Berlin-based Progressive Metal band The Ocean have announced an “unusual” live album related to their latest album release from Metal Blade, Phanerozoic II. The new live album will feature their Phanerozoic concept album performed live in its entirety at a time when no shows were possible for them.
A single and video have been released of the live version of “Devonian: Nascent” from the album:
The Ocean‘s ninth studio album Phanerozoic II, was released in September of 2020, and is the concluding episode of a “conceptual trilogy” that began with Precambrian 13 years before. With no liveplay opportunities in sight, the band decided to thank their fans for the support with two streaming concerts, performing both Phanerozoic albums in their entirety: Phanerozoic I was streamed live from Pier 2, a big hall in the port of Bremen, on March 25, 2021.
The day after this event, the band retreated to synth player and sound designer Peter Voigtmann’s studio “Die Mühle”, just outside of Bremen. There, the band rehearsed and recorded Phanerozoic II in its entirety during the following three days. The performance aired on April 16th as part of the digital edition of Roadburn Festival.
The contrast between the two recordings is an interesting one, with the first part showing the production of a big stage, and the second part “intimate, almost cosy, focused on musicianship rather than performance”.
Band leader Robin Staps says:
“We wanted to give people two totally different experiences. In Bremen, we had the chance to record a proper Ocean live show, the way people know us. We played facing towards the front of the stage, to an invisible crowd, essentially to a huge empty room… but we knew people were watching, even if we didn’t see them. There was the same rush of adrenaline right before going on stage as you get before going on at any big open air festival… maybe with a little extra anxiety added, because knowing that so many people are watching you without being able to see them yourself was super weird.”
For the second recording, Staps says:
“We wanted to do something more cinematic visually, and at the same time more intimate, we wanted to capture the feeling of the 6 of us in a relatively small, confined space, facing each other, in a circle… without the crowd playing any role or being any part of this equation”, says Staps. “It was March and the room that we spent the whole day in was cold, but that was part of the vibe. We had to warm up our fingers constantly.”
Phanerozoic Live is a live album that was recorded “in a cultural vacuum, a bizarre time that we will remember for the rest of our lives”, according to the band, but it reminds them of “what we miss most, and that gives these recordings a rare intensity and power”. Metal Blade Records will release Phanerozoic Live digitally worldwide, and fans can pre-order physical copies in various formats via Pelagic Records.