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Album Reviews : Oceano – Contagion

By on November 29, 2010

As one of the leading bands in the infamous ‘deathcore’ trend, Chicago’s Oceano have certainly received their fair share of flak from the metal press and internet warriors. With their debut album Depths having been released early 2009 they delivered a record that had two or three fantastic tracks, but twelve forgettable tunes to boot, and coupled with the subsequent departures of founding guitarists Jeremy Carrol and Andrew Mikhail, their follow up album Contagion has ‘do or die’ written all over it.

The opening “Precursor to Enslavement” is the perfect way to kick off the record and a powerful sign of intent from the group, with some tasty grooves punctuating the blast beats, before being wrapped up with a shuddering outro breakdown. The following “Viral Re-Animation” features a quality guest spot from Steve Marios and Alex Erian of the now defunct Despised Icon, but other than the first two tracks, the album’s highlights are very far and few between. “Exist in Confinement” is a nice enough semi-instrumental, but it’s almost a mirror image of the previous album’s title track, while “Regurgitated Disposal of Life”, “Remnants Aflame”, “Quarantine” and “Weaponized” might as well be the same song.

Maybe it’s because of a rushed writing schedule – to be fair it has been a short gap between releases, combined with a relentless touring schedule – but Contagion is seriously lacking in fresh ideas, and even Adam Warren’s ferocious vocals fail to really lift the record. New guitarists Devin Shidaker and Nick Conser lay down their fair share of chugging guitar riffs, their playing sound almost identical to the guitarists that they respectively replaced, and bassist Jason Jones is almost completely non-existent in the mix, not that it’s a rarity in the current metal scene

It’s frustrating as a listener to really sit down and focus on Contagion, because to put as simple as possible; it all sounds the same. You want the band to try something different, but they refuse to move outside the well worn blue print and it ultimately creates a very average record. Once again, Oceano have released a record that bolsters a couple of genuinely awesome songs, but is ultimately dragged down by the lack of quality in the rest of the album. 5.5/10

Band: Oceano
Album: Contagion
Year: 2010
Genre: Deathcore
Origin: Chicago, USA
Label: Earache

Track listing:

1. Precursor To Enslavement <- Reviewers choice
2. Viral Re-Animation
3. Regulated Disposal of Life
4. Quarantine
5. The Contaminated
6. Exist in Confinement
7. Persuasive Oppression
8. Weaponized
9. Sadistic Experiments
10. Remnants Aflame
11. Ending Intellect


Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.