Inhuman Afflictions

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Love it or hate it (which seems to be the general feeling around here) deathcore is here and here with a vengeance. A sure sign that the genre isn’t going anywhere? A band like Oceano is nestled neatly on Earache Records, one of the oldest and most respected labels and purveyors of “true’ metal. After releasing their debut, Depths in 2009, the band quickly rose to the top of the deathcore heap and with their latest release, Contagion dropping earlier this fall, they look to stay there despite a large line up shuffle. I caught up vocalist Adam Warren to delve deeper into Oceano….

Depths was released a year and half or so ago, and made quite the splash in the deathcore genre. Were you surprised at the response to the album, considering how maligned deathcore has become?

Adam Warren: I wasn’t too surprised given I had confidence in myself and my band mates I was and still am very proud of what we created over the years leading up to Depth‘s release, but surely am grateful for the success its brought us thus far.

Do you take issue with the backlash that ‘real’ metal fans have against the deathcore genre and its fans and the stigma of being a deathcore band? I have to admit, while I love the music, the fans at shows just annoy the crap out of me.

AW: Honestly, no. We have had our love/hate relationship with internet haters, and we have made it clear we DO know they’re there, but as a band we just laugh at all the people who pre-judge us and ANY band based solely on the genre or style pinned upon them. In the end Music is Music. The Fans ARE what make the shows amazing for us on stage, (annoying to some or not) but when it comes to the personal connection of a fan and their music, the world could be completely wiped clean of existence if music remained, I know I wouldn’t really care.

Why do you think there is such a negative response (obviously a broad generalization,) to deathcore?

AW: There is a negative outlook towards the genre because it essentially takes something old, that for years has been loved and perfected by the older generations of metal heads, and blends it with the new school styles of Metal and hardcore. Its a new twist on an old (but never forgotten) style and some people resent that. Others felt just because its NEW it automatically is “trendy” music which would die out quicker than its inception. You’d think with the immense success of such crossover bands who notably accredit both death metal and other forms of metal and hardcore, such as Whitechapel, Suicide Silence Ect. people would stop shit talking and at least accept these bands within the metal community…

That being said, on Depths and even more with Contagion, like a few other deathcore bands, you’ve taken a few more steps into death metal. Do you think some former deathcore bands are purposely trying to align further with death metal and distance themselves from deathcore?

AW: Looking at the few bigger bands who are considered “Deathcore” to me its neither nor. Bands are always evolving the way they write their style of music. Considering a band DOES have heavy influence from the Death Metal sound, it only makes sense that some of these influences will shine brighter on future releases. Its a natural progression. I mean, what else would happen, they add “more” of their “hip-hop” influences into the mix? hahaha. I Dont think so.

With Depths, you guys quickly rose to the top of the deathcore heap. If you had to rate other top deathcore bands alongside Oceano, what bands or albums would you choose? Personally, you recently finished touring with a couple of them in Whitechapel, Impending Doom and I Declare War as well as currently touring with Chelsea Grin.

AW: Yes. Ill just list my Top favorite bands in the game right now: Suicide Silence, Attila, Molotov Solution, and a band we just toured with out of our home area called Monsters.

You are wrapping up the Contagion across the Nation Tour, with another great deathcore band, Chelsea Grin, as well as Christian metalers In the Midst of Lions. How is the tour going?

AW: As I right this now, we are completely finished and the tour went really well. Granted we knew we had a very solid package of bands on board, the overall turnouts and interest in the shows far exceeded my already optimistic expectations.

Is there ever any issues when touring with a Christian band- whether the band or the fans?

AW: Never! We get those “Oceano Vs. Religion” questions from everyone. We dont really care what people do with their lives or what they believe as long as they dont try and shove it down ours, or the fans throats.

You are signed to Earache records, an obviously legendary label in metal. How does it feel to be one of Earache’s flagship bands?

AW: Its almost shocking considering were are considered by most hard-line metal heads as a bastard in the death metal scene. Earache is an awesome label though, and I am very honored and privileged to be a part of a label which has helped jump start the careers to a ton of bands which are the reason we even play the music we do.

So Earache also signed And Hell Followed With, a band that sounds a lot like you guys, and to me a signing that either shows how happy Earache was with the sales of Depths- or is it merely riding the coattails of whats selling? Does that bother you or do you take it as a complement?

AW: AHFW actually are good friends of ours. They’re from Michigan which is only a few hours away from us, so we’ve played with them more than a few times way before we both were signed. If anything, I see it as Earache realizing that they should put more effort in signing the more younger bands coming up in the U.S. metal scene. I do see where people could compare us in sound, but I think they take the ambient/atmospheric feel we did on our first album, “depths” to a whole different level. That seems to be their niche. For us, were clearly shooting for the more aggressive and fast paced elements of death metal like on our newer stuff now.

So, Contagion is now out, and was recorded with a considerably different line up than Depths– what happened with Jeremy Carrol- who founded Oceano and Andrew Mikhail that prompted them to leave?

AW: Its essentially old news that we like to kinda just not give a fuck about anymore, but it gets asked alot, so yah. Jeremy was kicked out due to personal conflicts. Andrew, essentially was contemplating leaving, so we essentially allowed him to. Beyond that, its not worth the deep detail. I feel the lineup we have now is what we needed from the start.

Where did you get new guitarists Nick Conser and Devin Shidaker? Are they local Chicago guys?

AW: Nick is Local yes. He was a friend of the band who played in another Local band in our area. Devin is not so local as he resides in Ohio. We met him a few times on our first couple tours starting out, and two years after playing with his old bands, he’s a part of Oceano. haha.

Contagion is a concept album that seems to embrace the popularity of Zombies and such in pop culture- can you further elaborate on the concept of Contagion?

AW: The concept was not written with that intent though. Though I am a fan of all that stuff, It really is not about “zombies.” The people in the story actually are just infected humans. They are not the walking dead and are just as vulnerable as anyone else. Above all its a story about a corrupt government with a hidden agenda, who scares the population into enslavement by spreading their own man made viruses. The album is a concept that I feel plays on the true reason for politics, which is the control of society.

Is the writing process for a concept album any different that a regular album?

AW: Oh! Its dreadful! Haha. There was literature and video research involved. I gave myself the task of writing an outline of events. Then I composed a short story linking all of the events in our album in detail. This was then followed by a summarized version which I picked key events and topics to be used in each specific song. The outline and summary of events was given to my band mates to draw any inspiration musically as I took these preparations and brainstormed ideas for each song. I spent hours and a few times a day or two (per song) to write this album. I don’t take lyrical writing lightly, so I truly hope people do read and think deep about what this album is about.

On Depths you had the title track and “Abysm”, two more introspective, instrumental and dare I say melodic tracks, and on Contagion you have “Exist in Confinement”, a similarly ‘mellow’ track. Do you try and write in a few breathers on each album on purpose?

AW: Its not that we wanted a “breather track” both times we were just into the idea of having a song that allows us to stray away from all the chaos of what we normally play. It gives us the chance to push our creativity in a different direction, while still keeping the feel of the overall album. I feel that’s a challenge in itself but in the end we have lots of fun doing so. Fans seem to dig the short lived change in pace, and that’s awesome.

That being said the albums ends suddenly with “Ending Intellect” rather than the outro of “Abysm”.How do you feel about Contagion compared to Depths? On surface value it seems to be the same heavy as hell Oceano

AW: To me, its not a matter of opinion, its fact, on Contagion you’re hearing an improved Oceano. We didn’t try to stuff the album full of breakdown after breakdown. They’re Surely STILL there, but this is not the overall measurement of heaviness. We had the intent to consciously write music before worrying about “this needs to sound heavier” or whatever. Thats where I feel we topped Depths. We wanted to write a good Metal album and let the heavy speak for itself through the entire album, not just certain parts. Its also alot more Death metal influenced than the last, and im happy I can say that.

So, I hope I’m not getting to personal here, but an African American in metal is somewhat of a rarity, though not as much as it was. I’ve always been curious as to how a person such as your self avoided the hip hop culture that’s forced down the throats of African American youth culture, and what got you into the path of metal.

A: Haha. This is a good question! Ive lived in the inner city and very close to that culture alot of my life. I guess my salvation lies in the fact that growing up I personally never cared to listen to music. I was too busy outside all the time with friends getting into trouble, and playing sports. I felt sitting in a room all by myself listening to sounds was rather stupid. When I got older, getting into alot of the more aggressive sports I did, I needed something to match that. So when I was first exposed to Heavy Music, it automatically felt like the perfect match to my personality. It also seems like it required alot more talent from not just ONE, but a group of people to pull it off which I respected, and still do.


  1. Commented by: Balls

    This was an interesting interview and I enjoyed it, but Oceano are just the absolute worst. There’s no substance to the music and it sounds like they have no idea what they’re doing with their instruments. Venom didn’t know what they were doing either, but they managed to write a couple killer albums. Oceano can’t write any song that distinguish themselves from the others and Warren is an atrocious excuse of a vocalist. Digby should be publicly hanged for signing and unleashing this trash to the masses. I’ve heard better metal bands in my area with kids no older than 17 in the band.

  2. Commented by: faust666

    Wow, Balls sure likes Oceano.. ;-)

    Great interview Erik and I think I like the band a bit more now. I wasn’t a fan of the first album but the new one (much like the new Whitechapel record) is well written, heavy and pretty damn good.

  3. Commented by: yep

    agree with faust666

  4. Commented by: alvaro

    The Fact that Erik is allowing this on the front cover sucks. Come on man, this is easily the worst of the bunch. I used to trust your melodic death metal reviews. but this, no way.

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