On September 25th, THE OCEAN will release their 8th full-length, Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic, via Metal Blade Records (CD / digital) and the band’s own Pelagic Records (vinyl). In 2018, THE OCEAN released Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic — the first half of a sprawling but superbly cohesive paleontology concept album. Now, the group is ready to release the eagerly-awaited concluding parts of the Phanerozoic journey.
For a preview of Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic, a video for the new single “Oligocene” (filmed by band members Loic Rossetti, David Ahfeldt and Robin Staps, plus edited and animated by Craig Murray) can be seen below.
The video was shot in the Aragats mountains in Armenia, during the band’s “Siberian Traps” tour in the summer of 2019, which brought them to Russia, Kazachstan, Armenia, Georgia and Japan.
“We found this place by accident: the dilapidated ruins of a soviet observatory & research station for cosmic radiation,” comments guitarist and founding member Robin Staps. “The building itself looked like a spaceship that had crash-landed up high in the mountains, but there were lots of interesting structures scattered across the landscape: concrete cubes, underground tunnels, rusted machinery, fallen power poles and watchtowers. It all looked like taken straight out of Andrej Tarkovsky‘s Stalker movie,” concludes Staps, referring to the ingenious classic that was also the backbone of THE OCEAN‘s 2013 album Pelagial.
The instrumental track was written by drummer Paul Seidel, but recorded with synth player Peter Voigtmann on drums. It serves as a transitional track from the busy and heavy first half of the record (Mesozoic) into the more relaxed, spacious and cold ambient vibes prevailing on the second half of the record (Cenozoic).