There may be a few metal fans here and there…and this song is for you. If you don’t enjoy music with lots of hoarse shouting and banging instruments into rocks, DO NOT PLAY THIS VIDEO. You will cry. I’ve got two sons, so I’ve been inured to this stuff — and at least this band, The Ocean, has intelligent lyrics.
Oh, you say, you couldn’t hear the lyrics? Neither could I, because my ears were bleeding (but that’s one of the desired effects of this genre, don’t let it bother you). I had to look them up on the internet.
The Origin of Species
Yes, it’s quite hard to believe
That we all come from the same seed:
The scrub, the cockroach and the human being
It’s hard to see how the perfection of complex organs was achieved without an engineer
But all you see is the human eye
On top of the mountain peak, so high
A steep wall of rock
Impossible to climb
Our imagination is left behind
But there is a gentle slope on the backside
And even worms have simple eyes
That help them distinguish darkness from light
Our brains are accustomed to the scope of a lifetime
We will never be able to see how the sluggish vessel of evolution
Is slowly creeping up the hill
There’s no other solution
There’s no other solution
There’s no alternative to the theory of evolution
Now excuse me, I need to get a bag of ice for my head and to load a few of this band’s songs into my iPod.
Antiochus Epiphanes says
Nice. Thanks. A little slow for me but cool anyway.
55, and I still cranked the volume on the poor old 2.1 sound system. The bass was not that bad.
Nice words, too bad they are used mostly as a musical accompaniment. There is no way anyone could tell what they were saying unless they read along. That could be better.
As metal goes though – not all that bad. Not a fan of that roaring shout though.
Is that your Hovind-branded iPod Touch? It could use some metal I’m sure ;)
I made a video for this in my head.
Ernie sings the opening, then at the 1 min mark, the Cookie Monster takes over the vocals, smashing and eating cookies while petting muppet worms, squirrels, monkeys and, of course, a squid.
@ #1, Here you go:
Try track 4, “Ptolemy was Wrong,” if the instrumentation & vocals aren’t your cuppa: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9LUw2JWLkI it’s traditonal singing, piano, & strings.
FWIW, the album is a retelling of the shift from geocentric/magical via the rise of science.
The Ocean’s previous album, Precambrian is based on the period of the same name, with tracks named after the different eras that make it up.
The lyrics for the above-mentioned track:
Hmm, combination of Neurosis and mathcore. Not too bad I suppose! ;-)
Good, but needs more Motorhead or Iron Maiden.
Which I think could sound like this:
Something topical if you’re interested in anti-Papal japery.
Avoid if you don’t like bad 80s thrash/hardcore.
James F says
Wow, their scientific literacy is light years ahead of that of Insane Clown Posse.
Excellent, always good to add a new band that writes about evolution, especially a metal band. But my favourite has to be Frameshift…PZ, if you want something else, something better, more progressive rock than metal (although it has some progressive metal songs), to add to your iPod, this is the band, the one band that rises above them all. It’s just really one guy who works with different musicians on each album, but his first and best is a concept album based exclusively on the writings of Richard Dawkins. It is called “Unweaving the Rainbow”, released in 2003. Most of the lyrics are original, some are direct quotations from Dawkins’s books, but you can actually hear them clearly (no grunting, growling or roaring), exquisitely sung by vocalist James LaBrie (an extraordinarily talented singer for whom this was a side-project from his main job with Dream Theater).
While on the topic, the album Permanent Waves by Rush is worth adding to that iPod, unless you’re one of the people who can’t stand Geddy Lee’s singing.
Fucking awesome. Needs a bit more growling, though.
I actually downloaded that CD after reading a review on MetalSucks.net, but I haven’t gotten around to listening to it yet. Gonna go do that now. :)
Glen Davidson says
It’s amazing what evolution has done, no matter how long it took, but there’s no call for labeling any of it “perfection” (I realize they could always claim poetic license, which is fine, but commentary correcting such misperceptions is not undue).
And not even the very competent organs arose from their unlikely antecedents as much of anything but kludges that worked a bit better than nothing. A cheetah’s leg is a wonder, but it still betrays its origins from a fin.
Well put. I feel a sense of accomplishment when I use what’s around me in an ad hoc fashion to solve a problem (such as using a fork to fix a phone or a pocket comb to realign a car window), but it’s really nothing compared to what nature has done with the resources available. In my defense, I didn’t have millions of years to fix that window or I might have done something more elegant.
Man, that sounds JUST like Cult of Luna (minus the clean vocals), only quite a bit weaker in my opinion. The resemblance is worryingly big though, listen to Cult of Luna’s song “The Watchtower” (I’m uploading a good-quality studio version now).
Saw these guys in Belfast only the other night. Their new album ‘Heliocentric’ is entirely based on the progression of human thinking about our origins from creation myth to scientific enlightenment and is inspired by Darwin and some of Dawkin’s work.
The album is one of a pair, the second, ‘Anthropocentric’ is to be released later in the year and is a critique of religion from a personal perspective.
Can’t listen at work, but I will when I get home. I wonder if these guys pre-date my home town’s Ocean (who are fairly well known in their subgenre and got some rave reviews for their last effort Pantheon of the Lesser). Dunno if there are many metal fans on here, but you should check out that album if the idea of a 30 minute long song (at about 10bpm) doesn’t completely turn you off.
Anyways, good to see skeptical bands penetrating any genre… hope these guys are better than Greydon Square.
That’s pretty old school metal, except for the cookie monster vocals in the chorus, that could be Black Sabbath, which was er
our generation, PZ.
PZ Myers says
Don’t say that! I’ve got Black Sabbath as a ringtone on my phone!
Here’s Bert and Ernie.
BTW, for blasphemy, it’s hard to beat Slayer, they are somewhat old school,now.
I raised myself on the Beatles, who were banned by Catholic Churches in the US.
No such thing as the good old days.
Rock on, still waiting for some serious jesus stomping gangster rap, tho.
I miss hard core gangster rap, my Oakland is showing.
Now there is an entire ‘praise jesus’ rap movement going on. I have finally regressed to my fellow peers from my generation.
Turn that goddam noise off!!
oh and also
GET OFF MY LAWN!!!
Osbourne or Dio? Inquiring minds want to know!
(Good call, btw. Just got a new phone and deciding what ringtones to use. Going with Alice In Chains for now, but BS would be awesome as well.)
Oh PZ! “Hoarse shouting and banging instruments into rocks?” These guys sound like The Osmonds compared to the stuff I normally listen to. You can’t beat blackened doom metal from Finland!
Napalm Death, ‘deaf and dumbstruck (intelligent design)’
Tim Schönfeld says
Heaven Shall Burn – Biogenesis (Undo Creation)
Anti-Creationist Metalcore/Melodic Death Metal from Germany.
The lyrics are in the video description, but here we go:
Antiochus Epiphanes says
Metal is completely underrated as an intellectual pursuit.
ooh, thanks for the Frameshift suggestion, not kept up with James LaBrie lately, been a fan since When Dream and Day Unite.
Metal is often derided, but there are some people who recognize good songwriting:
The lyrics are better than those of Korn’s ‘Evolution’, which is the closest I’ve heard on the radio to music which refers properly to evolution. None of that ‘sorry I don’t believe’ crap!
Yes, definitely some Cult of Luna going on, but something different too. A touch of Dimmu Borgir or something.
Another extremely intelligent metal band: Buried Inside. Check out the lyrics to “Time As Imperialism,” and that entire album.
Alex P. says
Wow, that was fast. I sent this last night. Glad to see it got posted.
#30. Korn is bad. Theirs is just a “our species is going to shit” paean with no understanding of reality. I hate Korn.
#18. Ocean are doom, the Ocean are sludge. I haven’t yet listened to the former, but they’ve gotten some rave reviews, so I’ll have to. I do like me long songs.
#13. Sweet, another MetalSucks reader. Seriously, a great website.
Another way to know it’s metal: it’s 7 and a half minutes long. All metal is either over 7 minutes or under 30 seconds. Maybe the MetalSucks readers can fill in the details.
And my love for “The Ocean” grows even further. Post-Metal has always been a bit of a pretentious pleasure for me, extremly horse, agressive, heavy yet with the nuances and atmosphereics of more experimental genre’s such as post-rock.
Finding out that they’re intelligent to write about evolution in all it’s incredible beauty and power just cements my respect for Metal’s more intelligent output (not to say I don’t enjoy the more lighthearted stuff as well.)
oh and peterjanhaas, I’m happy to know that you listen to some heavy music. But i wouldn’t underestimate The Ocean in regards to brutality. Their “Precambrian” album, is pretty damn heavy. (I say this knowing what you refer to when you talk about the most extreme forms of metal out there.)
Oh good, fellow metalheads! I feel I should share this then, even though it’s not entirely related. Check out Blinded Colony, specifically the songs “Revelation, Now!” and “Aaron’s Sons”. They seem to be devoted to writing lyrics about atheism. Any metalheads, especially those who like the Gothenburg sound, should definitely look them up on Youtube or something. Here’s the lyrics for “Revelation, Now!”:
I also like the art for this album.
Holy HELL, that was fucking BEAUTIFUL!
Alex P. says
Post-metal is probably the best trend in metal today. Even the bad bands are still pretty good, although there are a few too many Neurosis/Isis clones. Have you heard the new Isis record? Seriously excellent stuff.
Yeah, Ocean is doom, these guys are sludge, but I heard “slow” and “long” in the comments and saw that the name of the band was very similar to that of some dudes I know so I figured it was worth a mention. I definitely recommend Ocean if you haven’t listened to them before. As someone who is not really a metalhead (only a couple metal bands I listen to outside of local stuff), I hadn’t really heard anything like them before. I listened to The Beacon (a monster of a track at 35 minutes) this morning at work and it was pretty awesome. They’re a fucking amazing live band too.
Kel, OM says
The Ocean are one of the coolest bands in metal atm. Nice job PZ!
Kel, OM says
I really need to track down this album now.
It is a good song to annoy the fundies and bible thumpers.
Steven Mading says
Can’t listen at the moment (at work) but the lyrics seem to be making a reference to Richard Dawkins’ Mount Improbable metaphor.
And they’re German, to boot! Woo!
Ozzy Osborne, in “I just want you”
“there are no believable gods”
Kel, OM says
That album is one of my favourite albums of the last decade. Brutal, yet so intriguing.
Will E. says
Yeah, call me old-fashioned; I appreciate the sentiment but can only imagine how awesome this would be if Bruce Dickinson or Rob Halford were singing it.
Awesome, I can tell right now this is going to be useful in finishing writing my honors thesis. Nothing quite like good metal to keep you motivated and focused.
Great, thanks, now my amazon shopping cart is exploding. I always appreciate new tips for intelligent – and fun – lyrics (you already got me hooked on Tim Minchin and Jay Spears) and the noisier the better ;-)
Kel, OM says
I now has the album, will be cranking it tomorrow at work. m/
In Finland too paleontology can mix with pop culture. There’s a heavy metal band called Heavysaurus who obviously target kids as their audience. They even perform in dinosaur costumes!
Article and video on the Smithsonian’s blog:
Holy crap. That’s amazing…!
The Ocean’s album Precambrian is a great one. The first disc is titled “Hadean/Archean”, with a track for each of the Archean eras. The second disc covers the Proterozoic up to the cryogenian era.
Kel, OM says
Got to listen to the album today, it is really good!