From what I have noticed, many bands within the metal scene start out in hardcore, post-hardcore, metalcore, or djent genres, only to slowly evolve into a more electronic genre. The reasons why this change frequently occurs could be debated for hours, but the music behind the genre is what is more important. PROXY: An A.N.I.M.O. Story by Being As An Ocean is both a continuation of their legacy as a band but also a new expansion and direction of their sound.
The first song, “Intro (The Envoy)” is a short electronic instrumental song that gradually builds until your whole house is shaking. The song really builds into the following song “Play Pretend,” which has a similar sound to Bring Me The Horizon or The Amity Affliction. While this isn’t my preferred genre of metal, it acts as an excellent side quest! After a beautiful piano intro, Being As An Ocean’s single “Play Pretend” opens with a European racing beat then transitions into a heavy electronic rock groove that makes you bounce. A light “HEY! HEY! HEY!” repeats from a virtual stadium of people which subliminally makes me want to dance or eat hey, it depends on the mood. The clean vocals transition into swirling harmonies that mix with a catchy chorus and thumping bass. “Play Pretend” is easily one of the strongest songs on PROXY: An A.N.I.M.O. Story which makes sense because its the single!
Electronic drums, pads, and synths are a heavy part of the music in this album, but it adds a softer feel to the album. The musical parts are more groove based instead of the repetitive thumping of djent or hardcore music and there is almost only clean vocals. While the synthesizers can easily replace some of the heavier guitar, bass, and drum parts, the electronic substitutions decrease some of the heavier energy. After a thumping synth bassline, Being As An Ocean ends the song “Find Our Way” with a French woman leaving a beautiful, but somber voicemail. It’s the small things that really help make an album blossom.
A soft, bright guitar mixed with deep vocals introduce the song “Skin” with a pad and a light baseline. This song belongs on a “late night cruising” playlist after a night of partying, waiting to sober up by eating a ton of food, waiting a while, chugging water, and finally feeling sober enough to drive home all while listening to this song.
Smooth and mellow moods flow through the album like a relaxing current. Much like Tool’s new album Fear Inoculum, Proxy: An A.N.I.M.O. Story has small filler songs that act as palate cleansers between the shifting moods of songs. These songs invoke a mood of their own, but are full songs instead of just being an outro.
The first half of Proxy: An A.N.I.M.O. Story sounds more like an alternative electronic rock album similar to Bring Me The Horizon’s most recent album Amo. However, the second half of the album falls more in line with BMTH’s That’s The Spirit
If I had underwater headphones and a massive underwater subwoofer (no idea how that would work), I would totally float in a pool and rock out to this song. The alternative is seeing them in the largest possible venue at your earliest convenience which won’t be soon because they just cancelled their North American tour. While the chorus is catchy, so much of it sounds like a keyboard or some other guys MacBook Pro. Due to the heavy electronic aspects of this album, I am having a hard time picturing who would play what instrument in a live setting. The mood highways in this album constantly twist and interchange making for a unique experience each time you listen.