Germany's progressive forward-thinkers the Ocean have announced their new album 'Anthropocentric.' The band is currently mixing the platter at Studio Mecanique in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, the same place where their last album, 'Heliocentric, was recorded and mixed. An actual release date is forthcoming.

In an official statement, guitarist Jonathan Nido said that 'Anthropocentric' is heavier than its predecessor. "The sound is more dense and maybe a tad more raw, which suits the songs perfectly. The album covers a similar sonic and dynamic range as 'Heliocentric,' also including a number of calm, acoustic moments – but these are for the most part orchestrated with guitars, and not so much with piano and string section."

The album is also concept-based, from a lyrical standpoint. It centers on man and his place in the vast universe, along with continued criticism of Christianity, which is not a novel concept in metal.

"'Anthropocentric' will continue the critique of Christianity, inspired by the questions that Dostoyevsky asked and some of the answers that Friedrich Nietzsche and Richard Dawkins gave," revealed guitarist Robin Staps. The album includes three songs: 'The Grand Inquisitor' parts I, II and III.

These songs have been inspired by the chapter of the same title in Fjodor Dostoyevsky's novel 'The Brothers Karamasov.' If you're not versed in the matter, here's the Reader's Digest version: there is conversation between the brothers Ivan, an atheist, and Alyoscha, a monk. Ivan tells Alyoscha the story of a second coming of Christ in 16th century Sevilla. According to this parable, Jesus is arrested by the Catholic inquisition. The grand inquisitor who interrogates Jesus casts a new light on the legend of the temptation of Christ: He reproaches Jesus with having betrayed humanity and having deprived man of salvation by giving him freedom.

The conversation between Ivan and Alyoscha mirrors, to some degree, the conversation between the grand inquisitor and Christ and raises more questions than it answers. I know, that might make your head spin and It's not for those with a passing interest in the band or conceptual metal, but it is thorough and provocative.

The album also features six classical musicians as guest stars, most of which contribute to the final song on "Anthropocentric."

'Anthropocentric' track list

1. 'Anthropocentric'

2. 'The Grand Inquisitor I: Karamazov baseness'

3. 'She Was The Universe '

4. 'For He That Wavereth... ''

5. 'The Grand Inquisitor II: Roots & Locusts'

6. 'The Grand Inquisitor III: A Tiny Grain of Faith '

7. 'Sewers Of The Soul '

8. 'Wille Zum Untergang '

9. 'Heaven TV '

10. 'The Almightiness Contradiction'