ALBUM OF THE WEEK: The Ocean - Anthropocentric

If you are in search of a record that combines stellar metal music with intriguing philosophical lyrics, "Anthropocentric," the fifth full-length record of 2010 by German group The Ocean, is certainly for you. Starting off with the musicianship, the vocals range from aggressive, throaty roars to raw yet transcendent singing, which is also parallel to the guitar work, stretching between heavy, deep riffs and euphoric yet somber melodies. The drums are also well done, sounding a tad trashy to add to the raw and resonant tone to the rest of the music. On top of this great musicianship, the music itself is very well crafted. This album polymerizes elements of progressive and experimental metal with tinges of sludge, and makes way for a dark release. Songs range from sometimes fast-paced, heavy, and sludgy metal knacks such as "Sewers of the Soul" and the title track, to swooning yet somewhat gloomy melodic tracks, including "Wille zum Untergang." They are all nicely structured, engaging, and distinct, and each one leaves at least a relatively large impact, although "The Grand Inquisitor III: A Tiny Grain of Faith" could have been a tad longer. Nevertheless, the songs are excellent. However, the best bet of this release would be "She Was the Universe," because it best represents the overall feel of the record: Heavy, dark, and melodic. Also, in terms of lyrics, the tracks are very philosophical and cynical in tone, influenced by Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky's literary work, as well as containing lines from other famed philosophers. They fit the dark music perfectly, and they are interesting to read. With great music combined with great lyrics, "Anthropocentric" is a wondrous record to be added to any fan of inventive metal's collection.