LIVE REVIEW: THE OCEAN, DOWNFALL OF GAIA AND HEROD

THE OCEAN + DOWNFALL OF GAIA + HEROD
March 2019, Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Words and pic: Graham Matthews

It is a night full of fine quality progressive metal, executed brilliantly in a wonderful atmosphere, when The Ocean call in at one of the best beloved independent venues in Leeds.

Switzerland’s Herod kick things off with tight riffs and a powerful blast through their some of their latest album. The front three’s synchronised rocking and the infectious groove soon catches eyes (and ears), their clear enjoyment passing over to the crowd; signed to Pelagic Records and with former The Ocean member Mike Pilat on vocals and guitar, it’d be hard to find a better opener. Current vocalist for The Ocean Loïc Rossetti joining for a song is great to see too.

Fresh from releasing the best album of their career so far, Downfall Of Gaia bring a moodier atmosphere with their doom-infused post-black metal. That’s not to say spirits drop – the blistering speed blending into delicate segments filled with melancholy – climatically rising and falling – is wholly absorbing. In the dark and relatively compact surroundings of The Brudenell’s main room, it is incredibly effective.

With just about all six of the live band fitting onto the stage, The Ocean start with the first two tracks from their latest album, Phanerozoic I: Paleozoic. Understandably, it’s a setlist based mostly around their past two albums, from some of their newest monoliths to a few of the shorter, almost sing-along cuts from Pelagial.

The clear sound quality and the band’s own technical prowess makes for an enchanting performance on its own, but combined with the thematic blue and green lighting and vocalist Loïc’s energy, enthusiasm and engagement, it elevates this to a mesmerising experience. The feeling of the songs ring through and help bring the ocean and other concepts to life. Barely a note or foot is put wrong during an enthralling 90 minutes of progressive metal magnificence.

Catch The Ocean on the remaining dates of their European tour, or listen to The Ocean, Downfall of Gaia and Herod online and wait for them to come to a town near you.

Upcoming live dates
Wednesday 03 April 2019
Trädgårn, Gothenburg, Sweden

Thursday 04 April 2019
Union Scene, Drammen, Norway

Friday 05 April 2019
Gregers, Hamar, Norway

Saturday 06 April 2019
Folken, Stavanger, Norway

Sunday 07 April 2019
1000 Fryd, Aalborg, Denmark

Monday 08 April 2019
Vega Musikkens Hus – Lille Vega (Small Hall), Copenhagen, Denmark

Friday 28 June 2019 – Sunday 30 June 2019
Full Force Festival 2019
Full Force, Gräfenhainichen, Germany

Wednesday 03 July 2019 – Saturday 06 July 2019
Resurrection Fest 2019
Campo de Fútbol Celeiro, Viveiro, Spain

Thursday 15 August 2019 – Saturday 17 August 2019
ArcTanGent 2019
Fernhill Farm, Compton Martin, UK

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