When they released Precambrian in 2007, progressive intellectuals The Ocean started the most epic of epic voyages: using their music to tell the entire history of the Earth. Two albums and 13 years later, Phanerozoic II caps off Robin Staps and co’s gargantuan odyssey. It bridges the Triassic period and the present day while also proving to be this trilogy’s most rounded, essential entry. Prog, post-metal, synth rock and classical music all enjoy their fair shake, with technicality being traded for eclecticism as the runtime progresses. The compositions simplify as they go, but the strings- and keys-led majesty of the latter half compensates beautifully, to the point where penultimate cut Pleistocene is a sure-fire career highlight. This is a dynamic conclusion to a saga 4,500 million years in the making, and it’s worth every second of the wait.
(Image: © Metal Blade)