I remember when I first discovered Ocean Chief just this summer. I guess you could consider them my first stoner doom band. Anyway, I was blown away. I loved them. I had tried to get into Electric Wizard before, but to no avail (don't worry, doom fans - they are one of my favorite bands now). When I first checked out Ocean Chief, they DESTROYED MY BRAIN. Between cathartic riffage, groovy basslines and thunderously heavy drums, they quickly became one of my favorites, and still are. The first song I discovered by them was "Galleons from the Sun", off of this album, "Tor". I was hesitant at first, pondering about how I was gonna sit through 23 minutes of repetitive fuzzed out stoner music, but I eventually buckled down and listened to it. Was I disappointed? Of course not!
Ocean Chief are a band from Sweden. Being a stoner metal band, they take most of their influence from giants of the genre such as Electric Wizard and Black Sabbath, while managing to make something that is still their own.
Perhaps my favorite part of Ocean Chief is the drummer, Tobias. He keeps one of the most steady sounding beats I have ever heard in metal, and he doesn't try to be "speedy" or "loud" like other bands. Surprisingly, he also sings (and what awesome vocals he has). The mixing for the drums is good, too - they are not TOO loud, but they are still audible enough to not detract from the music. It sounds just right. Not only that, Tobias also looks alot like Silvers Rayleigh from One Piece, which makes me like him even more.
Anyway, the band gets right down to business with the first song, and also my first OC song, "Galleons from the Sun". The song kicks off immediately with seriously stoney riffage, but the real fun doesn't start until Tobias' vocals arrive. They sound awesomely massive, like a tripped out version of Chris Cornell from Soundgarden, with a hint of Jim Morrison and Layne Stanley. The lyrics in this song are pretty sweet, too - "From the sun comes life to us/spreads the seeds/formed the sun/they are one". At 23 minutes, the song twists and turns, with many false (and not so false - 13:10, anyone?) buildups. The final 7 minutes or so are my favorite - extremely repetitive, even for doom metal, clean riffage which sounds seriously groovy and mysterious, and the song ends with Tobias whispering "I am the one/sucking the blood/leaves in my eyes/I'm sucking the blood..."
"Sorcerer on Dope" kicks up the doom amps even more, and is likely the heaviest song OC has ever recorded. It's also the shortest song on here (14:29, which is pretty long in itself, so this definetely isn't an album for the attention deficit). Somehow, the vocals are even better here, with even more Jim Morrison influence. My favorite part is the break at 7:55 - it sounds seriously epic.
The outrageously titled "Praise Your Ocean Chief" is the next track. It begins with a spooky, disjointed sounding groovy riff, before your skull is crushed by the sheer immense weight of the following riffs. The song takes 7 minutes just to kick in the vocals, and around the 10 minute mark, the song takes a turn for the groovy side, alternating between more fuzzy riffing and groovy moments. One of my favorite OC songs.
This is it - the title track and finale, the centerpiece of the album, "Tor". It's a massive 26 minute journey through a gigantic ocean of fuzz, doom, and smoke. The vocals reach their absolute peak here, with absolutely unparralled lines such as "Tor....bringing the power to ALL!" or "Understand the reason why it all must end..." These empowering lines soar over great performances and build ups, and it's not much different from the last 3 songs, but it's somehow even better - heavy part, groovy section, heavy part, etc. Oh, and let's not forget the RIFF at 20:37 - you need to hear it to believe it, it's that good.
This is a totally great album, and is a candidate for the Dopethrone part 2 sweepstakes. Fans of Electric Wizard, Sunn O))), Sleep and Acid King NEED to listen to this. Highly reccomended!!!