ALBUM: Oceano – Contagion

Release Date: November 9th, 2010
Label: Earache
Website: None available


‘Contagion’ is the follow-up to ‘Depths’, Oceano‘s debut album that made them such a popular band within the deathcore genre. ‘Depths’ was a surprise hit, bearing in mind that the band have had a lot of line-up changes and hadn’t really done much since their inception in 2006. They were another band lurking in the underground who hadn’t attracted much attention up until that point, even though they had a small, devoted fan base. ‘Depths’ was everything that deathcore is about: sinister, heavy and nasty, and it plunged them head-first into the genre as a young, exciting band to keep an eye on.

In a genre that is so hard to sound original, Oceano do well to create an album that is just as ferocious and pitiless as their first offering. ‘Contagion’ kicks off with ‘Precursor To Enslavement’. It doesn’t truly start until 34 seconds in, when the drums blast in with guitars riffing heavily. Vocalist Adam Warren shows his monstrous range, effortlessly going from high vocals to low, deep gutturals and this is something that we become used to throughout ‘Contagion’. His style is one of the highlights of the band. The music may be heavy, but without his pissed-off vocals they would be just another band. The song contains a lot of breakdowns, and without sounding too cliché and derivative the breakdowns work well and are bound to go down well at live gigs.

‘Quarantine’ is an irate, angry affair that’s hard not to move your head along to. The guitars have an infectious, sinister groove that work well with the constant drumming and Warren‘s low to high vocals. It also has a section where it is the heaviest on the album; the breakdown is almost enough to make other deathcore bands give up. If they were to release a song off this album, then ‘Quarantine’ would be a good choice. Instrumental ‘Exist In Confinement’ however shows a softer side to the band and due to the heaviness of every other song, it’s a nice addition to the album. It lets the listener know that the band are not just about trying to sound as heavy and angry as they can, but also have a gentler side to their nature.

Album closer ‘Remnants Aflame’ is the shortest song on the album, but that doesn’t take away any of its evilness or heaviness. In fact, it adds to it. It’s not the best song on ‘Contagion’, but it acts as a fitting end to such a heavy album, possessing everything that Oceano are about: pissed-off vocals, heavy breakdowns, sinister guitars and constant, technical drumming.

They’re definitely not breaking any new ground here, but Oceano show that ‘Depths’ wasn’t just a lucky break. They’re a band that will always have a devoted following, due to their sheer heaviness and ferocious breakdowns. However, they don’t need to do anything new because it works well as it is. If you’re not a fan of deathcore you won’t like this, but if you are it’s not an essential buy, worth a listen and thrashing around to on those days when everything seems to be going wrong and you need to vent out some anger.

Written by Rhys Milsom

Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.

Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.