Revelation - Oceano
Review by Steve Jenkins
Describing themselves as one of the angriest bands on Earth, Oceano have always channeled this through their music, creating in the process some of the heaviest, most guttural and all-out brutal music to be found anywhere. Having completed numerous successful tours all around the world playing with some of the biggest names in heavy music.
Honestly, there isn’t much to say about Oceano’s 2017 album, Revelation, that hasn’t already been said about countless deathcore and metalcore albums in this vein. Having followed Oceano from the very beginning after discovering their debut album Depths back in 2009, I have always had an interest when it comes to their music.
The mix is a giant step forward this time around, the guitars are much beefier, and the overall performances are much clearer, with some sprinkled in djent flavour this time around. This allows for the occasional melodic overlays to interweave with the rest of the music optimally. There also seems to be a newfound energy on this album. Previously, I found the last couple of albums felt a little tired, a little rushed, and maybe even a little forced sometimes. It was almost as if the band was indifferent during recording and didn’t put much effort into their compositions. What we have here is a very energetic deathcore album that grabs your attention with a sense of urgency in ways that their previous record couldn’t. Unfortunately, previous issues haven’t completely dissipated here. The vocals are definitely competent, but there are way too many low growls and squeals that are performed with diminishing returns as Revelation plays out. Also, a lot of very by-the-numbers deathcore sections appear one after another throughout its running time. Without paying attention to your music player, it’s easy to forget if a different song has started upon the first few listens. None of the cuts here are offensively bad, but bland pieces like 'Path To Exitinction' with the generic slam riffs don’t help much. They decide to musically switch it up occasionally, and when they do, it’s hit or miss. One exception to the status quo, 'Majestic 12', has an eerie clean riff which adds a nice flair to the song. While being pleasing to hear, it only made me wish for more experimentation on the album. On a positive note, the drumming is definitely the highlight of the album, with a lot of graceful transitions from fast blast beats to double kick runs that keep the energy of the album high. The commanding percussive performance heard here is what makes the faster sections of the album some of its best. There are some decent riffs to be heard, like the technical parts in 'The Great Tribulation', and the sheer heaviness of closing track 'Revelation', but most of the time it just seems like the bare minimum is played to keep the songs afloat. One other downfall is that it's too short, making some songs feel like they end way too early, and sometimes the vocals feel a little overproduced, but as a whole the album is great. Great instrumental work and while Adam Warren's vocal style remains primarily the same, he's still a fantastic vocalist. I really wanted to like this album, I could tell from the performance that the band had a lot of fun recording this, and they’re passionate about the material once again. There is definitely some great moments, and I can see big fans of this band and the genre eating this album up. The improvement here is admirable, but a lack of overwhelming negative elements doesn’t excuse some of the stale writing here. However, if this upward trend continues, I’ll be waiting for their next release with a sense of curiosity and just a pinch of excitement. Oceano are sticking with what they know, and whilst they aren't exactly making deathcore great again, they're certainly still making some great deathcore.
6.5 out of 10 stars.
Revelation is out now via Sumerian Records and can be purchased on iTunes or streamed on Spotify.
Watch this music video for the track 'Human Harvest' below: