The outsiders

By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  February 25, 2009

Rather than throwing you a bone, Ocean pelt you with shards of marrow for 21 minutes, offering fascinating new details every minute or so: hypnotic motifs recur with subtle variations, catharses are constantly withheld and replaced with melodic shifts that prove even more satisfying. You reward the band's patience with your own rapt attention, taking an almost masochistic pleasure in discovering how much deeper and darker they can go. When the payoff hits, the band retain their inherent minimalism while delivering an undulating, titanic wall of sound.

With the album, Stosuy says "[t]hey've mastered the glacial pace ... there's a start to finish excitement as a listener. And the material holds up incredibly well to dozens and dozens of listens. As spare and slow as it seems at times, the subtleties run deep." He reported that the band had excellent turnout and a great set at the "Show No Mercy" concert, and all signs suggest that Ocean could become a powerhouse in the metal scene. "At this point," Stosuy says, "you'd be hard pressed to find a doom band who's able to remain so exciting and so minimal at the same time."

Christopher Gray can be reached at cgray@phx.com.

OCEAN |Pantheon of the Lesser | released on Important Records | performing at SPACE Gallery, in Portland | March 7 @ 7:30 pm | with Eld and Julius | $8, all ages

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