How We Both Wondrously Perish is the potent second studio album from the Californian melodic hardcore band Being As An Ocean. Since firmly establishing their style and place in the melodic hardcore scene with the imminent success of their debut album Dear G-D… (2012) the band have had to adapt with the departure of members Jacob Prest and Shad Hamawe and the new arrivals of guitarist Michael McGough (The Elijah) and drummer Connor Dennis. Boldly blending frontman Joel Quartuccio’s lyrically emotive spoken word poetry and sincere screams with McGough’s counterpart consistent cleans have allowed Being As An Ocean to embody a fresh and pungent sound that will tantilise many a hardcore fan. Obviously there are going to be some fans who are disappointed with the changes and progression made by the band since Dear G-D… however, put simply How We Both Wondrously Perish exceeds expectations and completely crushes the first album throwing out even more searing riffs with a heightened confidence and technical consistency.
Mediocre Shakespeare, the opening track, propels Being As An Ocean instantly into a dynamic new territory starting with the climactic and poignantly robust burst of vocals from Quartuccio accompanied by a fast paced pounding guitar line. Their debut album Dear G-D… delineates the band as nothing less than passionate, with an abrasive sound and an obdurate ethos and they have most definitely carried this forward into their new album, lyrically and sonically, right from the offset.
What distinguished and elevated Being As An Ocean above other hardcore bands for me was their gripping use of sections of raw spoken word poetry with a melodic instrumental backing track and how seamlessly they blended this within predominantly hardcore songs such as This Loneliness Won’t Be The Death of Me, The Sea Always Seems to Put Me At Ease and If They’re Not Counted, Count Me Out. I was slightly let down by the lack of spoken word appearing throughout How We Both Wondrously Perish but this is not to say that the ardent spoken word they have chosen to include is nothing short of brilliant. Arguably, the best example of this on the album is The Poets Cry For More which contains beautifully composed and soothing spoken word sections raw enough to give you goosebumps. What makes them unique is that they never fail to combine these intricate sections with gut wrenching hardcore vocals.
McGough’s use of clean vocals add a new depth to the songs contributing to the band’s leap into a dynamic new territory. Even The Dead Have Their Tasks jumps out at me as the most solid track on the entire album, able to sum up both the essence of How We Both Wondrously Perish and Being As An Ocean as a whole. I had high expectations for this album, which it exceeded and I am stoked to hear what these guys produce and experiment with in the future.
If you were a fan of Dear G-D… I urge you to check this album out, it’s definitely more focused, concise and you won’t regret it!
For Fans of: Counterparts, Stick To Your Guns and Heart in Hand