Oceans: German Metallers Taking A Trip To The Dark Side
Oceans are aptly named. Dive in and you’ll first hit the sun-kissed shallows, choppy with riffs and brightened by sweeping melodies and clear vocal hooks. Beneath that, though, are vast swells and complex currents as you sink towards the depths. And down there in the void, it’s cold and very, very dark.
“We realised pretty fast that we wanted to have a theme for the whole band, and that’s why we based everything in Oceans around topics like mental health, mental illness and depression,” says vocalist/guitarist Timo Rotten. “It’s also because all of us have had our own different experiences with those kinds of things.”
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Their just-released debut album The Sun And The Cold is certainly built around a heart of darkness that comes from such things, but there’s more to the German collective than monochrome gloom. Musically, they pack in crunching nu-metal riffs and hooks that could have come from Linkin Park in the early 2000s, alongside bursts of death metal aggression, shimmering melodies and suitably oceanic post-rock sprawls. On paper, the combination might seem disjointed, but in practice it all comes together into one seamless and beautiful whole.
Timo is also keen to point out that, for all the thematic darkness, the band strive to maintain a gleam of positivity. “We always have this silver lining, this glimpse of hope, so that we send a positive message, even though we have these crushingly sad songs about depression and suicide,” he says. “We end the album with a song called Hope. On all our social media we always propagate the message that people are not alone, that we’re in this together. It sounds melodramatic, but I truly believe that if it weren’t for music, I wouldn’t be alive right now.”
From the depths of despair something towering and quite beautiful has risen into the sunlight. It’s a feeling Oceans strive for. “It’s about bringing this raw emotion out of yourself and transferring it to the listener,” Timo says. In this mission, the band succeed magnificently.
Oceans’ album The Sun And The Cold is out now via Nuclear Blast.
Oceans expose metal’s dark heart on The Sun And The Cold…
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