Review 1465 : Oceans – Hell Is Where the Heart Is – English

Oceans finishes the year with a high note.

Timo Schwämmlein (vocals/guitar, ex-Sintech, ex-Varg), Patrick Zarske (guitar, ex-Sintech, ex-Varg), Thomas Winkelmann (bass, Mathyr, ex-Varg) and J.F. Grill (drums) unveil Hell Is Where the Heart Is, their second album, which contains their two EPs released this year, as well as a third one, which will be released simultaneously.

Oceans‘ approach is original. After having unveiled us at the beginning of the year the first four tracks, which were anchored in a very dark dynamic that I had described here, then the four following ones which proposed more raw and contrasted tonalities that I had talked about here, these are the last four tracks that the musicians offer us.

We continue this inner journey with Clarity, an interlude that makes sense after having gone through the entire surge, which ended with Living=Dying. And if you thought that the band was offering us a moment of respite, you’re wrong, because the voice sinks into despair, topped by some cybernetic effects which drive us to the striking If There’s a God She Has Abandoned Us and its calm but melancholic tones. We immediately feel all the sadness in the singer’s voice, only accompanied by a rather soft piano before drums appear, followed after a little while by guitars and bass for an as intense as deep explosion. But the sound will eventually calm down to ignite again, and guide us to I Sing Alone and its tones filled with blackness which join a crushing and aggressive heaviness. We have a raw and sincere energy completed by bestial screams, some heady effects and this burning rage which contrasts with clean parts’ coldness and which will reach its peak on the final, just before Hell Is Where The Heart Is, the eponymous track, comes to strike us with lively and energetic sonorities which call upon all the hatred, all the band’s strength and violence they can spred by waves of jerky heaviness to support their message with again this abrasive and impressive sincerity.

If the first and second EPs were very good separately, the addition of the third one gives them all their meaning. Hell Is Where the Heart Is is a pure and simple progression between darkness and despair which leads to the rage of feeling alive. Congratulations Oceans.


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