Ocean Sleeper – Is It Better Feeling Nothing
Released: August 19th, 2022
Karl Spiessl // Vocals
Ionei Heckenberg // Guitar/Vocals
Stan Liagourdis // Guitar
Jarred Robson // Drums
There must be something in the water in Gippsland, Victoria because the sheer quality of metalcore coming from the region is world-class. Leading the pack is Ocean Sleeper who, since their inception, have gained a dedicated fan base throughout the country and the world. Following on from their critically acclaimed debut album Don’t Leave Me This Way, which cemented this act as an upcoming favourite, we are now brought to the group’s latest release. The singles released thus far have displayed this act in a new light. The diversity of their sound has stretched to new lengths which leaves me wanting to find out what direction the EP will go.
‘You Kill The Good In Me’ kicks off the EP with an explosion of sound, the low-tuned guitars and double kicks expand the group’s sound to new, heavy depths which are surprising. Opening lyrics “I would rather be on my own” from Karl Spiessl draws me in and right off the bat, Spiessl displays his newly found low range and it’s delightful to hear. I almost had to double-check that I was listening to Ocean Sleeper before Ionei Heckenberg stepped in with one of his ever-so-contagious hooks. A mosh-inducing breakdown towards the outro leaves me hanging for more, which leads us to ‘Parasite’. Kicking off on the same heavy note, that the previous track left off on, the group’s change from their usual melodic sound allows me to look at Ocean Sleeper in a refreshing new light. They certainly are not one-trick-ponies by any stretch of the imagination and all it takes is one listen of this track to prove that undoubtedly. Jaydon Colvin from Gippsland band Outloved steps in as a guest vocalist on this offering and screams his way through the track, adding a welcomed dynamic.
The tempo slows down for the first time during ‘King Of Nothing’ and we are brought back to the band’s melodic roots. Heckenberg flourishes in the moment with his clean vocals which I can clearly envision will be sung loudly by punters in packed-out band rooms throughout the country on their upcoming headline tour. A breakdown towards this sure-to-be crowd favourite’s ending touches on the group’s new era of heavy sounds that the band have perfectly crafted throughout the beginning of this release.
Similarly to the EP’s first two songs, the latest single from this EP to be released, ‘Your Love I’ll Never Need’, is heavier and faster than what we are used to from this band, however, this particular song manages to stay true to the catchy, melodic sounds that we have all come to love this band for. Jarred Robson‘s impressive work on the drums shines through, particularly throughout the lead-up to the breakdown, leaving space for the layered guitars to thrive as it all comes together for a very impactful sound. The final track on the EP is ‘Forever Sinking’, a single that displays this band in an image we have always known them for – being the masters of their own craft. The dynamic between vocalists Karl and Ionei is perfectly balanced, works cohesively and nothing is overdone. The layered guitars aren’t over the top, leaving the limelight on the vocalists as they shine from beginning to end.
Having seemingly mastered their melodic metalcore sound, Ocean Sleeper have expanded their horizons and ventured into new territory — a bold but necessary move. The next generation of Australia’s metalcore heavyweights are just as strong as the last and with Ocean Sleeper at the forefront, it’s safe to say that the future of this genre is looking ever so bright.
Ocean Sleeper – Is It Better Feeling Nothing tracklisting:
1. You Kill Me In A Good Way
2. Parasite featuring Jaydon Colvin of Outloved
3. King Of Nothing
4. Your Love I’ll Never Need
5. Forever Sinking