanged. Yet everything seems thicker and heavier, as if they really mean it to be the heavier sister to Heliocentric. There's a substantial amount of multitracking and subtle instrumentation being pushed into the mix, which by the way, is a pretty damn good mix for a metal record. As well as being heavier, its somewhat darker, more morose and faster, surprisingly. The uplifting melodies and fantastic sludge riffing has become a bit more chromatic and monotone, focusing on amelodic harmonies and shorter clean vocal sections (yet more instrumental sections, oddly enough) which are conversely really, really fantastic. The first and second tracks 'Anthropocentric' and 'The Grand Inquisitor I' exemplify this. Hell, there's even some delves into fast paced hardcore and SikTh style prog like on the song 'The Grand Inquisitor II' which has one of the best chorus's you'd have heard in a long time. TOC are one of the few bands that really progress with each double release, always adding and not taking away and having more of the good bits just makes it better.

Lyrics — 8
Loic Rosetti is one of the greater vocalists within the post-metally/sludge metal scene and has a voice made of infectious hooks and heavy, heavy metal. Although having a typical metalcore/hardcore style growl at hand, its used in such a way that it sounds totally different from other bands with a similar vocal style. The clean sections in Anthropocentric are fantasic, wether it be the chorus's or the Robb Flynn 'choked' style of growling that lift the faster, heavier moments into the air. The themes and lyrics (by guitarist Robin Staps, I think), as mentioned, center around two brothers, Ivan and Alyoscha Zaramasov, one is an atheist and the other a monk. They have a conversation/debate over the parable of the second coming of Christ which goes along the lines of 'Ivan tells Alyoscha the story of a Second Coming of Christ in 16th century Sevilla. According to this parable, Jesus is arrested by the Catholic inquisition. The grand inquisitor who interrogates Jesus casts a new light on the legend of the temptation of Christ: he reproaches Jesus with having betrayed humanity and having deprived man of salvation by offering him freedom.' Fairly atypical and quite controversial stuff, but lyrically and vocally well presented, although some may be turned off by it.

Overall Impression — 8
The Ocean Collective have their own subgenre really (progressive avant-garde sludge-score doomrock, or whatever they call themselves), and Anthropocentric only really has a similar sound to Heliocentric. But think of it like an upgrade of sorts to Heliocentric: Everything's heavier, faster, more diverse, somewhat more melodic, equally wierd like having clean guitar over thrash beats, and in the end all the better for it. Its not like one of those releases which goes all out to actually try to mess with your head. And as mentioned, a true progression in one form or another. Songs to look out for: All of them apart from 'The Grand Inquisitor III' which sounds unnecassary. Some sort of electronic groove and lots of spangly noises and a female vocalist with a length that ties in at just under a measly 2 minutes.

18 comments sorted by best / new / date

    WishfulShredder
    I was sortof disappointed with the helio lyrically; a bit too one sided in the usual super pissed off atheist way. not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just so extreme that it comes across as ignorant sometimes (the lyrics that is)
    Thornography
    helio was the first album i heard from the ocean. anthro isnt nearly as good as helio, and precambrian isnt as good as helio. helio is ****ing beautiful
    Nocturne12
    Really? The Brothers Zaramozov? Come on guys, do your homework if you're going to write a review. The theme of the album is a critique of Christianity and its view of man as the center of god's universe, hence the title. The Grand Inquisitor songs, which are split into three parts, are about the conversation between Ivan and Alyosha and the famous legend, not the whole album.
    WishfulShredder wrote: I was sortof disappointed with the helio lyrically; a bit too one sided in the usual super pissed off atheist way. not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just so extreme that it comes across as ignorant sometimes (the lyrics that is)
    While the lyrics are decidedly atheist, they are most certainly not angry in any way. You make them sound like Slayer or something, and they are not that. They are criticizing the way the church has suppressed science though, and there is certainly anger at that, especially on Heliocentric, but the lyrics are well thought out and not angry or hateful.
    Amuro Jay
    beneharris wrote: jetfuel495 wrote: I wouldn't say it's a pissed off atheist kinda thing, I'd say it's more of a contemplative critical mentality. well it is a pissed off atheist writing it. they took most of the ideas, and inspiration from The God Delusion, and if people can't admit that Richard Dawkins (especially in that book) is one sided, ticked off, biased, and refuses to research the ideas that he is criticizing, then i don't know what to tell them
    While this may be true, the tone of the lyrics on Heliocentric were not a tone of anger.
    Hells.Mascot wrote: Explain to me how this doesn't get removed and yet nearly half of my comments do.
    It got removed. We don't sit on the computer 24/7, you know. We delete them when we get around to it. There's no need to quote the whole damn post. If your posts get removed, it's because they break the rules, just like that whole advertisement you quoted.
    beneharris
    jetfuel495 wrote: I wouldn't say it's a pissed off atheist kinda thing, I'd say it's more of a contemplative critical mentality.
    well it is a pissed off atheist writing it. they took most of the ideas, and inspiration from The God Delusion, and if people can't admit that Richard Dawkins (especially in that book) is one sided, ticked off, biased, and refuses to research the ideas that he is criticizing, then i don't know what to tell them
    EpiExplorer
    Keyphur wrote: The themes and lyrics (by guitarist Fyodor Dostoevsky, I think) Fixed
    Well, yes orignally the story comes from him. But I mean the guy who decided to use them and wrote all the lyrics anyway. (cuz that thing in '' marks up there is just an interview extract).
    Darkkon
    I've listened to this and Heliocentric, and I've gotta say that this band really frustrates me. One minute you're listening to something completely fresh, then something that's been done a thousand times before, and not much differently either.
    Amuro Jay
    I enjoyed this album and Heliocentric a lot. I notice that a lot of old school Ocean fans really disliked the last two releases, and I can kinda see why. But Heliocentric was my first Ocean album, so I didn't have to go through the shock of hearing them soften up like a lot of other people did.
    WishfulShredder wrote: I was sortof disappointed with the helio lyrically; a bit too one sided in the usual super pissed off atheist way. not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just so extreme that it comes across as ignorant sometimes (the lyrics that is)
    I wouldn't say it's a pissed off atheist kinda thing, I'd say it's more of a contemplative critical mentality.
    Keyphur
    The themes and lyrics (by guitarist Fyodor Dostoevsky , I think)
    Fixed
    Disturbdkornkid
    I really like Heliocentric but have yet to pick it up. I guess i will just have to check this out too and pick up both. Another great review Epi.
    Soulburner6
    If you look at alot of the lyrics before, and partly on Precambrian, you should know that The Ocean Collective has never been the most lyrically articulate or useful band. They tried to stop that chain in Helio and Anthropocentric and did a decent job. But as for lyrics before Precambrian, they rarely shined.