The follow up to 2018’s Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic, this sister album was always going to be immense and hugely anticipated.
In contrast to part I, part II is a more diverse and sprawling affair, with more progressive wanderings and post-metal/hardcore experimentation. Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic sees The Ocean in an adventurous mood, and due to their superlative talent and skill, this results in a superb album that is a real treat for the listener.
The album is a journey, across progressive soundscapes and post-metal/hardcore vistas. A variety of sounds accompany the listener on their travels, from ambient calm, brooding electronica, and expressive instrumentation, to the heavier, more familiar style associated with the modern incarnation of The Ocean.
The songs on this multifaceted, multigenre album are all individual and have their own distinct personalities. However, they still fit together very well holistically, and the album has a flow that works to sweep the listener along on their journey, experiencing the highs and lows of the aural experience in full. Each song is connected thematically and there’s enough stylistic reference points to keep everything smoothly progressing to its conclusion.
The album is epic and has a grandeur all of its own. The band’s synth-heavy progressive approach is wonderful to hear, providing a generous tapestry of sound. The Ocean have crafted a collection of very compelling and rewarding songs. Heavy or light, harsh or ethereal, The Ocean’s music is captivating and emotive, and has depth and substance in bundles. These songs are enjoyably moreish and richly satisfying.
The singer of Katatonia appears once again, as does the vocalist from Breach. Both make significant and notable contributions when they appear, complementing The Ocean’s own gifted singer.
What else can I really say about this album, other than to implore you to give it the time it so definitely deserves.
Essential listing, without a doubt.