“Universums härd” (Swedish for “The Hearth of the Universe”) guides your mind back across the vast emptiness of space and time, through the eons, to a place of primordial wonder, the origin of our Universe and the creation of everything. At least, these meditations on infinity is the intended concept behind Ocean Chief’s fifth full-length album, the second to be released by I Hate. Not content with the constraints of Earth, the Chief sets out to rule the cosmic ocean!
The previous album, “Sten”, was an imposing monolith. Huge, heavy and crushing beyond measure. Lots of things have changed since then: the tempo has been increased and the songs are a lot shorter and more melodic, yet they retain an ominous bite that leaves your mind searing. A second guitarist was recruited to fill a perceived void in the sound, and it will become extra evident if you catch the band in concert. It’s also worth noting that “Universums härd” was written in a few months and that the songs were recorded live in the studio to let the music feel lifelike and audacious. All these changes breathed new life into the band and should make “Universums härd” easier to digest for listeners who thought “Sten” was too excessive and overwhelming. But the most important thing, the riffs, the core of the phenomenal Ocean Chief experience, remain untampered with. This album will demolish you too, have no doubt about it! So buckle up to enjoy collisions on a cosmic scale and burn brightly in the Hearth of the Universe.