The Ocean – Pelagial


(Metal Blade)

I can’t swim. I have a morbid fear of water. I don’t even like being in the bath, which might explain my lack of friends. Pelagial is themed around the various oceanic zones from the Epipelagic (sunlit surface level) to the Benthic where only specialised invertebrate organisms (and Michael Gove) can dwell.

As you can imagine, this album gives me the fear.

There are two versions available, vocal and instrumental. The former is good, but the real magic happens sans singing.

Jump into my diving bell and I’ll be your guide on this descent all the way from the surface right to the ocean floor, where my bell ends.

Note the new age bubbly noises and piano of Epipelagia. All very nice and atmospheric but as we reach 200m below the surface, guitars herald our entry to the Mesopelagic zone.


Is it getting hot in here? Never mind.

Clean guitar arpeggios ring out, underpinned by cello. This is pretty nice. Oh, it’s getting a bit heavier now. Pressure’s increasing. Big riffs and burbling synths. Things are starting to get interesting.

We’re 1000m down now, in the Bathypelagic zone. Those guitars are getting louder and scarier. Are you sure it isn’t too warm in here? I’m starting to sweat a bit. Ah, the piano’s back. That’s nice. Might help me relax a bit. I’ll just sit back a moment and check what’s happening on the monitors.

Christ, it’s dark out there. If I switch on these headbeams we should see some of the HOLY FUCK!!!


This is getting to be not fun any more.

Right on cue The Ocean have switched to ominous and disorientating prog metal. Double-kick pedals beat out crazy time-signatures and chugging downtuned guitars add to the claustrophobic mood. Is there any way to increase the oxygen flow in here? Has someone been messing with the AC?

We’ve reached the 4000m mark, the Abyssopelagic zone. Its brooding, eerie silence is reflected by a section subtitled Signals of Anxiety. No shit, bro. The pace has slowed down. Clean guitar notes over a funereal drum beat presage impending watery doom, as we receive a visit from this behemoth:


Slow, graceful and terrifying,  much like our most recent visitor, the soundtrack begins to pick up pace again for the descent into the Hadopelagic zone.

I’m definitely having difficulty breathing now. Life down here is scarce, just a few jellyfish; which is a pity cos the fish should hear this riff. Do jellyfish like riffs? Do they even have ears? Jellyfish should have ears. If they don’t then they’re really missing out on this album. That wouldn’t be fair. It’s fucking great.

Feel weird now. Demersal zone. Bottom feeders. Here’s a photo of one I picked up on last trip:


Pretty nice threads, huh?

Scary noises now. Guitars and keys all doing different things. Can’t concentrate. Can’t get a handle on any one thing. Time… slowing down. Stretching.


Feel pressure… crushing… brain. Finally reached… Benthic… zone.




1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Damnation Festival – Part One | Demon Pigeon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s