If devastatingly Heavy Droned out Doom is your kinda thing, then Portland’s Ocean are certainly a band you should be checking out. ‘Here Where Nothing Grows’ is their debut release on Important Records and features 3 monstrously HEAVY tracks weighing in at a staggering total of 65 mins!
As the opening track ‘First Reign’ creeps into it’s 21 minutes of life with its resonating feedback, the sheer heaviness of Ocean soon becomes apparent when the main riff erupts from your speakers like Mount Vesuvius seconds before it destroyed Pompeii. It slowly crawls along, pulverising your ears drums with its mammoth, wailing sound as each note is allowed to eerily ring out before being hit by the next. I guess you could say Ocean are predominantly an instrumental band as the vocals are few and far between, and it’s around 5 minutes into ‘First Reign’ when the vocals break through the despondent sounds with its deep guttural growls, helping drive this journey of torture into another realm.
The CD continues with ‘Salt’ (19 mins) and closes with ‘The Fall’ (24 mins) which really just continue from where ‘First Reign’ began, as although they’re listed as separate tracks, you get the distinct impression that ‘Here Where Nothing Grows’ was written as one piece of music. That could come across as saying this album is long, boring and repetitive, but believe me, it isn’t, as each piece manages to induce the listener. Like on ‘Salt’ which builds into an almost climatic epic giving them an almost Neurosis feel at times, and ‘The Fall’ which starts with a more up-tempo beat before taking you on a journey of fear and despair. It soon descends back down to its Drone roots with resonating feedback and eerie ghost-like screams, before approaching its dramatic close that builds and builds on its already ultra-heavy sound, giving an almost funeral march feel.
Label: Important Records
Scribed by: Lee Edwards