Oceans // Hell Is Where The Heart Is // Album Review
Austrian-German metalcore merchants Oceans release “Hell Is Where The Heart Is” on the 25th of November and it is a belter.
Metalcore has never sounded as angry or good as this; it starts with “Love” an eerie spoken word intro and a foreboding synth before exploding into life in the shape of “Awakening”, a cracking track that runs from heavy as fuck to melodic with massive riffs and a thumping drum and bass beat, the vocals from Schwammlein are brilliant and his change up between styles is off the hook. “Sulfur” follows in a very similar vein to its predecessor, a killer rhythm runs through the first half of the track giving a really intense feel to the song, this changes, once you hit the midpoint where the track breaks down into a bass, fuelled morose meandering that runs to the end.
There are two tracks that stand out and they come to either side of a spoken interlude, “Skin” and “Home”; I know that this may be sacrilege but there is a very clear pop punk element to the two songs that are perfectly mixed with the hard-hitting metalcore stylings of the band, “Skin” has a Blink 182 feel to it while “Home” sounds like something Sum 41 would do but it is the mash-up of the styles that will make you sit up and take notice and believe me you will be singing them long after you stop playing them. “I Want To Be Whole Again” brings the heavy back with a grinding track that crushes; a down-tuned bass, gritty riffs backed and a slow somber drum beat help creates an absolute monster of a track. “Living=Dying” really kicks the intensity up with brutal growling/screamed vocals, a thunderous drum beat, and killer riffs, only to do a complete 180 with a nice melodic chorus with clean vocals, a total mind bender but an absolute banger. After another interlude in the form of “Clarity” you are treated to one of the best tracks you will hear this year, “If There’s A God She Has Abandoned Us”, showing us a mellower yet melancholic side to the band with a power ballad, this has instant classic written all over it and is sure to be a massive hit in the live arena, a piano intro leads to Schwammlein softly singing, midway through the song reaches a crescendo where a heavy riff and drum beat comes in and elevate the song, simply incredible and it just gets better with every listen. “I Sing Alone” pummels you with a massive drum beat and a meaty bass line, the growled and clean vocals play off each other brilliantly and with a phenomenal instrumental backdrop, you are given another amazing song in an album full of them. The album closes with the title track “Hell Is Where The Heart Is”, the heaviest track on the album with a killer death metal sound, from the brutal growled vocals to the blistering drum beat, booming bass, and cutting riffs; it is just an all-round savage sonic assault and no better way to finish the album.
1. Love 0:49 2. Awakening 4:02 3. Sulfur 4:22 4. Skin 3:37 5. Longing 0:53 6. Home 4:04 7. I Want To Be Whole Again 4:04 8. Living=Dying 4:19 9. Clarity (Interlude) 1:18 10. If There’s a God She Has Abandoned Us 3:31 11. I Sing Alone 3:33 12. Hell Is Where The Heart Is 3:53