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German metal merchants The Ocean, never ones to rest on their laurels, have truly outdone themselves this time around on the outfit's uber-ambitious twin disc set PRECAMBRIAN. Naming each of the album's 14-tracks after an era or period from the Precambrian (a geological timeframe when the Earth was going through its earliest stages of evolution for those scientifically un-inclined) while matching up the period in history with the proper blend of aggression, beauty, brutality, and musicianship, this -concept may seem far-fetched and perhaps a bit too scholarly to be taken to the masses. Despite the album's overall grandiose design (clocking in at a whopping 83-minutes), the immediately deserved elevated status received doesn't hinder The Ocean from flexing its hardcore muscle or prevent this band's molten metallic might to ooze across cuts like "Paeoarchaean". The brazen opener "Hadean" ostentatiously demonstrates its oblique heaviness from the mechanized Meshuggah-esque stomp, while a rotating cast of revered underground metal vocalists such as Nate Newton. Caleb Scofield, and Dwid lend their talents on the vocal end. From there, The Ocean weaves an intricate tapestry of sound, venturing into the vast galaxies of progressive metal, complete with lush orchestral arrangements sandwiched between the grating metal foundation laden with massive shifts of dynamics and adventurous instrument choices on tracks like "Calymmian". Culminating to create a stunning endeavor that invigorates, captivates, and stimulates any fan that enjoys hearty helpings of brain power in their brawny music, this disc's painstaking attention to detail and utter brilliance easily makes PRECAMBRIAN an early front-runner for top metal album of 2008
- Mike SOS