“Devocean” is the long awaited follow up from Spanish prog metal masters Moonloop. It’s been five years since their debut album “Deeply from the Earth.” In the meantime, front man Eric Baulenas has been quite busy with other projects, one being his prog rock band Eric Baule (somewhat named for him). He is a talented guitarist and versatile vocalist.
But let’s not forget that Moonloop is a band and a very talented one at that. Juanjo Martin (rhythm guitars), Raul Payan (drums), and Vic A. Granell (bass) make up the rest of the band and this is one TIGHT band. Stylistically, Moonloop are rooted in the old school Opethian prog metal with a more modern Gojira slant as well. Baulenas’s death vocals are possibly more brutal sounding that Mikael at his peak. The lead track “Megalodon” is a good example of that. It’s a great kick in the teeth opener.
“Nightmare Gallery” has a killer yet off-kilter groove to it. This is where the Gojira comparison comes into play. Moonloop are great at grooves and riffs, regardless of time signature. “Zeal” is yet another example of how tight this band is. Not only does it seemlingly go “all over the place” musically, it allows Baulenas to really tap both extremes of his vocal abilities, guttural as hell and clean as can be.
“Expired Kings” has the pinch harmonics we’ve come to expect from Gojira but is a tad more complex than the French band tend to do. The songs on “Devocean” are all consistently good. If I have a complaint, it’s only that I don’t think any of them jump out at me as much as I’d like. There’s no obvious masterpiece. There’s nothing wrong with consistency though.
The album finishes really strong with the epic “Oceans,” which is as close to masterpiece as a song gets on here and the beautiful closer “Origin.” These are two of my favorite tracks on the album for sure. Moonloop are definitely a band that fans of classic progressive death metal should check out. Sure they don’t hide their influences but when you have great influences, you should be proud of that. “Devocean” is not only a clever title but a solid album all the way through.