1) The Ocean, Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic (Metal Blade)
Of all the albums I’ve listened to this year, nothing swept me up quite like The Ocean’s latest concept album exploring the Phanerozoic eon a.k.a. the last 541 million years or so. Part one of a double album, the music is filled with slow, heavy riffs mixed with a thick atmosphere that implicates the scale of the songwriting subject. It all builds up to “Permian: The Great Dying” which deals with the largest mass extinction event seen on Earth. The combination of Loïc Rossetti’s clean, melodic vocals and Dalai Theofilopoulou’s low, somber cello delivers a dynamic, melancholic finale. The most disappointing thing I can say about the album is that I have to wait for Phanerozoic II until at least spring 2019.
Key Track: “Permian: The Great Dying”
Hoth, Astral Necromancy
Sleep, The Sciences
Polyphia, New Levels New Devils
Thy Catafalque, Geometria
Listen to Matt’s highlights in the playlist below: