Liverpool five-piece Oceanis have honed an experimental, progressive metal sound that’s crushingly heavy and intense yet melodic. It fuses huge riffs, unrelentingly powerful drums and screamed vocals that intertwine and evolve through constant stylistic shifts, such as blast beats and djent sections.
The Liverpool quintet of Joe Maryanji, Stuart Donachie, Dave Waite, Craig Miles and Phil Dyer crossed paths playing in various local bands and are probably the first band we’ve interviewed to ask us a question in one of our written interviews. They asked us: “We love to ask interviewers questions too! How many tee shirts do you own? We look forward to finding out.
To which the answer is: “I own 22 tee shirts, plus 17 football shirts (having sold a lot more when I went travelling last year). I’m a bit of a football shirt collector. I’m not sure if that’s a lot, or not many at all. How about everyone else?”
They sent us latest single The Universal Constant, which was released in August and is the final part of their four-piece concept EP of the same name. The track, which comes it more than six-and-a-half minutes long, opens up in a seriously heavy fashion with a cool repeating riff then drops into huge screamed vocals under stabbing guitars and big heavy bass drum.
The huge vocals continue for some two minutes, when the drums intensify, before firing into a massive section of screams and unrelenting drums. A big section of pounding guitars and drums feed into a delicious little guitar solo and a lighter pause for breath. That ends with huge screamed vocals over a vast musical backdrop of more powerful dreams, the stabbing riff and atmospheric guitars.
Another guitar solo takes over and drops into a final smash of wild vocals over the fun ascending guitar riff and the dominating drums. It’s frantic, intense, and brilliant, give it a listen here:
On the track, guitarist Phil told us: “We have such a broad range of influences that there are a lot of twists and turns, some interesting metric shifts and some really crushingly heavy riffs. For anyone unfamiliar with our music, I’d say approach it with an open mind because we tend to jump between ideas and never really repeat the same idea twice without some kind of subtle variation.
“The writing process for us has previously been quite slow with songs being written, ripped apart, re-written over and over again. This track started life as an instrumental our drummer Dave had written and slowly grew into the seven minute monster it ended up as.”
A personal favourite track is the previous release New Horizon, which opens up with intense, dramatic guitars under massive screamed vocals. A blitz of heavy guitars takes over then a terrifying blood-curdling scream comes in over a stabbing riff, then gives way to a flurry of guitar riffs under intense vocals.
Those continue through to a cool stabbing riff over rolling powerful drums, then a laid-back guitar solo comes in over heavy drums. It all drops out for a couple of seconds, but the silence is smashed apart by more intense screamed vocals and booming guitars that bring it to a close. Give it a listen here:
While previous track Equalism is equally powerful and intense, give it a listen here:
Oceanis’ band members’ shared influences include the likes of Gojira, Lamb of God, Textures, Opeth and Mastodon.
And on what inspires them to write music, Phil tells us: “I don’t think there is ever a direct ‘influence’ that inspires us to write, as a band we tend to write a lot of material. We have whole sections of songs, riffs, choruses etc that we’ve never found a place for. I think constantly writing has its benefits, even if the idea isn’t great it is practise at writing and finishing ideas so that when you get a good one you can complete it.
“Sometimes one riff can contain all the DNA of a whole piece and can spur on the creative process, other times we may be looking for an old recording and come across half a song for 2012 that we’d forgotten about that works better now with our current sound than it did back then.”
The band have plenty of plans for new material, with live music for now on the backburner. As they explain: “Due to the current state of the world, I think touring is very much off the cards until 2021 but we do have plans to release a live EP containing all the tracks for The Universal Constant.
“We were in the studio recording again recently so I think now is the best time to record and release music we’ve been sat on for a long time. COVID has taught us we can write remotely which is something we’ve never done before, we always wrote in the rehearsal room together. Its sped up the process of writing significantly so we have a lot of material to refine and prepare for 2021.”