Every Friday, The Metal Examiner delves metal’s endless depths to present the genre’s most important and exciting albums.
The Ocean: Anthropocentric (Metal Blade, 11/9/10)
Since its inception, German post-metal collective The Ocean has relied on over-the-top lyrical ambition as much as straight-ahead musical progression. Earlier this year, the group began its long-form, anti-fundamentalism diatribe with Heliocentric. With that album’s counterpart, Anthropocentric, The Ocean brings its musings full circle, and brings a unique (if sometimes difficult) vision of metal back with it.
The album’s opening title track fires full-bore with pounding toms and a throat-shredding roar, but by the end of its nine minutes, the primal rage has yielded to a swaying, almost anthemic coda. The obvious comparison is to peers Isis or 3, but at its heart, the band more closely follows Iron Maiden — not just because the group doesn’t hesitate to peel back the layers mid-song, but also because it doesn’t hesitate to remind listeners that its members read books (Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins, and Fyodor Dostoyevsky, to name only the three overtly referenced authors).