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The Ocean’s Fluxion; under the microscope

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On a scale never before seen on The Monolith, we’ll be 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 this week, and so in honour we’ll 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’ll be 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.

First up: Fluxion [2004, Metal Blade Records]

The Ocean - Fluxion

Whilst not quite the starting point – The Islands/Tides and Fogdiver EPs hold that honour – Fluxion was The Ocean’s first full-length, and the first of a pair (the other being its even heavier twin Aeolian).

It’s often cited as being the more ‘orchestral’, and whilst that’s true in some sense, it doesn’t mean it’s soft; oh no. Fluxion packs a mean punch, often slipping distinctly hardcore sections in to the marvellous low chugging sections.

Track 03: “Comfort Zones”

One such example is pretty much all of “Comfort Zones“, which features fast-paced riffing, pounding bass-led passages, and caustic vocals reminiscent of early Converge.

Track 09: “The Greatest Bane”

The Greatest Bane” perhaps encapsulates The Ocean to come; that which we know and love. Fourteen swirling minutes of beautifully realised dichotomy, in vocal execution and musical composition, with light and dark, heavy and light, and delicate and powerful all utilised expertly. For such early work, this song and album is timeless, and no wonder The Ocean have built to such artistic heights.

Check back every day this week for another look at one of The Ocean’s LPs, as well as the rest of the content we have planned for this week!

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