‘Earth Is A Whisper’, the first song off of Cetacean’s first album kicks off with a morose drum and saxophone driven part that almost throws you for a loop if you aren’t sure what you’re listening to. It’s something that would fit perfectly alongside some of the more down tempo songs from John Zorn’s Masada albums. But around minute 3, Cetacean show their true colors and kick the door down with some slow and heavy post metal.
Featuring members of Black Sheep Wall, Exhausted Prayer, Ancestors, and Horse the Band, Cetacean swim around the same slow waters as early Intronaut and Oceanic era Isis. On first listen, one wouldn’t be amiss to think they were listening to Mouth Of The Architect, especially the vocals. I’d be shocked if someone in the band hasn’t worn out a copy of Quietly in their time. None of this is a bad thing. In fact, the more you dig into Breach | Submerge, the more Cetacean starts to unfold its sound into something new.
Breach | Submerge has a lot of deep prog sound going on underneath all of the slow and heavy. The guitar solo on 14 minute closer ‘Outpour I, II, III’ wouldn’t sound out of place on any of the latest Between The Buried And Me songs. There is a big focus on melody underlining most of the album, especially during the middle of ‘Outpour I, II, III’, which features some more of that laid back saxophone. The keyboards are understated and add a good bit of atmosphere, especially during the long intrumental parts.
The most interesting section of the album is the centerpiece, ‘Relationships Deteriorate’. It’s got some of the heaviest and catchiest parts within its ten minutes. It also has some of the warmest guitar sound during the more melodic parts. The vocals on the track are a particular high point on the album. At times, it sounds like there are three people all harmonizing their roars at once and it has a nice effect. ‘Relationships Deteriorate’ also features Dan Jackson of Void Ritual with some “howls and growls” that adds a nice touch.
Overall, Breach | Submerge is an excellent album. It’s a very strong debut from a band that seems to have found their sound and mastered it early on. Very excited to see where this young band goes next. Get on this if you’re a fan of Mouth Of The Architect, Neurosis, or Intronaut, You won’t be disappointed.
Album Highlights: Outpour I, II, III, Relationships Deteriorate.
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