Where The Ocean Meets The Sky Empires

This six-piece New Jersey hardcore band certainly aren't afraid of setting the bar high. Their debut album doesn't quite hit the vast spectrum of sound their name suggests, but they're definitely sailing on the right path. They hit all the typical spots you'd expect: deep roars and frenetic drumming following clean vocals ("Delusions of Grandeur"), singing guitar lines that lead to chunky riffs ("Victims") and heavy breakdowns ("On the Backs of Your Brothers"). But there's a level of quality and sophistication that surpasses most of their contemporaries. "We Are But Instruments" highlights the eight-song album ― with a racing guitar line and syncopated growls to start the track, it turns to melodic vocals before switching back once more. The song structure pattern is far from new, but it's executed with precision. And the hard-hitting "Mettle of a Man" transitioning into "Regime Discarded," a piano-driven, down-tempo track, is the best one-two combination on the album. Where the Ocean Meets the Sky have the potential to do something special as they grow beyond the boundaries of the genre. (CI)