Earthtone9, with The Ocean @ The Relentless Garage, London

Sunday 22nd May 2011, Review by Danny Draper

After interviewing Robin Staps [published in Edition 17] it was time to go and check out his band The Ocean. Robin started The Ocean over ten years ago in 2000 and has seen many members come and go. But he has remained, steering the ship. It seems that The Oceans time is coming, over the past few years their reputation has grown, releasing the mind blowing Pre-Cambrian in 2007 along with plenty of touring, they capped off that album tour cycle with a support slot on Opeth’s tour with Cynic. They then released the double album Heliocentric and Anthropocentric, albums which are astonishing in they way they are written and played. Another support tour with The Dillinger Escape Plan and this tour supporting Earthtone9 and it seems that the future is looking bright for these guys.

The Ocean

They are magnificent. The come on to a deafening roar as they begin the thunderous riffage or Anthropocentric. They sound brilliant; every time. The guitars are crisp and twist and turn with the intricate groove of their music. The vocals are on top form tonight, even when Loic is jumping around the stage he still manages to have enough breath to spew venom forth with the lyrics.
The effortless energy that The Ocean has onstage is amazing how they manage to do it night after night. Coming off an American tour in which they had illness and little or no sleep, they show no signs that this is still on their minds as they play. The towering riffs of latest album and title track Anthropocentric sear through the ears and its enchanting melodies sway you about as much as it pummels! The sound is amazing tonight, which is definitely another thing you can bank on from The Oceans shows is that the sound will be good and they will kick arse!
The bass rumbles and pulsates throughout, while drummer Luc Hess bulldozes with some phenomenal patterns and beats that give it real swing and groove as well as great pull and release during the more quieter sections of the bands songs. The twin attack of Robin and Jona on guitars it a sight to behold, Robin has a sometimes Hetfield esque stance and you can see he’s really feeling it.

Jona on the other hand is like a jack in the box! When the music gets him, he’s jumping in every which way possible! Its great to see bands that don’t just stand there and communicate however they can to the crowd while they play.
Songs like City in the Sea and The Grand Inquisitor are two great tracks, City in the Sea coming from second album Aeolian and the later coming from last years Antropocentric, would be two tracks I would recommend listening to.
They have their lighter moments tonight, along with the odd equipment or mic failure but they prevail with aplomb.
They are such a magnificent band to watch. They were filming some of the show for an upcoming DVD so keep your eyes peeled for its release and more gigs from the band when they return before the end of the year.

For more info on The Ocean, check out their myspace