The Ocean’s Anthropocentric; under the microscope
On a scale never before seen on The Monolith, we’ve been dedicating much of this week to a theme. We had Instrumental Music Week earlier this year, which was a lot of fun, but never before have we done something on this scale.
The reason for this devastating dedication? The Ocean, Germany’s premier progressive metal band, are releasing their sixth studio album Pelagial TODAY, and so in honour we’ve be taking a look at all things ocean-related in the realm of heavy music this week – not just for The Ocean, mind, but for all manner of aquatically-aligned bands, musicians, artists and albums.
In place of our usual Calm Before The Storm posts we’ve been taking a look at each of The Ocean’s previous studio full-lengths; highlighting a few core songs and generally brown-nosing them to the edge of the sevens seas.
Fifth and finally: Anthropocentric [2010, Metal Blade Records]
The second of two albums released by The Ocean in 2010 – a dual critique of monotheistic theology - Anthropocentric is the heavier of the two, and challenges the notion that humans are the most important beings on the planet.
Track 03: “She Was the Universe“
Featuring one of the best opening riffs of the year and a lead guitar line that makes the track utterly soar, ”She Was the Universe” tells the story of a “dream which was not all a dream”, where the sun goes out, the thrones of kings are burned, and the only light is from a volcano – a metaphor for hell.
The pace is kept up by the quick delivery of the entirely harsh vocals, which only help paint the vivid picture described in the lyrics.
Track 05: “The Grand Inquisitor II: Roots & Locusts“
The second part of “The Grand Inquisitor” tri-fecta – later released as a special edition EP – is quite the intense ride, and features one of my favourite lines: “you are trying to save me, but perhaps I am not lost”; a cry for the cause if ever there were one. Again, the pace is high, adding to the atmosphere.
And it’s a pacy album in general, although it is inter-spliced with moments of experimentation; “The Grand Inquisitor III: A Tiny Grain of Faith” is an odd song with female vocals, whilst “Wille Zum Untergang” (will the demise”) is a gorgeous slice of post-rock.
More immediate than its brother, Anthropocentric is no less a fantastic album. The music, the concepts and the execution all bind together seamlessly, and the two together form some of the best progressive post-metal produced in years.
The Ocean Week content so far: