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Album Review: Oceansize - Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up
by Ryan Felder

I've been a Muse fan for ages. You know, Muse, that ridiculous British rock band with that song in Guitar Hero? They're one of those groups with an incredible sound and energy. As I began to listen to more progressive, technical music, I noticed that they just don't have that same kind of compositional depth that really keeps me coming back to the music. I wanted something that keeps that kind of over-the-top, theatrical feel yet balances it with a more finely attuned ear for song composition. Essentially, I was looking for Muse meets Godspeed You! Black Emperor. And that's when I discovered Oceansize.

Oceansize typically take the bombastic feel of a Muse track and extend it over an 8-9 minute progressive rock epic. What I love about them is the fact that they embrace the post-rock aesthetic with a more mainstream spin. However, they've also never been an aggressive-enough band to really keep me interested for a long time. But their new record, Self Preserved While The Bodies Float Up, marks the end of that. This record sees them embracing sludge and post-metal in several of their tracks. The results: breathtaking.

The album starts with a bang; the first three tracks being both the most radical departure from their former work and the highlights of the album. Dark, distorted, harsh riffs ooze from the speakers and pummel the listener, while the odd tempos and chord changes give the discerning ear something fascinating to focus on. The rest of the record is a little closer to their classic sound; the two long songs definitely remind me of some of Radiohead's quieter moments.

If you're interested in any atmospheric post-rock kind of music, check this album out. If you listen to post-sludge metal like Isis or Rosetta, you'll dig this. If you like mainstream prog/alternative like Radiohead, you will also like this. Honestly, if you're into any kind of intelligent music, you will enjoy this. And then you will enjoy the rest of their discography when you get it because you love this album so much!