Hubi Meisel - EmOcean
Generation Records
Melodic Progressive Metal
12 songs ()
Release year: 2003
Hubi Meisel, Generation
Reviewed by Ben
Album of the month

The name and the man Hubi Meisel may not be familiar to many of you out there in readerland but if you like tasteful and well constructed Melodic Progressive Metal with a singer that has one of the most incredible voices I’ve heard then you should acquaint yourself with Mr. Meisel NOW.

EmOcean is his second album and it is leaps and bounds ahead of Cut. Where Cut was an EP of 80’s songs with a rock flair to em, EmOcean is all original material written / arranged by the man himself (vocal melodies, harmonies, lyrics, and album concept) and Vivian Lalu, keysman and main songwriter. The two styles are also very contrasting as Cut seemed like something that a few guys would mess around with and do for fun and EmOcean is a Melodic Progressive ride that is very professionally done and the end result is a killer album. While the music isn’t particularly hard hitting it does have a bite to it which classifies it as metal. The keyboards are well done and augment the music perfectly, a sprinkling of keys here, a few placed notes there and the atmosphere is enhanced tenfold. The biggest selling point, at least to me, is Hubi’s VOICE. This man is one of the best natural talents out there. He can do anything he wants to with his godly vocal chords at the drop of a hat whether it’s a killer falsetto, a swooping pitch change, or being sharp and aggressive. I would say that Hubi and Daniel Heiman from Lost Horizon are the best most natural singers out there in metal today.

The first thing you notice when shopping for cd’s is the art right? If it’s cool you pick it up to check it out if it sucks, you just kinda go. “Ehhh” and walk on by. I think that EmOcean’s art will catch many a person’s fancy cos to me it seems like a spaced out better version of Stratovarius’ Infinite. Also, take a look at who does the art as well, a Mr. Chris "Saiyan" Kallias, you might know him better as our own Chris! Cool job man. Now with that all out of the way let’s get on to the music.

EmOcean is broken up into three parts with each song dealing with one particular piece of that story. The story telling device mainly revolves around Hubi and his voice but the guitars and keys are not in the backseat as much as you’d think. He knows when to bring them out on songs such as Lost in the Waters of Sargasso and Underwater Fears. There’s also some successful experimentation with drum loops on Poseiden’s Trident in the intro that is a nice surprise to hear. While the majority of the songs on EmOcean are all vastly different and grab your ear’s attention I think that none of them compare to the centerpiece, the thirteen minute epic The Souls of Atlantis. Here is where the band brings out all the stops, dramatic orchestral keys, crunchy guitar riffs and perhaps Hubi’s best vocal performance on the album. There are a couple of quiet piano led interludes as well that calm you down for just a little but before coming all out at you again. One of the better ten minute plus songs I have heard.

EmOcean isn’t for everyone. If you can only listen to uber screechy black metal or gloriously happy and speedy Power Metal then EmOcean isn’t your thing. If you like some killer mid tempo Melodic Progressive Metal that is devoid of selfloving wankery with a voice that is to die for then EmOcean is right up your alley. If you live in Switzerland you can pick this up from the Alive distributor but if you can’t find it where you live go ahead and order it from his website, This album is worth it and how many times have I given an album of the month award? Let’s see TWICE. Threshold’s Critical Mass and Sonata Arctica’s Winterhearts Guild. I don’t give these out freely so believe me when I say that this does kick some serious Prog Metal ass.

Killing Songs :
Lost in the Waters of Sargasso, Poseiden's Trident, Sapientia Vitae, and The Souls of Atlantis
Ben quoted 92 / 100
Other albums by Hubi Meisel that we have reviewed:
Hubi Meisel - Cut reviewed by Chris and quoted no quote
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