Oceano – Ascendants


The Chicago-based deathcore heavyweights return…

Review by Dan Perks


Release date: 23 March 2015

Any fan of Oceano can tell you what to expect from Ascendants: Blast beats, riffs and brutal vocals. Ascendants is more of the same tried-and-tested formula Oceano have utilised on previous records. The album opens with a short looming interlude called ‘Nephilim’. This interlude explodes from gloomy chords into an erupting volcano of blast beats and guttural vocals. It’s these guttural vocals that are the focal point of almost every track. Vocalist Adam Warren is the key to the Oceano sound, his distinctive guttural lows are distinguishable almost instantly. The anger, rawness and aggression in his voice are, frankly, intimidating.

The album is packed full of crushingly heavy songs all aimed at providing full force impact to the listeners ears. ‘Dead Planet’ and ‘Arc Of Creation’ are relentless and stupidly aggressive. This aggression is present throughout the whole album; don’t expect any lullabies or soft ballads here. Sadly for me, Ascendants doesn’t really get me excited, it’s a bit of the same old same old. Yes, it’s heavy. Yes, it’s fast. Yes, it’s brutal. But it’s nothing new. The blend of pig squeals, blast beats and frantic guitars just sounds a bit heavy by numbers now. The vocals are the key point of every track but that being said they are almost non-stop through every track. There is no room for the songs to breathe or grow under the constant snarling and screaming. With that in mind in feels like the instrumental elements of the band are half assed, almost as if the band know that nobody is going to pay attention to them anyway with all that screaming going on.

With recent offerings from Oceano’s peers really beginning to push the envelope such as Whitechapel’s Our Endless War (which was my favourite album of last year), it’s becoming apparent that Oceano have either become complacent and lazy or are just falling behind their genre counterparts.

Oceano – Ascendants20156 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Nephilim
  2. Transient Gateways
  3. The World Engine
  4. Dead Planet
  5. The Taken
  6. Dawn Of Descent
  7. The Dulce Incident
  8. Arc Of Creation
  9. External Existence