The third album from Chicago’s extreme metallers Oceano, “Incisions” is our “most focused work to date” describes the windy city ragers. “The heaviest, most pissed off band on the planet” Oceano adds and you could confidently say that you do get that impression from the outset of this album.
Having never listened to Oceano before and not being a lover of extreme metal, hearing opening track ‘Eternal Wasteland’ my initial thoughts were how on earth do you make that vocal sound? (And yeah I did try). Adam Warren’s voice really is something else; to have that level of control over such a deep growl and screaming is impressive to say the least. With such a deep, dark, heavy overall sound it is quite an unrelentingly gloomy track that I can say I only found joy in the guitar work, but this does secure the heavy and pissed off status.
‘Slow Murder’ has much more of a melodic feel to it, yet still maintaining the darkness. With lyrics describing taking your time to kill someone and “savouring your screams for mercy” it’s not a pretty picture. Guest vocals from Tim Goergen of death dealers Within the Ruins, bring a balance to the album which works extremely well, leading me to question if the band would continue this in the future. It is the title track’ Incisions’ that really does standout for me, it has a level of energy that is missing in other tracks and in its composition seems very well thought out.
It is just the production of the album as a whole that doesn’t quite feel right; it’s a little too clean in comparison to others of this genre. It’s a difference that I can see would be picked up by Oceano’s fans after the previous two albums. This group of rather angry young men (the oldest being on 24) have been together as a band from 2007 and it shows. Oceano display a sense of experience in their sound with this album that appears greater than their years but is clearly born out of getting out and playing together extensively. That experience teamed with some healthy creativity sets Oceano quite apart from just some other deathcore band but how existing fans will take “Incisions” I’m not entirely sure.