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Explore the mid-section of The Ocean’s new album Pelagial

The Ocean - Pelagial

Of all the pre-release album press going around at the moment, there are two bands in particular with whom – or with whose PR team – I have been particularly impressed. One is the metronomic The Dillinger Escape Plan, whose clockwork Facebook updates have revealed something new about One Of Us Is The Killer, their forthcoming fifth studio effort, almost every Monday without fail. The other, and my favourite, is The Ocean, who have the bases covered in quality and innovative marketing.

It isn’t the first time they’ve done it per se, but a couple of weeks ago we got a look the brand new wing of the band’s website, an interactive preview for Pelagial, their sixth in the bag. Audio snippets were entwined with more than a little information about the album, which will explore the depths of the ocean itself across each of the shore-shy pelagic layers, both musically and philosophically.

Today we’ve been granted a full look at one of the tracks, entitled “Bathyalpelagic II: The Wish In Dreams“. With each movement of the album exploring one of the five levels of depth, and with the bathyalpelagic layer being the third of these – as this being the second song of the movement – I think it’s safe to say that this one lands pretty much slap bang in the middle of the record somewhere

One of the most interesting pieces of information floating around is that Pelagial was originally composed and recorded as an entirely instrumental album. With Swiss vocalist Loïc Rossetti struck down by some unspecified health issues, it seems a decision was made to proceed without his input initially, but upon his recovery was welcomed back into the creative fold, and vocals were added. The upshot of this? We get TWO versions of the album!

The version of “The Wish In Dreams” we’ve been given is the full vocal version. Far from being “tacked on”, Rossetti’s vocal abilities compliment the complex instrumentation of the track, a personal highlight of which has to be the drumming of Luc Hess: its stop-start nature accentuating the scattered riffing of the main guitars; dropping and picking up the beat again at pace flawlessly.

It’s this briskness which is a hallmark of the track: right from the offing said guitars set the tone, and The Ocean have stated that this is “the fastest track off the album, and a pretty heavy kick in the balls”. No kidding.

Lyrically, we’ve already been told that, rather than being about “battles between sperm whales and giant squids“, the album’s lyrics will be psychologically taxing. Using Andrey Tarkovsky’s movie Stalker as a reference point, ideas about wish and dream-fulfillment will factor heavily into the exploration of “all the fucked up attributes inside of our own inner selves that generate and shape them”. The song certainly fits with that, with the refrain “how much control do we have over what we wish for?” rounding off the song.

We’ve also been given a 7-odd minute studio video (one of more to come, we assume), which gives you an idea of how long and how intense the process to make Pelagial has been. This one focuses on the drums quite heavily, so make sure to check it out.

Pelagial will be released April 26th in Europe and April 30th in North America. Get it.

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