Tool are universally hailed as the kings of their genre and often referred to as “thinking man’s rock.” The Ocean aren’t far behind. Their new record, Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic is due to be released September 25th via Metal Blade Records and it needs to be heard. It is, and I don’t say this lightly, a masterpiece in vision, concept and the art of crafting music to song.
Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic is the follow up to The Ocean’s Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic that the band released in 2018. It’s tough to describe the sound you’ll hear on this record since it truly defies categorization (except prog).
Track 4 “Eocene” evokes a sound much like Tool with a shoegaze component attached to it. Track 5 “Oligocene” is an atmospheric, ethereal instrumental. Track 6 “Milocene / Pliocene” straddles clean, melodic vocals with heavier, edgier, even screamo styled singing against a quiet, subdued style of rock that serves as the canvas The Ocean creates a song with.
Track 7, “Pleistocene,” builds a melodic foundation with singing reminiscent of Coldplay before transitioning into something heavier, maybe, Gojira meets Tool meets Mastodon with a slight hint of black metal thrown in. As you intuit, each of the 8 tracks on Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic retains its own unique identity that tells the conceptual story behind it.
The Ocean explores dreamscape and melody, heavy and harsh, traversing ambient and noize , throughout the course of this record. And The Ocean does it fearlessly. The songs are arranged in such a way that you must listen to each one all the way through to “get” what The Ocean are trying to convey, in other words, no skipping around. Each sound, each note, each lyric is weird and daring in its own way, an experimental wave that moves The Ocean in directions that touch your soul and challenge you intellectually.
This record is tantalizing and epic. To say this is a must buy is an understatement. I sincerely hope that Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic catches the ear of every music critic and fan worldwide. As I said before, this record needs to be heard and appreciated. Fear Inoculm meet Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic.
Pre-order Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic HERE