The Ocean have announced that the first part of their “Phanerozoic” double album, “Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic,” will be released on November 2 via Metal Blade. The second part is expected to arrive in 2020. A press release describes the conceptual effort as “a really extensive dive into dystopian prog as well as geology — in this case, the evolution and diversification of life during the Phanerozoic eon, and the destruction of it during five mass extinction events.” The first single “Permian: The Great Dying,” which can be heard below, focuses on an event in which 95% of all life on Earth was destroyed.
Guitarist Robin Staps said the following about the track:
“When you hear the term ‘mass extinction’, everyone thinks of meteors and dying dinosaurs… but what happened at the end of the Permian was not related to any pieces of rock falling from the sky. The most probable scenario is that ‘The Great Dying’ was caused by increased volcanic activity which caused a global warming of about 5 degrees, which then led to the release of large amounts of methane gas from shallow seabeds into the atmosphere.
“Methane is a strong greenhouse gas and caused further warming in a loop effect. We are now looking at an increase of temperature by about 4 degrees by the end of the century, and the former worst-case scenario has now become the proclaimed goal. The same increase in global temperatures which happened at the end of the Permian over the course of several hundreds of thousands of years is very likely to happen in just over 100-200 years now.”
“Looking at the Phanerozoic makes you realize that even without human impact, Earth has the power and potential to wipe out humanity in its entirety, at any given moment in time. The causes for the global warming which led to ‘The Great Dying’ were not human-made, but I don’t see any reason to assume that the results of the current human-made warming would not be similarly devastating. Literally everything died at the end of the Permian, even insects didn’t survive.”
Staps also dived further into the album’s concept, saying it also focuses on “Nietzsche‘s concept that everything happens over and over again, an infinite amount of times throughout infinite time and space.”:
“When you look at Earth’s history you find a lot of evidence for this: continents have collided and drifted apart across the oceans and collided again, life nearly disappeared various times but then resurged again… this album is essentially about time, perception of time, and repetition. It is about coming to terms with the fact that there are things in life which will recur and which we cannot change and finding ways of dealing with that.”
“Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic” Track Listing:
01. “The Cambrian Explosion”
02. “Cambrian II: Eternal Recurrence”
03. “Ordovicium: The Glaciation Of Gondwana”
04. “Silurian: Age Of Sea Scorpions”
05. “Devonian: Nascent” (feat. Jonas Renkse of Katatonia)
06. “The Carboniferous Rainforest Collapse”
07. “Permian: The Great Dying”
Pre-orders can be found HERE.