This is an album that I’ve been replaying for such a long time that I started resuggesting to friends because I’ve forgotten about the first time. Well, it was released in July so that’s about half a year, not sure if that’s a while or I’m just forgetful. Anyhow point is that every time I listen to it again I feel that rush of hearing something really noteworthy. Some tracks are more light, some are more heavy, some keep a steady pace, some are slower, but they are all moons orbiting around the same progressitve metal planet. I had this idea of comparing it to Tool, although it is not at all in the same vein but I’m thinking about the sophistication of it’s own prog metal sound. And in that sense Haken became one of my new favorite metal bands in 2020.
It has a post-rock atmosphere with prog-rock elements but a metal sound. Apparently this is post-metal or prog-metal, which I’m not too familiar with as a genre, probably should be. But then again I guess Tool could fall in this category, too, I’ve just never thought of them this way. And thinking about it this way I ralize the difference between post-metal and prog-metal. Tool is more on the prock-metal side essentially coming from a prog-rock/art-rock angle just adding more metal weight to instrumentation. While The Ocean is more heavy on the post-rock vibe with epic instrumental spaces where massive and rhythm-heavy riffs bridge calm and sorrow melodic sections.
In any case, this is a fantastic record, takes me on a journey, and I definitely want to follow it up with its successor Phanerozoic II right away.
This album got parked on my Play Later list for a while, then I gave up on it because I was never in the mood to give it a go. And today I restumbled upon it and I’m so happy I did. Ah, it got to me just perfectly today. There are these moments when a music hits me just in the right spot and that’s everything I want. It has that perfect balance of depressing and motivating that it could take me from that first mood to the latter.
What I like best about it is in part a few great melodic hooks, but much more importantly the vocals and lyrics. Jonas Renkse’s voice is the most wonderful rediscovery of today. Also, there are some songs (like Behind the Blood, The Winter of Our Passing, and Flicker) that sound like classics that I’ve heard a hundred times. I’m listening to the album the thrid time today right now, and I just don’t feel like changing to anything else. It is an amazing piece of progressive rock.