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February 2011
Released: 2010, Earache Records
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Demonator

Heavy on the sizzle, yet not quite prime rib - at least those were my thoughts after a few days in the trenches with Oceano's Earache debut, DEPTHS. That the Chicago quintet had talent was undeniable. That their trump card was the formidable larynx of vocalist Adam Jones - an ace that had outlived it's novelty by the album's midpoint - was sadly an inescapable fact also. And yet, I found myself looking forward to CONTAGION, if only to see what the end-result of a freshly recruited guitar duo into the band would be.

Sure enough, the Oceano's sophomore opus presents a step forward for the band. Notwithstanding Jones' gutteral snarl still going down as smooth as sandpaper, it helps that there appears to at least be a feint attempt at escaping the band's erstwhile deathcore trappings. While the stock-standard beatdown still rears it's head on just about every one of the disc's ten tracks, the refined ear will delight at the inclusion of good, old fashioned riffs on the likes of "Viral-Re-Animation" and "Quarantine". On "Exist In Confinement" they take their newfound creativity a step further still, delving into heavy atmospherics that perfectly sets up the record's apex on "Persuasive Oppression".

But make no mistake about it, Oceano are still a long way off being the formidable upstarts some have labelled them as. If you're at all familiar with the superior work of Despised Icon and the like, it's probable that you'll snore your way through sizable portions of CONTAGION. Should that band never have held any sort of appeal to you in the past, then don't even bother with Oceano. Personally, I sense some promise here - provided of course they can keep this line-up intact long enough to record another album.
Track Listing

1. Precursor To Enslavement
2. Viral Re-Animation
3. Regulated Disposal of Life
4. Quarantine
5. The Contaminated
6. Exist in Confinement
7. Persuasive Oppression
8. Weaponized
9. Sadistic Experiments
10. Remnants Aflame
11. Ending Intellect


Jason Jones - bass
Nick Conser - guitar
Devin Shidaker - guitar
Adam Warren - vocals
Daniel Terchin - drums

Other reviews

» Depths
by Aaron Yurkiewicz

» Contagion
by Demonator

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