The Ocean Unveil Sprawling Progressive Epic, “Jurassic | Cretaceous” (feat. Katatonia’s Jonas Renkse)
In 2018, prog metal masters The Ocean released Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic, the first half of a paleontology concept album, and they’ll finally wrap up the set later this year with the eagerly-awaited part two, Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic. Today’s they’ve released that album’s the new single, “Jurassic | Cretaceous,” which features guest vocals from Katatonia’s Jonas Renkse, and it’s a sprawling 13-minute doozy.
Look, guys, I’ll be honest: while I fully appreciate The Ocean’s dedication to all things oceanic, I can’t say I’m fully aware of the periods in history to which all these scientific terms refer despite digesting this music (and writing about it) on a consistent basis for more than a decade. That said, there is probably no bigger fan of The Ocean in all of the metal media than this guy right here. I fucking LOVE this band! And I wholly appreciate their attention to this conceptual endeavor even if I’m mostly in it for the musical side. That is some serious dedication, you know? And it manifests in a very tangible way in the songwriting and arrangements.
Band mastermind Robin Staps explains that part two of this series is more progressive than part one, saying:
“‘Phanerozoic II’ is more experimental, more eclectic in musical style and direction, and more varied in terms of tempos, beats, guitar work and the use of electronics. This was an intentional choice: we wanted Part I to feel rather streamlined and to have a strong cohesion between the individual songs. We wanted to create a certain vibe to linger from the first until the last note throughout the whole record. We kept the weirder, more daring and more progressive material for Part II.”
Check out “Jurassic | Cretaceous” below. Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic comes out September 25 and is available for pre-order now in a number of different configurations, including a wooden box set that comes with authentic prehistoric fossils, a 130 page photobook, an engraved slate rock plate, a slipmat and a patch. Wow!