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donwagenblast 06/02/09 08:22 PM

Oceana - Birth Eater
 
Oceana- Birth Eater
Record Label: Rise Records
Release Date: May 26, 2009

Before the War on Terror and the war in Iraq began, one of the biggest debates in this country was over the issue of abortion. Thanks to the wars, however, the debate on the political stage was placed on the back burner, but thanks to this dimwit from Kansas, we now know that it is still one of the touchiest of subjects in America today.

I refuse to give my opinion on this issue in the review. If you want to talk about my views on abortion, feel free to PM me, post hate comments at the bottom of this page, whatever. For now, I'm going to praise Oceana's delicate and masterful handling on the issue of abortion on their new album, Birth Eater.

One look at the record label section (Rise Records, if you're too lazy to scroll up) will turn people off of Oceana's music. Known as the "bandwagon label" in the scene, Rise Records has shown a commitment to jump ship to each passing trend, signing bands to get scene points. Can't blame them for giving themselves a chance at some great exposure, but bands like Watchout! There's Ghosts and Drop Dead, Gorgeous don't give me much hope for the label to change its ways. The saddest part is, those who dismiss this record as "just another boring Rise release" will be missing out on one of the most ambitious records of the year.

Oceana's debut, The Tide, introduced the band to the scene with a load of screaming. Birth Eater continues that trend with the incredibly fast-paced "Breather II," which serves as a wake-up call to hook the listener in. However, it is on the album's second (and best) track, "The Family Disease," that we are introduced to the soft-yet-powerful clean vocals of the band by new vocalist Brennan Taulbee, which are a far departure from The Tide and a great step in the evolution of the band. It's Taulbee's clean vocals that dominate the vocal arrangements of Birth Eater.As far as the sceaming fans came to expect from Oceana, Taulbee can more than hold his own (see "Breather II," "The Constrictor," and many others for proof).

At its core, Birth Eater is a themed album, circling around the chaotic steps of an abortion. When done correctly, albums with a general theme can vault a band or artist to the forefront, but when done incorrectly, it can be career suicide. While few bands ever correctly pull it off, it is safe to say that Oceana can be added to the list of bands that have. To keep their theme of abortion from growing stale, Oceana explore the many players in an abortion: the child (as seen in "The Family Disease," "The Abortion Plan," "BOA," and "Boneworks"), the mother of that child, who is clearly faced with the decision of a lifetime ("Dead Speaker," and "I Came as Dust, I Left As Dust"), the father of the child, who feels that the responsibility is his to care for this life ("Mother Love"), and the mother and father, who decide to raise the child anyway ("In Birth"). With all these facets covered, Birth Eater is a bonafide classic in the making.

As far as the music goes, a lot can be said on both sides of the fence for Oceana. While they are indeed a metalcore band, a genre littered with mediocre lyrical content and "bro-downs," Birth Eater finds Oceana pushing their creative limits to the fullest, thanks both to the guitar tandem of Jack Burns and Alex Schultz (who also adds vocals to the disc), as seen on "The Family Disease" and "In Birth," and the bass-drum combo of Rob Davies and Denny Agosto (respectively) set a blazing pace to the songs, as seen on the punch-in-the-mouth opener "Breather II" and "Boneworks." All of the band's experimentation and creativity is pressed to its breaking point on the lengthy closing song "Devil Walk, God Walk (Heaven Walk, Hell Walk)," which leaves the listener with not only a great album to digest, but a new view on a topic still quite prevalent in our society.

What sticks the most on Birth Eater is the atmosphere created throughout the album. Though it gets old to give singers all the credit, the mood of this album is solely created by Taulbee. Singing cleanly with a hint of defeat and pessimism in his delivery, and evoking the chaos of not knowing the next step in life with his screaming, Taulbee truly pushes himself to the edge, and for the thrill of the fall, base jumps off of it. The atmospheric genius of the album quickly reaches its pinnacle in "The Family Disease," again, the album's second track. It's almost as if all of the children who were never given the chance to plead for their lives are rubbing the decision to abort in their parents' faces, while Taulbee screams his face off (or at least attempts to), speaking for all of them as loud as he can. This is seen again in "Devil Walk, God Walk (Heaven Walk, Hell Walk)," though it is not as effective.

As I said before, most people will dismiss Oceana for different reasons: their deal with Rise Records, their fight for survival in the pool of monotony in the metalcore genre, their open stance against abortion, or anything else haters come up with. However, if they are able to bypass this bias, they will be blessed with an ambitious, almost perfectly executed release that will (hopefully) remain as one of the premier records of this year, and one of the few great metalcore records.

Recommended if You LikeNorma Jean, The Devil Wears Prada, Silverstein


MySpacewww.myspace.com/oceanafl

TrevCore 06/12/09 08:34 PM

awesome review..although i have to say i disagree on one point. i think "the tide" was much more creative and expirimental than this album. thats not to say this one isnt though. i liked the more atmospheric and meandering guitar riffs on the tide, kinda made it more unique. i still love this album and agree fully with your interpretation of the topic on this album though.

SomedayTheFire 06/13/09 02:29 PM

Million doller question. How much of this album is singing?

TotalCollapse 06/13/09 04:24 PM

I really enjoyed this album. Some of the songs were quite catchy, especially "The Family Disease". It's an improvement over "The Tide", which was just mediocre imo.

cr0psy 06/14/09 08:20 AM

In all honesty, this album disapointed me

The Tide was perfect.
It was atmospheric, heavy, and beautiful at the same time

Alot of the songs on this CD sound the same


Don't get me wrong, I love it
But I expected something like The Tide...but different.

Klatzke 06/14/09 10:55 AM

Good review, though that riyl is wierd.

raychull 06/15/09 09:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SomedayTheFire (Post 45298732)
Million doller question. How much of this album is singing?

a lot more than the last.

Overall, I thought it was a pretty good album, although I don't see it having a very long lasting effect on me.

Handraa 06/15/09 06:37 PM

great review.

donwagenblast 06/16/09 08:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Klatzke (Post 45342032)
Good review, though that riyl is wierd.


In all honesty, I think I'm the shittiest RIYL person on this site.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Handraa (Post 45469012)
great review.



thank you.

Klatzke 06/16/09 08:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by donwagenblast (Post 45523152)
In all honesty, I think I'm the shittiest RIYL person on this site.




thank you.

LOL I woulda just gone with like "deftones; the anti mother; saosin with balls" rather than the trendy bands.

Like I said though, solid review.

donwagenblast 06/16/09 08:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Klatzke (Post 45523942)
LOL I woulda just gone with like "deftones; the anti mother; saosin with balls" rather than the trendy bands.

Like I said though, solid review.

haha, saosin with balls is greattt. and thank you.

TimT 06/17/09 12:47 AM

kinda reminds me of dead poetic

boringusername 06/19/09 08:29 PM

Quote:

What sticks the most on Birth Eater is the atmosphere created throughout the album. Though it gets old to give singers all the credit, the mood of this album is solely created by Taulbee. Singing cleanly with a hint of defeat and pessimism in his delivery, and evoking the chaos of not knowing the next step in life with his screaming, Taulbee truly pushes himself to the edge, and for the thrill of the fall, base jumps off of it. The atmospheric genius of the album quickly reaches its pinnacle in "The Family Disease," again, the album's second track. It's almost as if all of the children who were never given the chance to plead for their lives are rubbing the decision to abort in their parents' faces, while Taulbee screams his face off (or at least attempts to), speaking for all of them as loud as he can. This is seen again in "Devil Walk, God Walk (Heaven Walk, Hell Walk)," though it is not as effective.

One of my favorite parts of a review, ever. No lie. I love you/this review, great job.

donwagenblast 06/20/09 11:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by boringusername (Post 45933312)
One of my favorite parts of a review, ever. No lie. I love you/this review, great job.

why thank you :)

Akissforher 06/22/09 05:32 AM

cant really get into these guys, though i am really liking your reviews, love to see more :D