Coalescing around a shared vision of limitless sonic exploration and relentless heaviness, The Ocean (Collective) have gained a formidable reputation within the post rock, post metal and experimental hardcore scene with 9 studio albums in nearly 20 years. Simultaneously revered as one of the most devastating live bands in modern heavy music, the band became a regular fixture on the European festival circuit, appearing on metal festival bills of the likes of Hellfest, Wacken, Resurrection or Summer Breeze as much as on mainstream rock open airs like Roskilde, Dour, Pukkelpop, or Oya and tastemaker's indoor boutique festivals like Roadburn or Dunk! Over the course of their storied career, The Ocean have toured Europe, North and South America, Australia and Asia with bands such as Opeth, Mastodon, Mono, Cult Of Luna, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Anathema, Between The Buried And Me and Devin Townsend. The band’s own Pelagic Records has become one of the world's leading labels for post-rock and post-metal, with a catalogue of over 200 physical releases since 2009. Over the last two decades, The Ocean have been in a perpetual state of evolution, releasing a steady succession of groundbreaking and acclaimed albums that have all sought to push heavy music forward, embracing the cerebral and the primal in equal measure. In September of 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, the Berlin-based collective released the eagerly-awaited concluding episode of the Phanerozoic journey: and even without any touring to support the release, Phanerozoic II entered the official German album charts at #9, making it the first Top 10 album in the history of the band. Divided into two sections – Mesozoic and Cenozoic – Phanerozoic II once again showcases the detail and depth that have become two of the band's most enduring trademarks. While ostensibly delving into the extraordinary realities of the Earth’s shifting temporal tides, main writer and guitarist Robin Staps and his comrades have long drawn hazy parallels between their chosen subjects and the emotional experiences that their music strives to convey. Phanerozoic II is essentially an album about time, with some very poignant and pointed allusions to the modern world woven into the new music’s spiritual fabric. "We’re stoked to take our pandemic album Phanerozoic II out on the road after all this downtime, some rescheduled shows and some new ones“, comments Staps. "With LLNN and Playgrounded we have 2 like-minded cutting edge bands on board that are 'redefining heaviness', to speak in Roadburn terms, not only by distorted guitars but also by their innovative use of electronics in heavy music.
Honored by Metal Hammer as one of "10 post metal bands that should be huge“, Copenhagen’s LLNN dropped Unmaker last fall, an album hat is a stupefyingly unforgiving affair: abrasive and vile, at times effervescent and escharotic, and finally absolutely smothering, suffocating, terminal. Revolver describes their sound as "avalanching bass rumbles and violent drums bash the groove into the ground with the force of King Kong punching the earth“, but LLNN’s contemporary heaviness is more than that: it’s also the very dominant synths that evoke the vibe of dystopian, post-apocalyptic sci-fi movies, inspired by composers like Brad Fiedel, Vangalis, John Carpenter and Stanley Kubrick as much as by Sci-Fi / horror games like Silent Hill, Dead Space, Halo and Limbo. It doesn't come as a suprise that ever since their inception, LLNN have triggered the interest of movie soundtrack composers-- like the award-winning Peter Albrechtsen, known for his work on movies like „Dunkirk”, “Antichrist” or “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”: ”As a sound designer for movies, I love when music feels like a sonic adventure“, says Albrechtsen. „I’m obsessed with music that explores what sound can do to our body, to our mind, to our imagination. LLNN 's new album is one of the most overwhelmingly intense records I’ve heard in quite a while and the way it blends abstract ambient sounds, shattering rhythms and extreme noise is both hypnotic and powerful. The sense of sonic detail is staggering and for each spin I hear new elements, echoes, textures and my mind gets new visual associations. Sometimes it feels like the soundtracks of Apocalypse Now and Eraserhead has been melted together and blasted through a ferocious guitar amp - these songs have both a sense of impending doom and an extraordinary combination of raw energy and gritty beauty.“
Hailing in equal parts from Greece and the Netherlands, Playgrounded have exploded onto the scene this spring with their sophomore album „The death of Death“, a stunningly heavy and melancholic album which shows the band in full flux, experimenting with distorted guitars and complex rhythmical arrangements as well as with influences from influential contemporary electronic music. Playgrounded analyse and take apart their surroundings, reducing reality to its smallest components, and subsequently converting them into sound to create a new platform - a representation of reality from which they build their artistic vision. In essence "The death of Death" is dialectical, a study of unity in opposition. A disclosure of contradictory aspects of reality, an expression of their mutual relationship. From these contradictions the band manages to construct a brooding world of dark magnificence. "The death of Death" has the appeal of a film score that slowly starts to haunt you as the movie progresses. The more you listen to it, the more its sublime beauty becomes apparent.