Recorded at the same session that produced 2004's Fluxion, The Ocean's latest Aeoliancontinues the trend of lumping the orchestrated and avant-garde sounds of their previous works to the background and upping the complexity and metal thunder ante up a notch. The results are a powerful and epic sounding piece overall, sort of like a combination of The Dillinger Escape Plan, Mastodon, Between the Buried and Me, Neurosis, and Converge. Thick, muscular guitar riffs meet harsh maniacal vocals on the lengthy opener "The City In The Sea", while the dark and doomy "Austerity" contains some spooky keyboards and atmospherics which lurk behind the pummeling guitar onslaught and screaming vocals. "Killing the Flies" features some intense and intricate drum work from Torge LieBmann, plus enough stop/start guitar passages to make you dizzy. At times I think these guys try to be a little too tricky with their arrangements, which I think tends to be a criticism of many bands who play similar type of material, but for the most part they pull it off here. What really works, and works well, is their inclusion of a host of guest singers who help out The Ocean's main vocalist Meta with an assortment of lead abd backing vocals. Tomas Hallbom of Breach, Nate Newton of Converge/Old Man Gloom, former Coalesce frontman Sean Ingram, and a few others, all add their talents to the album. To hear the wide assortment of vocal styles check out "Queen of the Food Chain", a tune that also has plenty of jazzy and proggy bits in it as well.
The booklet was put together nicely, and reminds me of the Leviathan album from Mastodon, with complete lyrics (and trust me, you'll need the lyrics to follow along with these epic pieces) and bizarre illustrations. All in all it's a pretty solid release, and a sure bet to please fans of the metalcore genre who like stuff just a little more brutal, a little more intense, and way more technical.
01. The City In The Sea
02. Dead Serious & Highly Professional
04. Killing The Flies
05. Une Saison En Enfer
07. One With The Ocean
09. Queen Of The Food Chain