Oceans – Hell Is Where the Heart Is (Review)

Oceans - Hell Is Where the Heart IsOceans are a metal band from Germany/Austria, and this is their second album.

This is the follow up to 2020’s enjoyable The Sun and the Cold, and features 39 minutes of new material. Well, I say new, this album seems to have been already released as three EPs , making this a compilation of sorts.

Maybe it’s a result of the EP-first approach, but there are three very throwaway intros here, all of which could, (and should), have been left on the cutting room floor, (with spoken word too, no less. Shudder). So, ignoring these, we get nine tracks of enjoyable 90/00s-era nu-metal heaviness, wrapped in a modern veneer and production.

Mixing together metalcore and nu-metal with some European metal influences, Hell Is Where the Heart Is offers a refined version of Oceans when compared to their debut album. The American metalcore and nu-metal elements in the band’s sound are much more prominent, and the songs are more focused and leaner as a result.

Due to the increased nu-metal influences I’m sure Hell Is Where the Heart Is will be an acquired taste for some. For me it makes me very nostalgic for that era, while also enjoying it for what it is in 2022, which is catchy and direct heavy music. Simple and effective, each of these songs has hooks aplenty and baked-in memorability.

If you were brought up with the style then this album is easy to like. If you can’t stand the style, then this isn’t for you.

Recommend for fans of Korn, In Flames, and Slipknot.

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