Today Metal Blade Records unleashes Anthropocentric, the latest full-length from German atmospheric metal titans THE OCEAN, to North American shores. Anthropocentric serves as part two of the concept explored on the band’s well-received Heliocentric long player, released this past spring.
Anthropocentric‘s focus is on man and his place in the universe: At the center, as many fundamental Christians still claim today, or more likely a dust particle in its periphery? All lyrics are circle around this question and continue THE OCEAN‘s critique of Christianity.
At the base of the album are three songs with the titles “The Grand Inquisitor I, II and III.” These songs have been inspired by the chapter of the same title in Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel The Brothers Karamasov: A conversation between the brothers Ivan, an atheist, and Alyoscha, a monk. Ivan tells Alyoscha the story of a Second Coming of Christ in 16th century Sevilla. According to this parable, Jesus is arrested by the Catholic inquisition. The grand inquisitor who interrogates Jesus casts a new light on the legend of the temptation of Christ: He reproaches Jesus with having betrayed humanity and having deprived man of salvation by offering him freedom. The conversation between Ivan and Alyoscha mirrors, to some degree, the conversation between the grand inquisitor and Christ and raises more questions than it answers.
Commented guitarist Robin Staps: “We’re looking forward to our new album Anthropocentric being released in North America. Anthropocentric gets by without the big orchestrations of Heliocentric — the focus is on the core of this band: drums, bass, guitars, vocals. It is the most ‘integrated’ album we’ve done so far and everybody has been much more involved than ever before. This album is an effort that really represents this band as of where we stand right now, fall of 2010, and we are more satisfied with it than with any other album we’ve done. Lyrically, Anthropocentric is continuing the critique of Christianity that we begun with Heliocentric.”
In related news, the band kicks off another European tour today supporting legendary UK doom/atmospheric rockers Anathema. Confirmed dates include:
11/09/2010 Rocking Chair – Vevey, Switzerland
11/10/2010 Z7 – Pratteln, Switzerland
11/11/2010 Estragon – Bologna, Italy
11/12/2010 Alpheus – Rome, Italy
11/13/2010 New Age – Treviso, Italy
11/14/2010 Magazzini Generali – Milan, Italy
11/15/2010 Boogaloo Club – Zagreb, Croatia
11/16/2010 Listhalle – Graz, Austria
11/17/2010 Viper Room – Vienna, Austria
11/18/2010 Diesel Club – Budapest, Hungary
11/21/2010 Akademija – Belgrade, Serbia (THE OCEAN headlining show)
11/22/2010 Randall – Bratislava, Slovakia
11/23/2010 Rock Café – Prague, Czech