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Intriguing site design explores the depths of The Ocean’s forthcoming record

The Ocean Pelagic website

If you weren’t already excited enough for Pelagial, the sixth studio album from Germano-Swiss experimental post-metal band The Ocean, then prepare to let out a little pee.

December saw the initial announcement, and only earlier this week we learned that bassist Louis Jucker would be stepping down from touring duties for the immediate future as he completes his architectural studies, but we’ve now got something tangible into which to get our teeth.

As with the preview cycle for the first of 2010s album, Heliocentric, the band have transformed a section of their website into a beautifully designed and masterfully executed interactive sneak-peek of Pelagial.

I’ll admit it took me a second to figure out what was going on. The image above shows you what you get upon hitting the site; the band’s logo over a light blue oceanic scene. There’s also some bubbly sounds playing in the background, but not a lot else. Looks gorgeous though.

Then you notice the depth gauge on the left, dictating regular intervals in meters. Okay, so this is interesting, right? I mean they’re called The Ocean. This makes perfect sense – so down you go.

2000m down you come to a section called ‘Epipelagic’, and learn the real genius behind the concept of this record. It’s something we really should have thought about before – The Ocean are never whimsical with their titles – and so we are told about the pelagic zone; the layers of ocean specifically not inland or adjacent to a shoreline. The epipelagic layer – or ‘sunlit’ zone – is that closest to the surface, where most life marine exists, and from there we will plunge into the depths, through the mesopelagic, bathypelagic, abyssopelagic and hadopelagic layers – all five layers of which throw up some new information about the release, including a clarification of the vocal/vocal-less versions, the reason for the original omission, and what the lyrics actually deal with (spoiler: it’s not sperm whales battling giant squids, as per this awesome t-shirt)

As we progress though these five movements, the music will also make distinct tonal movements, getting steadily darker as the surface light fails to penetrate, right down to the ironically sludge-laden ocean trench some 6000m down – the corresponding genre of which is something The Ocean are well known for in their back catalogue. We’re told that this is not some detached conceptual idea, however; no, this can reportedly be actually heard and felt while listening to the album – and we’re given short previews of music to wit, which all sound phenomenal. The record was reportedly mixed in one go by Jens Bogren, yielding an incredible 288 audio tracks (by comparison, Wintersun’s recent dense masterpiece Time I contains around 200)

The whole site is well worth a read, especially for the special edition pre-orders that I’m pretty sure I will be throwing money at as I drink away the week in the darkness of my living room this evening.

Talk about going from generally-looking-forward-to to probably most anticipated album of the year thus far guys…

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