Photo by Wade Gosselin
How fitting: The best local album of the year is one that reasserts the necessity of the LP. Pantheon of the Lesser, the second release by doom-metal titans Ocean is, in size and tone, decidedly radio- and mp3-unfriendly. Its A- and B-sides, “The Beacon” and “Of the Lesser,” run about 36 and 23 minutes, respectively. The vocals (by Candy and guest Yoshiko Ohara) are tortured and indecipherable. The mood is dark and unforgiving. The pace is glacial. The melodic payoffs are scant, and usually end before you’ve had time to revel in them.
It doesn’t exactly sound like a winning formula, but Ocean do slow-and-scary like few other bands. From its spare opening notes, Pantheon is so fraught with suspense that by the time “The Beacon”’s climax begins (after 24 minutes or so) you may not have even noticed that it’s the titanic, wall-of-sound catharsis you’ve been waiting for. | OceanOfDoom.com
1_The Halo Sessions, Gypsy Tailwind
2_Number 4, Darien Brahms