Sea of Consciousness – Sea of Consciousness (review)

Releasedate: 12-01-2024

Sea of Consciousness is a band that formed out of the remnants of Inferus Dei during the Covid crisis in 2019. Guitarist Daniel Sirtoski and drummer Istvan Timmermans started by building out their stage idea, and finding other band members that fit their vision. The band combines different genres into a melodic, progressive composition that expresses struggles in life, a theme that fits the time of origin for this band. Let’s dive into their first album and learn what Sea of Consciousness is all about.

Before diving into the album, I have to compliment Sea of Consciousness on the quality of the album. For a self-produced album, the recording and mixing quality is actually pretty good. The band shows professionalism not only in the quality of the tracks and their songwriting: also their cover art and the band photo’s are on point. It’s hard to stand out in the Metalscene and it’s always nice to see a band put in just a little more thought in how they want to portray themselves. 

Misconception

With 9 tracks spanning just under 54 minutes, Sea of Consciousness is definitely a full-length album. Most tracks span over 6 minutes, which fits the progressive vibe this band says to aim for. The longest track on the album is Misconception, just under 9 minutes. This might also be my favorite track on this album, and I think it is a good summary of the rest of the album. The main vibe I get from this track is melodic death metal, very heavy guitar focussed, so a bit more on the technical side as opposed to the melodic. There is a nice balance in the grunts and clean female vocals. While I’m not a fan of the sound of the female vocalist, at least in this track it isn’t too overpowering. The focus first and foremost is the guitar melody, and of course later in the track we can expect some guitar solos. Another track that I would place in my top three for this album would be Persistence. Again, a track that’s on the heavier side, with some DimmuBorgir-esque riffs and a groovier drumbeat. 

Mix of genres

Sea of Consciousness proclaims, as most bands do, to mix in a wide variety of different genres. With most bands, that really isn’t the case, but with Sea of Consciousness is definitely is, even sometimes within songs. From the Ashes is more towards the heavy metal end of the spectrum than any other song on the album, so if that’s more your preference: start there. However, it dives into a blastbeat version of the end riff that’s more technical death metal than anything else. So even within this track, there’s like 3 or 4 distinctly different genres. They fit together well though, and the track flows nicely, so I’m not at all bothered by that. Some other people might be, though. The progressiveness in their music lies not so much in the weird chorprogressions or time signatures. With Sea of Consciouness its more the combining of various styles and mixing different genres into one unique blend. 

Besides the heaviness there is plenty of room for clean melodies as well. Opposite Side for instance, is a nice melodic interlude, which continues in Reflections. However. While I can see where the music fits with the rest of the album, I really don’t like the vocals on these tracks. It’s too harsh for the lovely melodies, so it doesn’t really match. Also, it’s not always really on key, and specially with the high-range vocal harmonies, I’m pretty bothered by that. For that reason I find myself skipping Opposite Side and Reflections and Solitudo. There is a similar part in Torchbearer as well, but since it’s only part of the composition, it balances out a bit better. I think I like the vocals in the mid to low-range a lot better. 

Final Verdict

There is a lot to like on this album. However, for me, that’s mainly in the music and the heavier vocals. While I can certainly see how clean female vocals would fit this music, I’m not sure on most parts the band found their groove yet. It doesn’t feel as powerful as it could be in most parts, to the point where I want to skip tracks. However, I still think there is more to like than dislike, so I would still recommend most of this album. If you only listen to one track, maybe start with Misconception or Persitence, since both are a pretty good summary of the things this band portrays. Persistence more on the heavier side, Misconception more on the progressive/heavy side of the spectrum. 

Tracklisting:

  1. Sea of Consciousness
  2. Misconception
  3. From the Ashes
  4. Opposite Side
  5. Reflections
  6. Traversals
  7. Solitudo
  8. Persistence
  9. Torchbearer

You can find Sea of Consciousness on Facebook.