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Album Review OCEANIC-City of Glass :: Maelstrom :: Issue No 77
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8/10 Avi

OCEANIC - City of Glass - CD - Indie - 2014

City of Glass is the debut, self released album by the Israeli, alternative metal band Oceanic. The three adjectives in this introduction should not deter you though: this debut is ripe (and in fact the band exists for a while, and we reviewed its performance at the 2012 Progstage Festival in issue #74); it was produced by Yossi Sassi (the once-Orphaned Land guitarist, who also contributes fame) to excellent result; plus there's nothing about the music to reveal its Israeli source (in contrast with the music of Orphaned Land, for example).

The latter remark is not just a pretty way of saying this is generic music, but rather to emphasize its universal characteristics. True, Oceanic does not sound original, but it does manage to stand out from the crowded pack due to a combination of good, melodic songwriting, technical proficiency and a credible, winning performance.

The songs are emotive and typically reflect on life while being inspired from works of art (Breaking Bad fans should not miss the band's tribute in "Wind Up In A Barrel"), and the vocal performance of leader Idan Liberman is fantastic, true to the songs.

Stylistically Oceanic borders on both alternative rock and progressive metal (think Pain Of Salvation, though Oceanic clearly benefits from a different vibe). The guitar work is inventive, as can be witnessed on "Fish you should," with its delicate, electronically manipulated guitar textures, and on "Eva The Cat Doesn't Sleep" - which masterfully blends acoustic and electric guitars (and manages to remains effective even though its lyrics don't quite make sense; luckily this is the exception). The rhythm section is one of the finest you can find: punchy and creative it serves both to nail you with rhythms provoking headbanging, including tightly interlocked double-bass drums and bass; as well as to maintain your interest with spurs in the form of a melodic bass line or interesting drum fill. This can be heard, loud and clear, on over seven, forceful minutes of the titular song "Oceanic." (8/10)


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