Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
The Ocean - Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic CD (album) cover


The Ocean

Experimental/Post Metal

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars My introduction to this eclectic prog metal band from Germany. You'll want to hear this one for yourselves. It's good!

1. "Triassic" (8:31) slow, spaced out electric guitar strums accompanied by flutey-trumpet sound are soon joined by bass, low synths, stick percussion, and drums. Very cool development and build as chunky goes into an early, pre- singing solo. Singing doesn't even begin until the third minute as sticks, strums and chugging GENESIS Duke-like rhythm guitar back robotic multi-voice vocals. Very cool! Brief growled chorus before moving back into the same motif for the second verse. The second time through the chorus sees a drawing out of the growls--this time being antiphoned by the robotic choir--before we trans into an instrumental section for two-tracks of guitars soloing. Near the six-minute mark we move back into the chorus--version II with robot voices answering/alternating with growler. Then the growler gets complete lead for the 7:00 mark until finally being rejoined by the robot voices and then returning to a repeat of the two-guitar instrumental section. Brilliant song! (19/20)

2. "Jurassic | Cretaceous" (13:24) Part TOOL, part LEPROUS, big part OPETH, there is enough refreshing creativity here to make me want to listen and like this music, but, in the end, aside from its lyrics and despite it's awesome intro, it is 80% rehashing what other Death Metal bands have done before. (26.25/30)

3. "Palaeocene" (4:00) standard growl death metal. Aside from the lyrics, there's nothing new here. (7.75/10)

4. "Eocene" (3:57) using a different singer with a more melodic, gentle, KEVIN MOORE/CHROMA KEY-like approach-- until the chorus, then it turns more like Bath/Leaving Your Body Map-era MAUDLIN OF THE WELL. The second verse sounds more like French band KLONE. Well done, if lacking any real climax. (9/10)

5. "Oligocene" (4:00) ANATHEMA or VOTUM-like atmospheric opening has me tuned in. Completely. Now this is a band I could follow! (9.5/10)

6. "Miocene | Pliocene" (4:40) steady psych/kosmische music over which vocalist growl-screams his message. I like the fact that he's singing slowly enough that I can understand his lyrics. (They're in English). The chorus is interestingly in a multi-track vocal format that sounds incredibly similar to LINKIN PARK. For music/songs like this I can tolerate the growling vocal deliveries. (9/10)

7. "Pleistocene" (6:40) more KEVIN MOORE/OSI like pulsing music over which the LINKIN PARK voice sings plaintively (or like a human Einar Solberg (LEPROUS). Growls scream the chorus. Second verse has high-pitched upper octave background singer mirroring the lyrics and lead vocalist's melody. After the second verse the music amps up and shifts into a slightly higher gear (third and, later, fourth)) while growler likewise increases the emotion behind his rant. It's effective! The chord play around the 6:00 mark is straight out of the LEPROUS/PROGHMA-C handbook. Nice ending and, though interesting and creative, overall it somehow falls a little short of great. (8.75/10)

8. "Holocene" (5:47) a steady, pleasurable song that has an OSI, TONY PATTERSON, or LUNATIC SOUL feel and sound to it. It keeps me engaged but disappoints in its failure to intensify and/or climax or resolve. (8.75/10)

Total Time 50:59

B+/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of creative, inventive heavy progressive rock or experimental/post metal music. Definitely highly recommended for every prog lover to to check out.

Report this review (#2454537)
Posted Wednesday, October 7, 2020 | Review Permalink
4 stars The Ocean have spent the last two decades firmly establishing themselves as one of the most prominent and respected progressive metal acts of the 2000's. Their lean but nearly flawless discography has pushed their brand of adventurous post-metal, sludge, and groove into progressive metal's inner sanctum of stylistic variations. The ground covered by their music literally spans eons all while managing to address itself to man's frail existential condition.

Take their latest record, Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic, for example. The third and ostensibly final installment of a trilogy of albums, the first being 2007's Precambrian and the second being 2018's Phanerozoic I, completes the band's ambitious attempt to cover, via their music, the entire natural history of planet earth from its fiery inception, its multiple dramatic and tragic extermination events, and all the way through to the present geological age. Of course, the geological history functions, on all three records, as a mediation and, at times, extended metaphor for man's place in the entirely incomprehensible and cyclic vastness of creation.

While Phanerozoic II is a decent record and arguably fitting closure to the geological saga, I think longer time fans like myself are likely to find it a tad underwhelming. The record covers no new ground not already explored in previous releases and, most damningly, has far fewer memorable riffs and melodies. Still, I think the record is an excellent way for newer fans to get introduced and it still holds up as one of 2020's stronger releases.

Report this review (#2457507)
Posted Monday, October 19, 2020 | Review Permalink
4 stars Two bands play the a perfect blend of progressive metal and post metal. Those bands are Isis and The Ocean. On the latest album by The Ocean, (or The Ocean Collective) the band follows up their last album with great success. The two albums are separate parts of each other, and they revolve around the same concept, the Phanerozoic Era, which is the era we live in today. The albums (released in 2018 and 2020 respectively) are both great concept albums that would sound great back to back. I'll have to try that for my next listen.

Phanerozoic II is an album that mixes together post metal and progressive metal perfectly. It is so enjoyable to listen to that I wanted to listen ton it all over again right after I finished it. Luckily , the album comes with an instrumental version, so that'll be a whole new experience. There are also some lighter moments on the album that combine the atmospheric parts of post metal together with more progressive rock sounding parts that add a lot to the albums dynamic and sound.

If you're getting into The Ocean, Phanerozoic I and II is a great place to start. The two part or double album will definitely please any progressive metal, Avant-Garde metal, or post metal fan. This album is one of the bands best albums. I highly recommend that you listen to this band and album if you are into those genres, which should be a good majority of people on this website.

Report this review (#2494925)
Posted Sunday, January 17, 2021 | Review Permalink
4 stars Phanerozoic II is the first album I hear from The Ocean, and the truth is, I feel satisfied.

With this work, the band explores different styles of progressive metal that other bands have developed: Tool, Opeth, etc. But always adding its own shape and aesthetic; experimenting and reaching new places. The first two songs with which they open the album is proof of this; at times they sound like Maudlin of the Well, at others like tool and Opeth. With orchestrations and harmonies on the keyboards, guitar duets, clean and guttural voices, the band plunges us into a chaotic and controlled world at the same time. The only reasons I don't give it five stars is because of the way they close the record, it doesn't do justice to the first two tracks (the best prog metal I've ever heard). Also for not developing some songs with great potential.

Without a doubt, a work that must be listened to. You will not regret it!

Report this review (#2523296)
Posted Thursday, March 11, 2021 | Review Permalink
4 stars Listening diary 12th September, 2021: The Ocean - Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic/Cenozoic (progressive post-metal, 2020)

I really didn't like this one at first, but it grew on me at a dramatic rate - perhaps it's the slightly off-kilter opening track that sets a strange mood, but honestly this is a bit of a strange album. Post-metal, particularly the sludge variant, isn't known to do much experimentation, and I think that's where The Ocean have really started standing out from the pack. They've always had prog flirtations, but here they really start to break down genre norms. Like on Phanerozoic I, there's a really interesting focus on synthesiser work here, and they steal the show in half the tracks here - even veering fully into pseudo-synthpop vibes on the closing track. And it's not just experimentation on the soft side - the inclusion of some bursts of black metal are really interesting and really welcome in a genre that often needs that kind of harmonic complexity. It's not quite got the substance to top their best work, but it's arguably their most creative album and proves that they've still got a lot to say.

7.7 (5th listen)

Part of my listening diary from my facebook music blog -

Report this review (#2595195)
Posted Saturday, September 18, 2021 | Review Permalink

THE OCEAN Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of THE OCEAN Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.