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Mono / The Ocean – Transcendental

Mono / The Ocean – Transcendental

Different in style are the Postrockers of Mono and the Progressive Metal maniacs from The Ocean. They not only share the same label, but now also wax and plastic. Both bands like to create long and cinematic tracks so what we get are two 10 minute plus songs.

The Ocean kicks off with ‘The Quiet Observer’ that is the first song where new members Dalai Theofilopoulou on cello, Drummer Paul Seidel and guitarist Damian Murdoch are added in a slightly different sound. Especially the addition of the cello sound gives the Progressive Metal on several moments a Postrock edge. Together with piano parts the song is slowly building up towards the natural habitat of The Ocean. When the heavy riff kicks in and the vocals are getting angrier we hear the progressive metal band has again created a rollercoaster of adventure complete with grooves and even a guitar solo (this is not happening that often in The Oceans sound). Lyrically the song refers to the “intermediate state” between life and death based on the story of a drugs dealer being shot and high on DMT. After his death the metaphysical and tripping experience might happen but that is all written in the stars.

Mono uses their heavier side in ‘Death in Reverse’; which means more drum oriented (a pounding bass drum and cymbal sounds) to start off towards a climax of screaming guitars. The Japanese quartet is going louder and louder until the outburst stops and a fragile piano parts sucks you into the last part of the song. As expected from the Japanese masters this is another masterpiece added to their impressive collection of beautiful songs. It’s the perfect audio version of the theme ‘life and death and regeneration’. ‘Even when our bodies decay and decompose our souls will prevail unchanged and have a journey into a new eternal life’ as guitarist and main song writer Takaakira Goto comments.

So both song concepts refer to the ‘Transcendental’ state of the human body between life and death. Artist Florian Bertmer has drawn a baby with a butterfly on his finger on top of lava streams while Asian dragons are watching to care of the baby when the time has come. Both songs are a very tasty preview of new work to be released in 2016.

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