OCEAN, “Pantheon of the Lesser” (Important)  *** — Maine’s doom death droners Ocean have
the distinction of registering Important’s highest seling record ever, that being their 
2005 debut “Here Where Nothing Grows.” Needless to say, the anticipation was fairly 
swelling for their follow-up, which greeted us this Veterans Day. Its release date is fitting. Like a bloody, grinding, never-ending battle, “Pantheon of the Lesser” will make you feel like you’re been through a war, but one that’s graciously rewarding and that you want to keep fighting. Made up of two songs that glacially hulk over an hour, there’s no doubt that bruising and mental attrition pile up, and you’ll need some time in the infirmary to absorb every thing you’ve witnessed. Take for example “The Beacon,” which, at 35 minutes, might seem gaudy and trying on the surface. But once you slip into it, you’ll climb every peak and trudge through every plasma-streaked mud puddle, lead­ing you to Bloody Panda’s Yoshiko Ohara dressing you with her dreamy, hypnotic wails before she completely loses it and wails violently on your not-yet-salved wounds. By the time “Of the Lesser” rolls around, you’ll be forced to roll with the calculated, drawn-out punches, as well as the guttural lurchings from frontman Candy, funeral bells, and imminent destruction, all of which comprise perhaps the best doom record you’ll hear this year. Or next year. (Brian Krasman)