The Ocean’s Phanerozoic II: the conclusion to an epic journey four billion years in the making

Prog metal doesn’t get any more ambitious than the final part of The Ocean’s history of the Earth

(Image: © Metal Blade)

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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.

Louder’s resident Cult Of Luna obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.