The Ocean Here Where Nothing Grows

Portland, Maine’s Ocean (not to be confused with Germany’s Isis-inspired and recent Metal Blade signing the Ocean) are a way-down-tuned doom outfit, definitely hearkening back to the glory days of Electric Wizard with a slightly quirky Harvey Milk slant. Every warp and weft of their dense metal fabric emphasizes the slow funereal doom of old Winter and Grief (the album sports three prolonged tracks), and the guttural, Novembers Doom-like vocals of Candy (a very burly man, mind you) flows with the frigid, endless currents at 20,000 leagues under the sea. "First Reign” is easily a cross between old Cathedral and Sleep, but even more doom-y like Reverend Bizarre. The mesmerising "Salt” is stuck in slow-mo between diSEMBOWELMENT and Godflesh — utterly relentless riffage but with a distinct undercurrent hinting of melody. Progressively, the album gets better and better, and the closer "The Fall” is definitely the best with really tight grooves like Reverend Bizarre and then slows down to debut-album Black Sabbath speed, stretching out in lengthy Yob-like chords. Hands down the best band to come out of Maine since Rotors To Rust, Ocean journey through dark waters to the ends of the earth, and with an average song length of 20 minutes, they certainly take their time getting there. (Important)