A review made by guest writer/reviewer John Eje Thelin.
Steven Wilson casts a long shadow, at least in the world of what passes for prog rock today. At this point, many bands are not only clearly inspired by Wilson and his seminal band Porcupine Tree, but also by those who followed in his foot steps.
Which is how we get something like this, essentially a mix of late-period Porcupine Tree and Polish band Riverside (which is akin to a reggae band being a mix of Bob Marley and UB 40).
It’s pleasant enough, in a sense, but apart from the occasional interesting note from guitarist Raoul Potters, there’s very little about Profuna Ocean that makes you sit up and pay attention.
Where Wilson married a sweet pop sensibility to metal riffage with great success on albums like Porcupine Tree’s In Absentia, Profuna Ocean seem content to vacillate between fairly regular rock ideas and some prog metal elements, as if an actual sudden change in tone and substance would either be too much effort, or a little frightening – and that’s kind of par for the course.
Not that every band has to be ground breaking or attempt to do something new, but the heart of prog is pretention (or at least it used to be), and an attempt at creating art without pretention often ends up floundering in some limbo of faux ambition. Like hipsters, where everyone is different from the norm, but almost all of them in the same way.
Because when you never dare to fail, never dare to go out on a limb and balance precariously over the precipice, you will never reach the lofty heights of genius. And you know what? That’s okay. There’s room for the safe-players and workmen, and I’m certain there are plenty of people who will enjoy this album, as long as they don’t expect anything earth shattering. Two out of five.
** John Eje Thelin
- Thousand Yard Stare (7:19)
- Awakening (4:54)
- Hanging In The Balance (13:30)
- Losing Ground (8:00)
- Ghost (5:09)
- Beautiful Sunrise (10:37)
- In Vacuum (1:11)
- Clean State (11:43)
You can read my review about In Vacuum here: