The style of “Aeolian” is fairly undistinguished during “The City and The Sea”. Sure, there is some point where an individual has to go back and say that “yes, this is metal” but beyond this, what else does The Ocean bring to the table? In fact, what The Ocean seem to bring to the table on “Aeolian” is a very long and drawn out approach to creating metal that stays largely away from the sludge metal that typically dominates this type of sound. In a sense, what The Ocean does with “Aeolian”” is essentially slow down a noise recording by a factor of half.
The same spastic guitars and screaming present in noise are here, while the repetitive guitar riffs (the only thing that can be played at breakneck speeds by noise guitarists) are done to perfection by Robin. In a sense, The Ocean distinguish themselves completely from noise and even other metal bands in the near-ten minute epic that is “Austerity”. In this, a more black metal sound is created; the differing sections of the track really are crafted to elicit different feelings toward the band. The band does not have a monolithic approach to the songs on “Aeolian”; the largest exception that one can find on this disc has to be “Une Saison En Enfer”. While there are arrangements during the track that ties it into the other songs on “Aeolian”, there are quite a few arrangements that just scream thrash. The one thing that seems to sink The Ocean during most of “Aeolian” has to be the static arrangements that come forth during tracks like “Necrobabes.com” and “The City In The Sea”.
These tracks start off with interesting beginning sounds but do not change anything up in the last three or four minutes of a song. Thus, by the time the track actually ends, individuals are exhausted. Don’t get me wrong, The Ocean has enough talent to create interesting tracks, but what seems to be the band’s biggest problem is the creation of a track that is just too long for the different riffs and beats that they have assigned to it. When the band accompanies their own style with thrash (“One With The Ocean”), the band is given a longer timer that they can work with. It is only when they try to craft a song without using other styles that they find themselves in trouble. For their next album, further mixing and matching different styles with their own will be the panacea that they can use.
Top Tracks: One With The Ocean, Une Saison En Enfer
The Ocean – Aeolian / 2006 Metal Blade / 10 Tracks / http://www.theoceancollective.com / http://www.metalblade.com / Reviewed 11 March 2006