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Oceansize - "Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up" (CD)

Oceansize - "Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up" CD cover image

"Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up" track listing:

1. Part Cardiac
2. SuperImposer
3. Build Us a Rocket Then...
4. Oscar Acceptance Speech
5. Ransoms
6. A Penny's Weight
7. Silent/Transparent
8. It's My Tail and I'll Chase It If I Want To
9. Pine
10. SuperImposter

Reviewed by on January 7, 2011

"Regardless of whether the album is heavy enough for the average metalhead or not, the fact remains that 'Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up' is an excellent album that provides ten strong tracks with few flaws and certainly no filler."

Very few bands have the ability to merge two completely opposite genres together and yet have its sound come across as one, fluent piece of music. Oceansize is one of those bands, combining portions of progressive rock and occasional bursts of sludge metal together within "Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up." This ten track record offers up everything from noisy, complex, and chaotic passages to soft and sombre sections, all the while sounding cohesive and precise. "Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up" is an album with a sound that is truly unique and leaves a long lasting impression on the listener.

Songs such as "Build Us A Rocket Then" really give a true insight into the world of Oceansize. Complex drumming and unconventional guitar work blends perfectly with its inclusion of melody, creating a captivating composition. At times it is heavy, and at other's it sounds as if this stuff could almost be on the radio. The vocal work, while containing the occasional scream and grunt, is mostly based around harmony and melody and has a rather charming effect, even in the heaviest of sections. The same could also be said for every other track on the record.

The album's two longest songs, "Oscar Acceptance Speech" and "Silent/Transparent," are by far the most laid back tracks off of the disc. Both, while undeniably unique from one another, are written in much the same way. While the latter is based more around guitar passages "Oscar Acceptance Speech" is mainly an endearing piano ballad. Both songs are beautiful journeys through sublime sounds and are great counterpoints to the act's more chaotic side. The near nine minute length of each track also works in the band's favor, allowing for both songs to grow as they progress.

One thing that is slightly unfortunate about this release is the fact that there are fewer moments on the heavier side. Oceansize is a professor in the art of blending earth crushing riffs with its clean vocal style, yet only a few tracks take full advantage of the band's talent. That's not to say the soft songs are not worthy of checking out, because they are equally as fantastic, but "Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up" could have used just another moment or two of sludgy chunk.

Regardless of whether the album is heavy enough for the average metalhead or not, the fact remains that "Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up" is an excellent album that provides ten strong tracks with few flaws and certainly no filler. Oceansize provides a sound experience that is two parts Porcupine Tree, one part Bison B.C., and one part criminally insane and is a breath of fresh air for the currently stale progressive metal scene.

Highs: A strong album with a unique sound that reveals new layers with each spin.

Lows: Could have used a few more moments on the heavier side.

Bottom line: A fantastic blend of progressive rock and sludgy metal.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)