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In the hardcore market, writing music that addresses themes of faith and religion is a risky business, especially if it’s a debut album by a relatively unknown band. If artists like Thrice and Mewithoutyou achieve subtle nods to God in their lyrics, melodic hardcore outfit, Being As An Ocean embrace their faith with open arms. Having said this, ‘Dear G-d‘ is an album as relatable for atheists as it is for those who subscribe to the divine. The record is a raw emotional rollercoaster and the obvious passion that is derived from the band’s faith just makes the full 52 minutes that much more engaging.
Each song on the album, beginning with the brute strength of the first track, ‘Nothing, Save the Power They’re Given’ and closing with the melancholy ambience of ‘If They’re Not Counted, Count Me Out’ flows into one another.
The sounds of the album seem to move like a wave, alternating smoothly between hard hitting mosh-worthy breakdowns as heard in ‘We Will Never Be the Same’ and the title tract ‘Dear G-d’ and retreating often to the hypnotic tones of the clean vocals, suggestive of band’s like Listener. Mid way through the record, ‘It’s Not Really As Complicated As You Make It Out To Be’ captures the ambience of the album in an epic seven minute instrumental.
Maintaining the constant energy of the record, is the lengthily titled ‘The Hardest Part is Forgetting Those You Swore You Would Never Forget.’ An impressive track that proves that Being As An Ocean have a rare talent for intelligent and affecting writing, the lyrics wax poetically in the deep throaty growl of the vocals:
“You see love’s a funny thing the way it lingers in the mind
No matter what you do or the passing of time
That ember still glows for those lovers behind.”
Throughout the album, purposefully minimal guitar tracks expose the raw power that the vocalist holds, and in ‘The Loneliness Won’t Be The Death Of Me’ when he shouts, “God, I’m so sick of this place!” the sheer impact of his voice almost knocks the breath right out of you.
The momentum of ‘Dear G-d’ is one that may exhaust many listeners, and enthuse others. Just like Tolstoy’s War and Peace isn’t to be thought of as ‘light reading,’ Being As An Ocean’s debut release isn’t exactly what you’d call background music. If you are, however, willing to sit down and lend your ears, you’re in for one hell of a ride.
1. The Hardest Part Is Forgetting Those You Swore You Would Never Forget
2. Dear G-d
3. Nothing, Save The Power They’re Given
4.This Loneliness Won’t Be The Death Of Me
5. The Sea Always Seems To Put Me At Ease
6. Salute e Vita
7. Humble Servant, Am I
8. It’s Really Not As Complicated As You’re Making It Out To Be
9. This Room Is Alive
10. We Will Never Be The Same
11. If They’re Not Counted, Count Me Out