The 2011 Arsies: January 20, 2011

January 20, 2011

Today, The Ocean gets a rare second chance in the Arsies. This time, it's with "Heliocentric." This album predates "Anthropocentric," and somehow manages to avoid a few of the traps that the latter album suffers from. It's more memorable, less brain-foodie, and definitely wields its self-assured swagger, even while it takes its time setting you up for its delights. Over the past few months, and certainly today, I kept finding myself drawn back to this album. Very strong stuff.
In the opposing corner, there's similarly-named-but-nothing-like-them Oceano, hailing from Chicago. Only their second album, "Contagion" goes the tiniest bit deeper into math metal, but it's like slipping a dash of black pepper into a huge pot of jambalaya, as Oceano stay doggedly true to their deathcore roots for 38 singleminded minutes. Breakdowns, blast beats, Cookie Monster vocals... it's all here. But it's also one of those albums that doesn't stick in your memory at all. So maybe it's more like Oceano is slipping a roofie into your beer: you'll get your ass beat, but you won't really remember what happened.
So, in a surprise, The Ocean wins one round (fresh after losing the other). They go on to challenge Norma Jean in two weeks. Tomorrow, it's like a metal Civil War, as New York's thrash godfathers Overkill go against Atlanta's Sevendust.

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