The Ocean will release their massive new record, Pelagial, on April 30th through Metal Blade Records. To give fans a taste of what’s to come, and to offer pre-orders of course, the band has launched an official website for the upcoming album. The album will come in two versions, one with vocals and one without, and will be one continuous piece of music on the whole. The Ocean are offering audio snippets of tracks on each of the site’s five main pages. So go check that out now and read up on what’s in store below.
Pelagial is one continuous piece of music. The tracks, or episodes, are connected by interludes and underwater sounds and samples taken from old submarine movies, which give the album a menacing and claustrophobic “Das Boot”-kind of atmosphere. “There are track marks, and there are actual songs built into this larger structure, but the whole album is a journey rather than a number of loose tracks… some riffs appear in the first 2 minutes of the album and then reappear 30 minutes later”, comments Staps. It’s an experience that will reward repeated listens.
“My original plan was to write a stepless musical progression, like a continuous colour blending from white to black, says Staps, “but I soon realized that it could not be that linear. It needed to stay interesting after all, and this is something that is usually best achieved by employing unforeseeable elements. In the end, any good idea must be put into perspective by its musical impact.” And so the listener will experience swirls and vertical currents while listening to the album; short, unexpected faster passages in between, sudden tempo changes that will make him feel like he’s rising again for a short bit - but the general direction is very clear: “You can feel from the beginning, it’s going down. Deeper and deeper.”
This continuous downward movement is also reflected in the album’s sound: starting with a clean, produced “surface”-sound and progressing towards a more open, ambient, distorted and abrasive sound for the doomy depth-passages at the end of the album. To make that happen, Jens Bogren (Opeth, Katatonia) had to face the challenge of mix the album in one go, which resulted in the epic amount of 288 audio tracks!