The Ocean (or The Ocean Collective, if you prefer that name) have been at it for quite a few years and are one of the most notable German acts in underground metal, especially in terms of sludge metal, progressive metal, and post-metal. After a 3-year break between their last set of albums in 2010, the band has announced a return with an album whose concept is as ambitious as the band has always been.
The Ocean are no stranger to album concepts, with some of their previous work taking on topics like the Precambrian area of time in Earth's history, and most recently their set of albums in 2010 Heliocentric and Anthropocentric being a critique of Christianity and organized religion from a historical and scientific prospective. What The Ocean takes on on Palagial is, well, the ocean. Here is the band's own take from the press release found from the album's new website:
- The title of the record has been confirmed to be Pelagial, which means “Of, relating to, or living in open oceans or seas rather than waters adjacent to land or inland waters.”
- The album will flow as a continuous 53-minute piece of music.
- Pelagial‘s concept is largely musical. Originally intended to be an instrumental piece with linear composition (moving forward without repeating parts), the record starts light and clean, mirroring the surface of the ocean as the band gradually takes the music further into the depths of the ocean before hitting the ocean floor, where the band gets doomy, crushing, gritty, and atmospheric.
- The album has five main musical movements: Epipelagic, Mesopelagic, Bathyalpelagic, Abyssopelagic, and Hadopelagic. These are depth levels of the ocean.
- Mixed and Mastered by Jens Bogren, the production gets grittier as the music evolves as well, sounding polished at the beginning (Epipelagic) and grittier towards the end (Hadopelagic). The music was mixed as one piece as well rather than on a track-by-track basis, which saw Bogren mixing 288 tracks.
- “There are track marks, and there are actual songs built into this larger structure, but the whole album is a journey rather than a number of loose tracks… some riffs appear in the first 2 minutes of the album and then reappear 30 minutes later”, comments Staps.
- Pelagial will come in 2 different versions that will be released together: with vocals and instrumental.
- Lyrically, the concept equates the depth of the ocean with the depths of the human mind. The album’s lyrical concept is largely psychological and based on the Andrey Tarkovsky film Stalker, Pelagial is a psychological journey towards our own inner self and subconscious… “towards the essence and origins of our desires, wishes, dreams, and all the fucked up attributes inside of our own inner selves that generate and shape them,” says Staps.
- The record will be released on April 26th / 29th (Europe) and April 30th (North America / world).
(Robby would like to take you to the depths of his mind.....by following his Twitter @ClydeNut)