Unleashing the successor to their acclaimed album How We Both Wondrously Perish of 2014, US melodic hardcore band Being As An Ocean, easily reinforce their already potent reputation with a new self-titled proposition. Building on what fuelled the last release whilst pushing its boundaries and imagination that little bit more, the new album is a captivating and fiercely accomplished offering, and though it did not consistently set our ears ablaze, it is one of the most refreshing encounters heard this year which at its heights is seriously rousing and in its less dramatic moments simply thorough enjoyment.
Creating emotive and tempestuous incitements from a fusion of melodic hardcore, post-hardcore, and metalcore, to condense the veins of flavours running through their sound, the Californian bred Being As An Ocean swiftly engages attention and imagination with the opening to first track Little Richie. Mellow keys and vocals unite for the initial atmospheric coaxing though that tender lure is soon engulfed in crisp beats and caustic vocals aligned to more merciful flames of guitar. It is a striking proposal which evolves with every emerging passage of ideation, continually revealing fresh invention whilst remaining as imposing and provocative as possible.
The strong start is quickly eclipsed by the following Ain’t Nobody Perfect where the ear gripping vocals of Joel Quartuccio reveal strong emotive textures in a varied delivery, an emotional success matched by the powerful clean tones of Michael McGough. Personal tastes mean the latter’s cleaner range is the one which sparks the appetite most but there is no escaping the strength and quality of Quartuccio’s aggressive squalls and spoken expression, and the way he masterfully uses them. The guitars of Tyler Ross and McGough similarly abrase and seduce across this and each track, their raw base an inflammatory persuasion on ears and individual imagination at times a spellbinding emprise to anticipate and devour.
The Zealot’s Blindfold spills angst and ire with every turn in its thick emotive landscape, vocals the rigorous vehicle for their narrative. Their expulsions of emotional fire are tempered and inspired by the eventful lines from Ralph Sica’s bass whilst drummer Connor Denis muscularly punctuates every expression offered. The track is another slice of seriously resourceful songwriting with an interpretation which is barely anything less than venomous. With the guitars and McGough’s soaring melodic tones the biggest thrills, the impressing encounter makes way for the excellent Sleeping Sicarii which has ears and appetite hooked from its opening of an almost senses grinding torrent of repetitive grooves. It is a stirring start which slips a touch as a spoken delivery aligns to a more relaxed enticement, though the bass seizes another chance to throatily seduce at the same time. The song comes vivaciously alive again when intensity and virulence breaks out to raise the temperature and thrills, a potency matched by a tremendous flight of choral harmonies later in the song amidst McGough’s rich croon.
A similar template feeds the heart and ferocity of Judas, Our Brother next, again Being As An Ocean masterly moving through melodic and predacious scenery within constantly varying climates. The song also reinforces that each track needs close attention and time to reveal all the nooks and creative crannies within, greater rewards as thrillingly shown here and proven again by the fascinating Saint Peter always the result from immersing under the surface tempest. Melancholic yet elegant keys hug the spoken narrative of Quartuccio to open up the subsequent song, guitars a quickly joining enticing within a brooding atmospheric charm. In no time though, Being As An Ocean expels crescendos of creative theatre and emotional energy, again the lead vocalist a gripping unchained protagonist within a rich and expansive web of sound.
Though not quite sparking as consistently as its outstanding predecessor, the emotional fire that is Forgetting Is Forgiving The I still provides moments which simply bewitch whilst only arousing thick satisfaction whilst The World As A Stage merges a celestial melodic shimmer with the raw Quartuccio antagonism to create a compelling storm of heart driven reflection and turmoil. As much as it is forcibly abrasive and caustic, the song is melodically turbulent, once more an intensive tapestry crafted and unveiled by the band.
The closing pair of first Sins Of The Father and lastly …And Their Consequence bring the album to an enthralling close. Both tracks twist through fiercely voracious and emotionally subdued drama across their dynamic proposals, the first almost burning with passion and sonic anxiety whilst its successor is even more emotionally apprehensive and musically incendiary with it’s searing anthemic blaze led by Quartuccio in full passion backed just as potently by McGough’s impressive voice.
The tracks are again evolving adventures providing a great end to an impressive release. As suggested earlier personal tastes waned in some aspects of songs, certainly over initial listens, but the fact that a constant returning to the release and a lingering persuasion bred by individual songs is a persistent outcome from every listen, provides the evidence to the success of Being As An Ocean, band and album.
Being As An Ocean is released in Europe and the UK on 6th July via Impericon Records and available in the US now through InVogue Records