The Divinity Of Oceans is Ahab’s follow up to The Call of the Wretched Sea (2006) which I reviewed here. I loved that album so I had high hopes for this one, and it delivered. The album art and the opening track Yet Another Raft Of The Medusa is a reference to The Raft of the Medusa, a famous French painting; but they also signal that this album isn’t going to be directly about Moby-Dick. This time it’s (indirectly) more about the subject of that painting: a shipwreck that left men stranded for days, where they resorted to cannibalism and throwing injured sailors overboard. Thematically it’s about death, the sea, fate, and the sense of being abandoned by God.
Yet Another Raft Of The Medusa is also a sign of stylistic change from their debut, although just slightly. The recording (especially on the guitars) is a cleaner and more balanced across the instruments, as opposed to the drum heavy first album. The guitar playing on the higher end of the scale, and it gives off a more operatic feel to it. Right after that intro is the eponymous track The Divinity Of Oceans, which explains the title with the lyrics:
“We sold our souls to the divinity of oceans,
Bestowed our fortune to the demons of depth
Thus now we are left stranded,
Shipwrecked and collapsed”
O Father Sea brings it back down to the grimy bass heavy Sludge that I love, and it would have some of my favorite moments if not for Gnawing Bones (Coffin’s Lot). That contains my favorite guitar riff on the entire album for me, as well as a dreamy interlude. Redemption Lost combines both the operatic Doom with the heavy Sludge perfectly, and I especially love the ending lyrics, repeated over and over:
“No rest for the wretched!
No rest for the wicked!”
Nickerson’s Theme ends the album in epic fashion like you’d expect, completing another amazing album by Ahab. Singer Daniel Droste is just brilliant, his clean vocals and guttural bellows add so much weight to the songs, and they contrast well with each other. The Divinity Of Oceans is really is fantastic from start to finish, and has some of my favorite lyrics among their two albums I’ve reviewed so far, but The Call of the Wretched Sea beats this out just slightly because of the Moby-Dick theme. If you are a fan of Metal you need to listen to both, and likely the rest of Ahab’s discography, but I doubt I’ll keep reviewing each one.