German Prog Metal outfit, The Ocean are set to release their 8th full-length album, Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic on 25th September via Metal Blade Records/Pelagic Records.
They have also launched the first single – Jurassic | Cretaceous – which features Katatonia vocalist Jonas Renkse, which you can check out here:
Back in 2018, The Ocean released Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic – the first half of a sprawling but superbly cohesive paleontology concept album. Now, the band is ready to release the eagerly-awaited concluding parts of the journey.
Widely hailed as their finest work to date, Phanerozoic I brimmed with moments of wide-eyed melodic brilliance, alongside the expected warping and weaving of post-metal conventions. “The first part of ‘Phanerozoic’ really is a ‘no-regrets’ album, which is quite rare,” says guitarist Robin Staps. “Maybe even the first time I can ever say that.”
In contrast with the compositional directness of Phanerozoic I, the new album – Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic – is described as a vastly more progressive and perverse piece of work. “
‘Phanerozoic II’ is more experimental, more eclectic in musical style and direction, and more varied in terms of tempos, beats, guitar work and the use of electronics,” says Staps. “This was an intentional choice: we wanted Part I to feel rather streamlined and to have a strong cohesion between the individual songs. We wanted to create a certain vibe to linger from the first until the last note throughout the whole record. We kept the weirder, more daring and more progressive material for Part II.”
Divided into two sections – Mesozoic and Cenozoic – the album once again showcases the detail and depth that have become two of The Ocean’s most enduring trademarks. While ostensibly delving into the extraordinary realities of the Earth’s shifting temporal tides, Staps and his comrades have long drawn hazy parallels between their chosen subjects and the emotional experiences that their music strives to convey. Phanerozoic II is essentially an album about time, with some very poignant and pointed allusions to the modern world woven into the new music’s spiritual fabric.
Staps explains, “The outcome is a record that is a real journey. It starts in one place, and concludes in a totally different place. In a way, it relates to 2013’s ‘Pelagial’, which was similar in that it was also a journey: but a more guided, focused and predictable one. ‘Phanerozoic II’ on the other hand is closer to the experience of free fall.”