Progressive metal band The Ocean are currently mixing Anthropocentric, the sister album to Heliocentric, which came out earlier this year (read our review). Oh yes, this will be great.

Musically, the album might just be somewhat heavier than Heliocentric, which may please some fans. There are the calmer, more acoustic moments, but it seems that the orchestration will be more focused around guitar than with the string and piano elements present on Heliocentric. According to guitarist Jonathan Nido, “The sound is more dense and maybe a tad more raw, which suits the songs perfectly.” Guitarist and songwriter Robin Staps said, “the album is a pretty big production, and still has a very earthy, organic feel to it. 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!” So, stripped down? This is also the first album where every member took an active part in the songwriting process.

The lyrical concept for Anthropocentric is a continuation on the themes explored in Heliocentric, criticizing Christian philosophical beliefs. However, where Heliocentric was focused on the early Christian belief that the Earth was in the center of the universe, Anthropocentric focuses on humans being the center of the universe.

Straight from the press release:

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 Fjodor Dostoyevsky’s novel ‘The Brothers Karamasov’: a conversation between the brothers Ivan, an atheist, and Alyoscha, a monk. Ivan tells Alyoscha the story of a Second Coming of Christ in 16th century Sevilla. 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 giving 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.

If that doesn’t seem interesting to you, what the fuck do you want out of an album? Here’s the tracklist:

01. Anthropocentric
02. The Grand Inquisitor I: Karamazov baseness
03. She Was The Universe
04. For He That Wavereth…
05. The Grand Inquisitor II: Roots & Locusts
06. The Grand Inquisitor III: A Tiny Grain of Faith
07. Sewers Of The Soul
08. Wille Zum Untergang
09. Heaven TV
10. The Almightiness Contradiction
11. The Grand Inquisitor IV: Exclusion From Redemption*

The last song is an exclusive bonus track for vinyl and limited European special edition. America gets the shaft once again. That’s cool, WE DIDN’T WANT IT ANYWAY.

Anthropocentric will be out in November on Metal Blade Records.

– JR


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