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13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 9, 2010
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Anthropocentric + Heliocentric + Precambrian
Price for all three: $36.97

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Editorial Reviews

Musically, the album feels somehow heavier than Heliocentric. The sound is more dense and maybe a tad more raw, which suits the songs perfectly, comments guitar player Jonathan Nido. The album covers a similar sonic and dynamic range as Heliocentric, also including a number of calm, acoustic moments but these are for the most part orchestrated with guitars, and not so much with piano and string section. The focus is on the heavy songs: The album is a pretty big production, and still has a very earthy, organic feel to it, comments guitarist Robin Staps. We have spent a great deal of time on the basic sound this time around, drums, bass, guitars and vocals... and at this stage I am pretty confident that this will pay off in the end!

As far as the concepts behind Anthropocentric are concerned, the focus is on man and his place in the universe: at the center, as many fundamental Christians still claim today, or more likely a dust particle in its periphery? All lyrics are circling around this question. Anthrioicentric will continue the critique of Christianity, inspired by the questions that Dostoyevsky asked and some of the answers that Friedrich Nietzsche and Richard Dawkins gave, comments Stapps.

At the base of the album are three songs with the titles The Grand Inquisitor I, II, and III. These songs have been inspired by the chapter of the same title in Fyodor Dostoyevsky s novel The Brothers Karamasov: a conversation between brothers, Ivan, an atheist and Alyoscha, a monk. Ivan tells Alyoscha the story of a Second Coming of Christ in 16th century Seville. According to this parable, Jesus is arrested by the catholic inquisition. The grand inquisitor who interrogates Jesus casts a new light on the legend of the temptation of Christ: he reproaches Jesus with having betrayed humanity and having deprived man of salvation by offering him freedom. The conversation between Ivan and Alyoscha mirrors, to some degree the conversation between the grand inquisitor and Christ and raises more questions than it answers. This long dialogue, which for the most part is rather a monologue of Ivan is so complex and recondite that one could easily find inspiration for 10 concept albums about Christianity in it, comments Staps.

1. Anthropocentric
2. The Grand Inquisitor, Pt. 1: Karamazov Baseness
3. She Was the Universe
4. For He That Wavereth...
5. The Grand Inquisitor, Pt. 2: Roots & Locusts
6. The Grand Inquisitor, Pt. 3: A Tiny Grain of Faith
7. Sewers of the Soul
8. Willie Zum Antergang
9. Heaven TB
10. The Almighty Contradiction

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 9, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Metal Blade
  • ASIN: B00447G2YS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,197 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 9, 2010
Format: MP3 Music
In a year of such great music, it's increasingly difficult to pick the standouts. Sure, it's a great problem to have. The downside is people like me have less to bitch about. Don't get me wrong, there is a plethora of suck out there and I can always find something that eats my goats. It just seems the quality music is over represented, furthering my theory that many great musicians are gravitating toward heavy music as a means to control their visions.

One of my favorite albums of all time is Nine Inch Nail's The Fragile. It's an overly-ambitious heavy symphony of raw emotion. In that same vein, The Ocean has created a two-part masterpiece of metal. The first part is a previous release from earlier this year, Heliocentric. The follow-up, Anthropocentric picks up where Heliocentric ends as critique of Christianity. Musically, it's a continuation of sweeping, epic metal The Ocean delved into with 2007's Precambrian.

If you aren't familiar with The Ocean, then get out from underneath your rock, dude. They are also known as The Ocean Collective because they have been a hub for a bazillion musicians in Europe to fly in and out of. This quote from their PR kit is too good not to share: "It's pointless to try to recall every past member of The Ocean. There must have been about 30-40 in total. Nobody remembers all of them. Some may have died or sunk into alcoholism; others may still be alive but have just mysteriously disappeared at some point, even during tours." If the band can't even remember their own history of musicians, then don't bother.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marcus Giegerich on December 16, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Heliocentric, being Part 1 of The Ocean's duology of albums released in 2010 introduced us to a new vocalist and a more stripped down sound with even some gentler shadings appearing throughout the disc. The vocals where a balance of clean singing and harsh growls and I though they did a good job integrating them over all for a pretty broad sonic spectrum.

Enter part 2, Anthropocentric. This disc is even more stripped down, with minimal classical instrumentation and a purer Metal band feel. The songs are a bit heavier over all on this album and in a way you could say that this album is to Heliocentric as Aeolian was to Fluxion, but that is only a loose comparison.

The album opens with its lone epic which is the title track. While there are some really wonderfully intense spots in the song, it doesn't quite live up to it's potential. The next 2 tracks fall into a similar sonic space. Both are OK, but nothing special. The 4th track "For He that Wavereth" is a short, softer piece and by this point I'm thinking that this album is a dud. Then track #5 "The Grand Inquisitor II: Roots and Locusts" happens. Ah yes. YES. HELL YES!!!! THIS is what I was expecting from The Ocean and here is where the album really kicks it up. The song is a great combination of catchy melodies and crushing riffs accompanied by a mix of clean and some severely harsh vocals. Just when I thought the album had turned itself around, we get The "Grand Inquisitor III: A Tiny Grain of Faith" which is a totally weird techno piece with female vocals and it literally comes out of nowhere. Mercifully, this oddball only lasts for 2 minutes and the final 4 tracks of the album are all pretty strong.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Hill. Clark. on April 11, 2011
Format: Audio CD
My review of Anthropocentric:

Heliocentric was a big big letdown for me. I own every The Ocean album and they are about the best metal albums coming out these days, so so advanced and musical, so huge sounding with so many instruments, vocvals, etc, and incredibly destructive riffage strewn throughout.

But Heliocentric was weak, not fun to listen to, and just... didn't fit well with the rest of the albums, I would call it their worst. It was too mellow to boot! Too mellow! They were trying out the new singer, and I just hated it.

But this second album (technically this is part two Anthropcentric is like the second side), is INCREDIBLE. It's among the best metal I've ever heard (which is par for the course for this band). The new singer finds his stride on this album, the slow interludes between crushing metal are soulful and beautiful in ways Heliocenttric couldn't pull off, and the crushing heaviness of the rest of the album is pure headbanging ear candy.

Production is high, tghe album art is typical Ocean, which is to say, spectacular, you need the cd, don't download, the album in hand is part of the experience with this band.

If I could give this album six stars I would. Flawless execution. That's high praise coming from me, read my review of Heliocentric and you'll understand.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Well, what to say about The Ocean? When Heliocentric first came out and we were exposed to their (brilliant) new vocalist you could tell things had changed from the heaviness of Precambrian. Is that a bad thing? Does a change from the normal mean a band is any worse? I must say definitely not.

If any band were to capitalize on the skill of their vocalist, The Ocean is the frontrunner. Loic seems more capable as a vocalist than most anyone I've listened to, and they make him work his ass off in this album.

Besides the topic of the album, which in itself is great, the music keeps you into it. It's catchy, but not cheesy. Songs like "She was the Universe" do not ring hollow; they are stimulating and hands down just awesome.

Other songs speak back to The Ocean's early style; Sewer of the Soul, and Heaven TV both are heavy, technical and seriously, listen to Heaven TV and tell me their Drummer hasn't worn his wrist to dust on it.

Overall this album keeps getting my attention; I listen to it many times each day, choose to listen to its songs just because the distraction is so welcome.

5/5 man, I love it, I want more.
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