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3.98 | 20 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2007


Disc 1: Hadean/Archaean:

1. Hadean: The Long March of the Yes-Men (03:48)
2. Eoarchaean: The Great Void (04:45)
3. Palaeoarchaean: Man & the Sea (02:46)
4. Mesoarchaean: Legions of Winged Octopi (05:20)
5. Neoarchaean: To Burn the Duck of Doubt (05:24)

Total Time 22:04

Disc 2: Proterozoic:

1. Siderian (01:56)
2. Rhyacian: Untimely Meditations (10:56)
3. Orosirian: For the Great Blue Cold Now Reigns (06:29)
4. Statherian (05:57)
5. Calymmian: Lake Disappointment (08:18)
6. Ectasian: De Profundis (08:58)
7. Stenian: Mount Sorrow (08:19)
8. Tonian: Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (07:18)
9. Cryogenian (03:29)

Total Time 61:45


- Torge Liessmann / drums, percussion
- Matt Beels / guitar
- Robin Staps / guitar, percussion
- Walid Farruque / guitar (track 2)
- Micheal Pilat / bass, vocals (tracks 1, 2, 3, 5)
- Nico Webers / vocals (tracks 1, 2, 3)
- Nate Newton / vocals (track 3)
- Eric Kalsbeek / vocals (track 4)
- Meta / vocals (tracks 1, 5)
- Rene Nocon / vocals (track 3)
- Jason Emry / vocals (track 3)

- Torge Liessmann / drums, percussion
- Matt Beels / guitar, vocals (tracks 2, 6, 7)
- Robin Staps / guitar
- Micheal Pilat / bass (tracks 2, 3, 5, 6, 7), vocals (tracks 2, 3, 6, 8)
- Hannes Huefken / bass (tracks 4 and 8)
- Jonathan Heine / bass (track 6)
- Stefan Heinemeyer / cello (tracks 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9)
- Karina Suslov / viola (tracks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
- Christoph Von Der Nahmer / violin (tracks 2, 3, 4, 8)
- Katharina Sellheim / piano (tracks 2, 6, 7, 8, 9)
- John Gürtler / saxophone (track 1)
- Daniel Eichholz / glockenspiel (tracks 2, 3, 4, 5, 7)
- Jonas Olsson / tambourine (tracks 5, 7, 8)
- Tomas Svensson / additional samples (track 1)
- Nico Webers / vocals (tracks 2, 5, 8)
- Meta / vocals (tracks 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8)
- Tomas Halbom / vocals (track 7)
- Rene Nocon / vocals (tracks 3, 7, 8)
- Nate Newton / vocals (track 8)
- Dwid Hellion / vocals (track 6)
- Jan Oberg / vocals (track 6)
- Caleb Scofield / vocals (track 3)
- Kevin Spacey / passage (track 4, audio from The Life of David Gale)

About this release

2CD released November 2007 on Metal Blade Records (3984-14643-2).

Release date: November 2nd (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and November 13th (USA).

The album is composed of a mini-CD with 22 minutes playing time entitled "Hadean/Archaean" with 22 minutes, and a full length 61 minutes album "Proterozoic".

3LP released 2008 on Garden Of Exile Records (GOE17) / Throne Records (CHAPTER 34), limited to 777 copies.

Pressing info:

Coloured vinyl, each of the 3 LPs different: silver/black, red/black, yellow/red,
all 180 grams vinyl.
Gatefold with amazing conceptual artwork by Martin Kvamme; die-cut holes on the front and back, UV-spot, metallic print, full color sleeves and inserts, all on the thickest card board.

Thanks to UMUR, Bosh66 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Precambrian offers up two distinct musical trips, with an overarching theme concerning the earliest phases of Earth's formation. Hadean/Archaean offers about 20 minutes of direct aggression; Proterozoic offers an hour of more contemplative atmospheric sludge metal veering into progressive rock or New Age music at points. The full 80 minute package is, to be honest, a bit of a chore to listen to - but break it up into its two component parts and select the piece which suits your current mood better, and the overall package is substantially improved. Let's say it's a three star album packaged with a four star album - but which is which will hinge on the tastes of the individual listener.
Conor Fynes
'Precambrian' - The Ocean (9/10)

The word 'ocean' can bring deep images to ones mind; a vast expanse of water, stretching for miles upon miles without apparent end. The ocean is a sight of grandeur and overwhelming majesty.

Keeping this in mind, The Ocean's 'Precambrian' works in much the same way. It is a project of brilliant ambition and risk. Melding a very raw, heavy sound with more thoughtful post-rock tendancies, 'Precambrian' is musically contributed to by over 80 musicians, including an orchestra. It took Robin Staps (the composer) 3 years of his life to put together and arrange this monster.

'Precambrian' is composed of two discs; each portraying a different side of the band's musical leanings, and focusing each on different ends of the sonic spectrum. The first disc ('Hadean/Archean') is a 20 minute dose of raw power and energy, and is without a doubt the weaker side of the album. I've always considered the first disc to be a bonus EP of sorts, and not necessarily a representation of the album at all. It's best to think of 'Hadean/Archean' as a decent opening band before the mind-blowing headliner show. The first disc isn't that bad, but there's very little prog here, and the five songs on the EP sound all sound like each other. There are a few highlights in it (the opening riff of 'Neoarchean' for example) but it's not not really worth delegating a bunch of time to it. Based on the first disc alone, I would give 'Precambrian' a three star rating, give or take.

It is however, the second disc that really shines, and gives 'Precambrian' it's fair place in my heart and mind as a true masterpiece. From the first five seconds of the disc onwards, theres a definite feeling that this is not the sort of material that was found on the first disc. This is something different; and a very welcoming change at that. There are so many different instruments being used here, and different styles being thrown into the melting pot. The extended album introduction 'Siderian' has a saxophone solo, whereas the closer 'Cryogenian' is nothing less than an erudite classical composition with piano and cellos. Songs such as the album highlight 'Stenian' and 'Rhyacian' stand out as being the best put- together pieces on the album, being that they have the post-rock 'build-up' sensibility, but don't tarry too long on getting to where they need to go. Other songs like 'Calymmian' opt to take their time, and while it can detract from the song itself, the progression only benefits the work as a whole.

All in all, 'Precambrian' is possibly the most ambitious and shattering post-metal release of all time. It is a challenging, dense piece of music however, and can tak ea good while to completely delve into and explore the sonic landscape completely. The reward for doing so however, is well worth it. Five stars.

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