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The Ocean

Experimental/Post Metal

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The Ocean Holocene album cover
3.85 | 22 ratings | 1 reviews | 18% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2023

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Preboreal (5:04)
2. Boreal (3:41)
3. Sea of Reeds (5:48)
4. Atlantic (8:49)
5. Subboreal (4:46)
6. Unconformities (9:09)
7. Parabiosis (8:12)
8. Subatlantic (6:55)

Total Time 52:24

Line-up / Musicians

- Robin Staps / guitars
- Loc Rossetti / vocals
- Paul Seidel / drums
- Mattias Hagerstrand / bass
- David Ramis hfeldt / guitars
- Peter Voigtmann / keyboards, samples

Releases information

Label: Pelagic Records
Format: Vinyl, CD, Digital
May 19, 2023

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy THE OCEAN Holocene Music

THE OCEAN Holocene ratings distribution

(22 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (45%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

THE OCEAN Holocene reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Germany's eclectic chameleons of heavy prog are back with their ninth studio release (plus five EP releases) with vocals. (Four of their studio albums have been released simultaneously with their companion vocal albums as separate albums of "instrumental versions" of the same material used for their mainstream releases.) The human perspective of the planet Earth's history seems to be the driving concept/theme/inspiration behind the band's output as words like "fluxion," "Aeolian," "Precambrian," "heliocentric," "anthropocentric," Pelagial, Palaeozoic, Phanerozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic cover their other albums. Holocene seem to fit right in stride with their previous material-- both musically and conceptually.

1. "Preboreal" (5:04) opening with a "fragile tuned" keyboard sequence that will become the foundation to this and many songs on this album, the vocals join in to give me a total Kevin Moore/CHROMA KEY feel. The music feels a bit too one-dimensional for me (not unlike that of Chroma Key project). Perhaps the lyrics are the key to this song (and album) as they are delivered in such a monochromatic fashion that their perceived allure must be contained in the words. (I wish I were a lyrically-adaptive listener as I feel that there might be some pretty interesting ideas being conveyed on this album). The second half ramps up to become quite OCEANSIZE with Mark Heron-like drumming and rap-chant-like Mike Vennart vocals. (8.75/10)

2. "Boreal" (3:41) more ad nauseum repetitive music over which singer Lo'c Rossetti flat-line rap-sings--at least until the third minute when he breaks out of the confining mold to release his fully emotive humanness. (8.75/10)

3. "Sea of Reeds" (5:48) a gentle unstably-tuned Fender Rhodes is joined by synth trombones (the use of which is another trick common to The Ocean's instrumental sound choices) and heavily-treated whisper vocals giving the song a very familiar OCEANSIZE-feel. When drums, bass, and other instruments join in, filling in the soundscape, the vocals amp up for a bit before everything returns to the RADIOHEAD-like Fender Rhodes opening motif. At 3:05 fuzzy electric guitar and tuned electric percussion (synth-generated?) join in to create an even more Oceansize sound. Lead singer Lo'c Rossetti's heavily-reverbed and multi-voiced vocal is great, even if it does recreate the Oceansize vocal sound. Great song. (I love--and miss--Oceansize.) A top three song, for sure. (9/10)

4. "Atlantic" (8:49) back to a more CHROMA KEY sound, spacious, atmospheric synthscapes with a click track and every instrument seeming to pass through lots of effects opens this one as Lo'c sings in an ominously edged, albeit soft voice. At 2:30 we launch into a heavier, full-band motif--but only briefly as we return to the opening sound palette (with a few more horn sounds layered in) as Lo'c sings with a little more force in his plaintive voice. When the music amps up into a heavier, more metal sound palette, it reminds me of Aussie band STARE AT THE CLOUDS and their masterful 2016 release This Clear Divide. Interesting and pleasant if not very memorable. (17.75/20)

5. "Subboreal" (4:46) with its computer-sequenced keyboard base, the start of this one definitely falls into CHROMA KEY territory. At 1:45 the chorus bursts forth in a brief metal section before the music falls into a bit of a UNITOPIA patch with a semi-rap vocal. But this is also brief as the music soon launches into a full-on djenty metal passage complete with growl/scream vocals. As I've gotten more used to this kind of musical expression I can appreciate and even enjoy some of this; this example is pretty good. Surprising sudden ending. Probably my final top three song. (8.875/10)

6. "Unconformities" (featuring Karin Park) (9:09) When this song opened I was caught by surprise by the presence, up front, of a SIOUXSIE-like female vocalist. Her impassioned vocal reminds me quite a bit of French goth-metal singer DAM KAT (which is good). The music is OCEANSIZE-like but rather simple as it is obviously present merely to support the vocal. But then, at the four-minute mark, I am proved wrong as the band cuts out and moves into an eerie space- atmospheric motif with totally different, almost-Latin dance rhythm drums, while male vocalist Lo'c starts a fast and continuous repetition of the words "Don't you love the bright lights"--first in a theatric kind of whisper vocal which grows increasingly aggressive, deranged, before turning at 5:20 to full-blown metal screams. So Oceansize! By the time we get to the eighth minute it's full blown prog metal, but then the music goes into a gentler "decay" with many weird and unstable instrumental sounds playing out to the song's end. (17.75/20)

7. "Parabiosis (8:12) carrying over from the previous song's droning synth notes, the craziness continues--as does the OCEANSIZE sound and style. This variation is of the gentler, subtler, more subtle form as --until 1:43 when drums and voice burst forth with bass and Fripp-like angular electric guitar riffs weaving into the mix. The rap-like multi-voiced vocal that starts at the end of the third minute is so OCEANSIZE. (This section/song could definitely be mistaken for an actual Oceansize song.) A gentle interlude at the end of the fourth minute preps us for the STARE AT THE CLOUDS-like djenty passage that begins at 5:05. I love the Fripp-like guitar exposition throughout this song. Coupled with the Mark Heron-like syncopated drum patterns, it's almost Crimsonian! My favorite song on the album. (13.75/15)

8. "Subatlantic (6:55) a starkly-populated spacescape is gradually transformed into a hypnotic psychedelic stoner rock whose djenty power chords and aggressive growl vocals moves it well into the territory of prog metal. Quite the violent and despondent end! But, I think, effective. (13.25/15)

Total Time 52:24

I'm not sure what the aim/intention/objective of this album was. I know the band has been releasing a progression of themed albums based around a concept of Earth's planet-wide bio/eco-logical life cycles (Phanerozoic, Mezozoic, Cenozoic, Paleozoic, Pelagial, Anthropocentric, Heliocentric, Precambrian, Aeolian) but what are they trying to get across to their audience with this one? Did the Holocene start out as a more somber, tame, and simplistic era and then burst into chaos?

Anyway, the music is fine, suffering only for its combined familiarity (with either Chroma Key or Oceansize sounds and styles), excelling when they go full-Oceansize or djenty Stare At The Clouds.

B+/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of Progressive Metal or Heavy Prog that should be on every prog lover's list of albums to check out.

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