Oceanic – Origin (2014)

You may well be asking yourselves ‘from what concealed spiderhole on Earth did Oceanic emerge?‘. We certainly did.

To save you the investigation the answer is Nova Scotia, a small island province in Canada with a population of just under a million. Nowhere in Nova Scotia is more than 67 km away from the ocean. Titanic was filmed in the ocean around Nova Scotia. Oceanic is, essentially, oceanic. Perhaps it is for this reason that we haven’t heard much from this island-dwelling three-piece, and why it feels that their debut album, Origin, has burst into the scene from out of seemingly nowhere.

The truth is that, complementary to their general solitude, Oceanic have been in hiding and Origin has slowly been soldered together over a five year period. In one way, Oceanic have benefit from this prolonged period of remaining under construction; the global math scene has continued to proliferate, thanks to the likes of Bandcamp and music zines (cough cough, ooh, looks like I coughed up a hairball) and now they are in a position to reveal their craft to a much larger and enthusiastic audience.

Origin comprises six epics each clocking in at around 9 minutes. These prolonged compositions blend epic, anticipatory prog rock structures with an undeniably mathy texture, garnished with some subtle metal sensibility. I feel that Origin showcases two very different musical approaches made by Oceanic. The title track begins with groovy fusion, moves into upbeat prog-rock reminiscent of Pink Floyd and Soft Machine, and then slows to a folky indie finish, allowing the metal to cool. This is one approach: to wander seamlessly across multiples genres and pick the best fruits to compile the story. Make no mistake, Origin is by no means a scrapbook. For the second approach is to follow a very particular blueprint and build a musical monument with such power and vitality that pounding one’s clenched fist becomes an involuntary movement. Tracks such as ‘Longboat’ and ‘Defencelessness And Its Defence’ are perfect examples; they are anthemic, captivating, and showcase Oceanic’s exceptional skills as builders.

Oceanic’s impressive debut reinforces our notion that there are many geographically isolated bands out there waiting to be discovered. I’m no longer mad at Nova Scotia for permitting James Cameron to make Titanic.

File Under

Metal, Post Rock, Jazz, Fusion, Ethereal, Instrumental, Dark, Distortion, Progressive

Sounds A Tad Like

Town Portal, Russian Circles, The Fierce And The Dead




Nova Scotia, Canada