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The Ocean 

When: Wed., May 4, 8 p.m. 2011
Price: $19
Heard in a vacuum, the music of Germany's The Ocean can be slightly head-scratching: What sometimes sounds not unlike the heavy, apocalyptic, post-metal styling of bands like Isis and Mastodon is interspersed with earnest singing and clean, melodic guitar passages that could pass muster with the local alt-radio station. Of course, lots of bands are doing the screaming/singing and bludgeoning-death-riff/pretty-life-affirming thingy for a while now. It can be off-putting for those who like their meat served raw, but this "ensemble" - which has had at one time as many as eight members and has cycled through no less than forty musicians since its founding in 2000 - really solidified its vision with last year's Anthropocentric, a conceptual album that's reminiscent of Mastodon's Crack the Skye musically, production-wise, and even in its packaging. The band opens for Between the Buried and Me, Job for a Cowboy, and Cephalic Carnage at Slim's (333 11th St., San Francisco) on Wednesday, May 4. 8 p.m., $19. Slims-SF.com.
— Kathleen Richards

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