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The Ocean, Returned: The Collective Unveils “Permian: The Great Dying” From Upcoming Album “Phanerozoic I: Palaezoic”

The Ocean
Photo credit: Jo Fischer

It looks like The Ocean are back at it. After years of touring on the widely successful Pelegial, the collective re-entered the studio to begin work on a new two-album experience under the Phanerozoic moniker (the name refers to the period of time covering 541 million years ago to the present). The first album is called Phanerozoic I: Palaezoic and will be released on November 2nd via Metal Blade; the second is slated for 2020. Stream “Permian: The Great Dying,” the first album’s closing track, below.

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Threads of Pelegial are immediately apparent, but by no means define this new song, which rocks in any case. As things tend to go with The Ocean, their albums’ tracks are arranged with artistic intent; here, with “Permian: The Great Dying” being the last track (and ultimately the lead-in to the album’s second part), we’d expect it to hit especially hard. And it does: from their jam-band mentalities to newfound groove, it all coalesces into one noisy, vocal-driven conclusion which then stops abruptly, closing the show (for now).

What the rest of the album holds — and whether/how it melds with the The Ocean canon — remains to be heard. As always, the collective remains multifaceted and progressive, rendering each release a narrative special in its own way. This time around, the lyrics carry a key message, as explained by guitarist and primary songwriter Robin Staps (who we interviewed back in January): “When you look at Earth’s history you find a lot of evidence for this: continents have collided and drifted apart across the oceans and collided again, life nearly disappeared various times but then resurged again… this album is essentially about time, perception of time, and repetition. It is about coming to terms with the fact that there are things in life which will recur and which we cannot change and finding ways of dealing with that.”

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