Oceano is a Deathcore band from Chicago, IL, USA, formed in 2006. The band has released four albums to this day with Ascendants being the latest one – released in March 2015 via Earache Records.
Ascendants is an album conceptually centered around the opinions and views of Oceano’s lead singer Adam Warren about human origins, life itself and the concept of reality. For example the opener Nephilim is about the ancestry of humanity or The Dulce Incident is about the correspondent incident in an alleged secret alien underground facility.
The cover artwork was created by Dusty Petersen, who also illustrated the band’s 2010 album Contagion, as well as previously working for bands such as Six Feet Under, Cattle Decapitation or Bloodbath. The artwork reminds of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, who believed the workings of the human body to be an analogy for the workings of the universe. The drawing is also known as one of Leonardo’s attempts to relate man to nature.
Another painting that comes to mind is William Blake’s The Ancient of Days from 1794. A symbolic illustration depicting Urizen, Blake’s embodiment of conventional reason and law, setting a compass to the earth. Petersen’s unusually colored artwork for Oceano cites these famous pieces while additionally integrating a superior alien species holding a sphere or a planet in its centre (thus implicitly standing for a creator) and a good vs. evil, bright vs. dark, nature, vs. industry contrast. I personally like the artwork for its multilayered content and the refreshing color palette for a deathcore album.
Metalbandart.com has a cool step by step making of commented by Dusty Petersen that perfectly shows the effort and elaborate thoughts behind the concept and artwork: The making of Oceano’s “Ascendants” Artwork.