Right off the back of a 6 months world tour, the Berlin-based atmospheric post metal juggernaut The Ocean (Collective) returns with the follow-up to their critically acclaimed Phanerozoic double album. Holocene sees The Ocean add a closing chapter to their palaeontology-inspired album series, presenting a gear shift towards the electronic world while redefining heaviness at the same time. With Holocene The Ocean draw us into their momentum of truly forward-thinking music and relentless live performances. More than 20 years into their career, this Berlin-based collective still shake us to the core, inviting us to reconsider our lives from different angles. Dwelling in the depths of our inner contemplations, while looking up, we can see the light at the surface. A light we might have taken for granted for so long, but of which The Ocean show us a rare glimpse of perspective. Holocene unites the might of this massive act’s past and present, while creating a deeper understanding of their world as well as ours in the process.
THE WORLD IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE & I AM NO LONGER AFRAID TO DIE
Sometimes, the best place to begin is at the end. If you really want to dig deep into Illusory Walls, the fourth album by The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die, it definitely helps to do that. That’s because epic closer “Fewer Afraid”—all 19 minutes, 44 seconds of it—doesn’t just revisit the themes and ideas on the ten songs that precede it, but also offers a self-aware summary of the Connecticut band’s entire history. It’s the conclusion of all the stories within the record as well as a nod to all the lives that helped make them—little glimpses of everything that’s come before, on both a micro, immediate level, and a more universal one.
“That song is a higher level look at my whole life and the whole world,” explains vocalist/guitarist David F. Bello, “as well as the album, our band, and our discography. It places the band in the context of the rest of the world as if we’re listening to everything that came before. It touches on all the themes of the previous songs, but there are also callbacks to songs from earlier in our career. But in this song, they’re the object, not the subject—I’m talking about a world in which these things happen, not talking about these things happening.”
Over the last decade, Shy, Low’s progression and continuous effort to push the boundaries of ambient and heavy music has manifested itself into explosive live performances, highly regarded releases on Spartan Records and an immense appreciation for artistry. 2019 brought the band spots at Dunk! Fest and Post In Paris Fest, where they shared the stage with bands including Alcest, Bossk, Ufommaut & Wang Wen following a month-long, self-booked and self-financed European tour. Over the years, the band has consistently conveyed a fresh and reimagined love for lush soundscapes, heart-wrenching melodies, and gritty, fuzz-based head-banging goodness across their catalogue on Pelagic Records, Spartan Records, and Fluttery Records: “Snake Behind The Sun” (2021), “Burning Day” (2017), “Hiraeth” (2015), “Binary Opposition” (2013)” and “Self-Titled” (2011).