THE OCEAN

DOWN­FALL OF GAIA/HEROD

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Live Reviews - RICH HOB­SON

MAMA ROUX’S, BIRM­ING­HAM

It’s hard to imag­ine heRod fit­ting in any­where bet­ter than a venue dec­o­rated to look like a vi­brant New Or­leans street, their mix of Eye­hat­e­god-style sludge and Sab­bathian doom mired in un­der­ground nas­ti­ness yet also prov­ing tran­scen­den­tal. doWn­faLL of GaIa are a vis­ceral force to be­hold, their post-black metal as­sault reach­ing its full power when live and loud. That said, the band’s back­ing tapes between songs let them down some, dip­ping to be­come little more than background noise rather than al­low­ing seam­less tran­si­tion between songs. the oCean suf­fer no such is­sues; the set is a flaw­less ex­er­cise in at­mo­spher­ics and mys­tique, front­man Loïc Ros­setti keep­ing the crowd on their toes when he un­ex­pect­edly leaps into their midst from atop a stack. For a band who shirk the prog tag, they ex­e­cute a mas­ter­class in the same kind of ti­tanic sound­scapes and performanc­e that has made Gojira so beloved. In pulling off the an­themic Sil­urian: Age Of Sea Scor­pi­ons and crush­ing Ec­tasian, com­plete with guest snarlings from Herod’s Mike Pi­lat alike, The Ocean are seem­ingly set on the same un­der­ground-break­out path as Opeth and Gojira be­fore them.

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