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THE OCEAN

Experimental/Post Metal • Germany


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The Ocean picture
The Ocean biography
Founded in Berlin, Germany in 2000

THE OCEAN also known as THE OCEAN COLLECTIVE is a German post metal started by guitarist Robin Staps in 2000. During the first 2 years of its formation the band went through a constant change in lineup, having about 40 musicians joining and leaving the band before finding a more stable lineup. In July 2002 the band played their first concert at Berlin's Eimer's Club, followed by the self-release of their eponymous debut album entitled "Island/Tides".

After a short tour alongside Swedish band COMA in early 2003 the band signed with Make My Day Records and thus releasing the "Fogdiver" EP consisting only of 5 instrumental tracks though they had vocals when played live. "Fogdiver" was well received by critics unlike their previous album.

In early 2004 the band headed back to the studio to record two studio albums entitled "Fluxion" and "Aeolian". "Fluxion" was released through Make My Day Records and Throne Records in August 2004. The album featured a more calm and atmospheric sound and the incorporation of vocals and thus causing critics to consider the album "a step backwards in terms of innovation and originality". In 2005 the band changed their record label to Metal Blade Records. The remaining songs from their previous sessions would become "Aeolian". The album was released in March 2006 through their new label and featured a more metal sound and did not included classical instruments and electronic sounds like on previous albums. The album featured several vocalists instead of one like in Fluxion, which included Nate Newton (CONVERGE), Sean Ingram (COALESCE) and Tomas Hallbom (BREACH).

The release was followed by 5 months of touring to support the album. At the end of the year the band began working on their next album entitled "Precambrian" which was released in November 2007. The album contained 2 discs: the first one featured a heavier and raw influence similar to their previous album Aeolian while the second was more post metal influenced with the inclusion of classical instruments and electronic elements like the ones found in "Fluxion".

- Sebastian Maldonado (burritounit) -

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THE OCEAN discography


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THE OCEAN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.85 | 44 ratings
Fluxion
2004
3.81 | 43 ratings
Aeolian
2006
4.10 | 98 ratings
Precambrian
2007
3.67 | 58 ratings
Heliocentric
2010
3.96 | 91 ratings
Anthropocentric
2010
3.96 | 139 ratings
Pelagial
2013
4.12 | 77 ratings
Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic
2018
3.99 | 75 ratings
Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic
2020

THE OCEAN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

THE OCEAN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

THE OCEAN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.43 | 7 ratings
Fluxion/Aeolian
2005

THE OCEAN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.20 | 6 ratings
Islands/Tides
2001
5.00 | 3 ratings
2nd Demo
2002
3.71 | 13 ratings
Fogdiver
2003
5.00 | 3 ratings
Queen of the Food-Chain/Inertia
2005
4.40 | 5 ratings
Transcendental
2015

THE OCEAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Precambrian by OCEAN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.10 | 98 ratings

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Precambrian
The Ocean Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Gorgut Muncher

5 stars One of the best Post-Metal albums I've ever heard. The first CD is ok but the second CD is where it all really shines. Heavy riff sections, death metal vocals, trancelike keyboards, all packed into one. Precambrian is a double-CD album that features The Ocean showcasing all the skills (which are many) that they're good at.

Hadean/Archaean is the first CD and features very straightforward progressive metal. It's forty minutes shorter than the second CD. The second CD features more atmospheric, sludge-metal-ish music and it works even better. Highly recommended to all Post-Metal fans. Very solid, very well performed. Five stars for me.

 Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic by OCEAN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.99 | 75 ratings

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Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic
The Ocean Experimental/Post Metal

Review by JohnProg

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!

 Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic by OCEAN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.99 | 75 ratings

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Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic
The Ocean Experimental/Post Metal

Review by progtime1234567

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.

 Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic by OCEAN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.99 | 75 ratings

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Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic
The Ocean Experimental/Post Metal

Review by ssmarcus

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.

 Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic by OCEAN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.99 | 75 ratings

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Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic
The Ocean Experimental/Post Metal

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator 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.

 Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic by OCEAN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.99 | 75 ratings

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Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic
The Ocean Experimental/Post Metal

Review by javajeff

5 stars The Ocean knocked this one out of the park. It is seriously an instant classic that is even better than the first one. Incredible musicianship like their other releases, and this just starts off swinging. The first two tracks Triassic and Jurassic | Cretaceous are easily two of their best songs in their entire discography and it keeps going after that. With non stop perfection, this may even be their best album to date. They have really developed a grasp of composing in layers, and adding those jazzy interludes at the right moments. Then they know how to just flat out rock. Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic has it all for fans of this genre. It is highly progressive, extreme metal with very memorable tracks. It shows a ton of growth, and incorporates everything from alternative rock to jazz, extreme metal, and progressive rock. The mix is aural candy, the drums by Paul Seidel pop, growl and clean vocals are fantastic, and the guitar riffs are stellar. Add a little synth and keyboard magic by Peter Voigtmann, and this is a serious album of the year contender.
 Precambrian by OCEAN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.10 | 98 ratings

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Precambrian
The Ocean Experimental/Post Metal

Review by ssmarcus

5 stars Germany's The Ocean have established themselves in the upper echelons of modern progressive metal right alongside the likes of Haken and Between the Buried and Me. Their (very) slow ascent to greatness was kicked off with the release of this very record,Precambrian, a sprawling 2-disc epic concept album that establishes many of the musical and lyrical elements that The Ocean would continue to employ in later releases.

Despite formally being a post metal act, The Ocean always had a punchier and groovier edge to their riffs, much in the vein of Lamb of God or Meshuggah but with a sludgy gloss. While the first disc takes this tendency to its brutal and oh so primal extreme, the second disc sees group truly explore their experimental and progressive side with the inclusion of chamber instruments and more ambient passages. Like many of the group's future releases, the record is disguised as a concept album about some high-brow scientific topic when, in reality, the science merely serves as a metaphor for a much deeper explorations of man's nature.

Precambrian deserves its perfect score but, in hind sight, its hard not to see how it could have been even better. At this stage in their development, The Ocean still functioned as a 'collective' with a heavy reliance on guest and revolving door musicians. As such, vocalist Loic Rossetti and his signature blend of heavy, clean, and distorted vocals was not yet apart of group's sound. There is little doubt that side 2's melodic passages would have been significantly enhanced with Loic's contributions.

 Aeolian by OCEAN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.81 | 43 ratings

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Aeolian
The Ocean Experimental/Post Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Aeolian" is the 2nd full-length studio album by German sludge/post metal/hardcore act The Ocean (sometimes referred to as The Ocean Collective). The album was released through Metal Blade Records in November 2005. "Aeolian" is the second part of a two album project that started with "Fluxion (2004)". As far as I understand the tracks for the two albums were written and recorded during the same sessions, but the band (or the label?) decided to release the most atmospheric and orchestral material on "Fluxion" and the more aggressive and direct material on "Aeolian".

...it's definitely an interesting approach and to my ears "Fluxion" started the project pretty successfully. "Aeolian" is definitely the harder edged ugly monster sibling. The level of aggression and the amount of chugging riffs are much higher on "Aeolian" than the case was on "Fluxion", and "Aeolian" is not at all as atmospheric or as sophisticated as "Fluxion" either (although not completely devoid of atmospheric moments). We're still dealing with fairly technical playing and complex compositions, but the emphasis is on aggression and heavy riffing. The vocals are predominantly raw and shouting type sludge/hardcore vocals. There are as many as 6 different vocalists who contribute to the album, so the vocal style also changes from deep semi-growling, to harsh hardcore screaming, to aggressive barking.

While all material on the 10 track, 55:32 minutes long album is well written and performed, there is a slight identity crisis heard throughout the album, and it's like The Ocean can't decide if they want to play metal or hardcore (there are several predominantly hardcore oriented tracks on the album). There's even a wiff of metalcore/melodic death metal featured at one point, so it's not a stylistically consistent release. Wether that's a weakness or a strength is up for discussion, but personally I found the band's adventurous approach to musical styles relatively intriguing, albeit not always equally successful. Highlights include "The City in the Sea" and "Inertia", which are the two tracks that bookends the album. Especially the latter is a great track, but all material on the album is of a good quality.

"Aeolian" features a well sounding and powerful production, which suits the material well and the musicianship is on a high level on all posts. So upon conclusion "Aeolian" is through and through a high quality release. Compared to it's sister release "Fluxion", "Aeolian" is slightly less interesting though, but a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is still deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

 Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic by OCEAN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.12 | 77 ratings

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Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic
The Ocean Experimental/Post Metal

Review by ssmarcus

5 stars With such inspiring album names like 'Pre-Cambrian,' 'Heliocentric,' and, most recently, 'Phanerozoic,' casual prog metal fans could be forgiven for assuming The Ocean specializes in some form of insufferable overly technical high-brow prog metal. But as fans of the German prog and post metal veterans can attest, The Ocean's use of textbook scientific imagery simply provides the metaphorical foundations for the band's exploration of man's essential nature, the quality of his relationships, and his place in the universe. 'Phanerozoic' continues this tradition by offering up a heavy but genuinely moving meditation on the cyclical nature of life going in and out of existence across an unfathomably long length of time across the Earth's history. The album's finisher 'Permian: The Great Dying' may be one of the best songs I have heard in the 2010's.
 Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic by OCEAN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.12 | 77 ratings

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Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic
The Ocean Experimental/Post Metal

Review by rogerthat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars A few months back, I had the privilege of watching this band in concert. It truly was a privilege. I have seen Iron Maiden, Scorpions and Satyricon apart from a bunch of Indian metal/rock bands in concert. The Iron Maiden show in particular was unforgettable as over 30,000 fans had gathered for what was Maiden's first show in India and we screamed out the lyrics along with Bruce Dickinson all the way till the end. The Ocean show I attended was in a small performing area attached to a pub and was attended by 100 fans tops in a venue that could have accommodated. And it was hands down the best rock/metal show I have attended. Nothing else has ever come close. This is doubtless also a product of the limited opportunities I get to watch top notch international acts. But it is equally a tribute to the incredible musicianship of Ocean, be it their energy or their precision or their eclecticism.

Yes, Rossetti's vocals ARE effective both when he's doing those growled screams and when he's singing clean. They performed this whole album and he can keep it up song after song without a drop in intensity. If he lost pitch ever, I didn't hear it. And he crowdsurfed while still singing, yes! He also came up with jaw dropping sustained screams. Needless to say, he does everything in the studio too that he does live.

Stags and Hagerstrand double up to form a super-heavy rhythm section. Man, are those riffs crushing. They mount a wall of heaviness so formidable and imposing you just watch and listen in astonishment without complaining about the lack of solos. Or the fact that the music largely stays in a mid range tempo. There are ebbs and crests but rarely do they play at thrash/death metal tempos. You THINK song after song of despairing, slow/mid tempo sludge metal is gonna get boring fast but the heaviness by itself is so awesome to behold you are gasping for breath instead.

The other reason it doesn't get boring is the drummer Paul Seidel. Bespectacled and genial (like a metal version of John Weathers), he is incredibly creative with his fills whilst also possessing the chops to pull off those intense, brutal metal breakdowns. He keeps changing up things just enough to nip any signs of monotony in the bud.

It is hard for me to describe the tracks very specifically on an individual basis. Ocean specialises in concept albums and the songs are deeply related and do run together. It is NOT a bad thing if you think of it as a sort of metal symphony as opposed to requiring lots of variety from one track to another. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of variation in here but the songwriting is cohesive to the point that it gets hard to separate one track from the other. It is best heard in one go from start to finish and the terrific production doesn't hurt at all.

The one possible flipside is that if for some reason, this kind of music isn't really your thing, NOTHING on here is going to work. But I can't imagine why that would be. If you read this up to this point, you are a metal listener aware of where metal is at these days without nostalgic yearning for the days when metal bands were slotted in very specific genres and made the same album again and again in service of genre purity.

As is the case with these awesome 21st century metal bands, Ocean is a hybrid that draws from metal through the ages to come up with something that is undeniably and unabashedly metal and yet doesn't sound like a rehash of metal classics like, I don't know, Altars of Madness, Obscura, Transcendence, None So Vile, etc. And they have done it again and again through the course of a long career. It's a wonder they aren't better known than they are. This album is as good an introduction to their work as any.

Thanks to burritounit for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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