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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)

3.78 | 54 ratings
Fluxion
2004
3.69 | 52 ratings
Aeolian
2006
4.10 | 110 ratings
Precambrian
2007
3.66 | 72 ratings
Heliocentric
2010
3.97 | 104 ratings
Anthropocentric
2010
3.88 | 152 ratings
Pelagial
2013
4.13 | 93 ratings
Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic
2018
3.95 | 95 ratings
Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic
2020
3.87 | 20 ratings
Holocene
2023

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)

4.83 | 6 ratings
Fluxion/Aeolian
2005

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

3.19 | 7 ratings
Islands/Tides
2001
4.67 | 3 ratings
2nd Demo
2002
3.69 | 17 ratings
Fogdiver
2003
5.00 | 3 ratings
Queen of the Food-Chain/Inertia
2005
4.00 | 8 ratings
Transcendental
2015

THE OCEAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Holocene by OCEAN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2023
3.87 | 20 ratings

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Holocene
The Ocean Experimental/Post Metal

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.

 Pelagial by OCEAN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.88 | 152 ratings

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Pelagial
The Ocean Experimental/Post Metal

Review by DangHeck
Prog Reviewer

3 stars An album suggestion from a good friend of mine (specifically a fan of Avant-Prog and Prog Metal predominantly), Palagial is the sixth LP by German Progressive Post-Metal band The Ocean, released in 2013. Certainly didn't know they hailed from Germany, nor how long they've been in the game so to speak (their first apparent Demo EP released in 2001), and I certainly am entrusting my current (now less ignorant) view of them with Wikipedia. Praise be haha. This album came out around the time I became only vaguely familiar with this side of modern progressive music (I really liked Russian Circles), so... That's exciting!

Our album begins with the underwater beauty that is "Epipelagic", with simple piano as bubbles rise up to meet us, continuing seamlessly into "Mesopelagic: Into the Uncanny". String arrangements are provided by Philippe Glandien, and we get some loveliness thereby until the rest of the traditional Rock instrumentation, most notably electric guitar, comes in fullness. Highly melodic, we have clean, though gruff, lead vocals from Loic Rossetti, who also performs unclean, heard specifically with some of the most intricate rhythm work on the track. There are of course elements of Prog Metal, yet they are met with what I would consider Alt Metal. And frankly, the opening up that occurs in the fourth minute, perhaps surprisingly, reminded me immediately (and weirdly) of Foo Fighters. This is heightened by the choice of guitar tone used. What comes next, though it were naturally that same track, is a sweetening on "Bathyalpelagic I: Impasses", with the return of apparently acoustic piano and some pretty great vocal melodies. I'm really enjoying this one. Vocals here interestingly reminded me most specifically of Beardfish's Rikard Sjoblom. Some of the rhythmic flavors are also reminiscent of Tool. Continuing on in "Bathyalpelagic II: The Wish in Dreams", we get more beeves with unclean vocals at the start. The guitar work is pretty good, being orchestrated and well-purposed in my opinion. Still flavored with various Alt Metal schticks, and even so, this track is the strongest so far.

As "Bathyalpelagic" comes to a close, we get its final part, "III: Disequillibrated", begun with more heavenly key work, honestly my favorite element next to the rhythmically complex riffs they've presented thus far. This track additionally has some of the best guitar work to this point, again well composed. It strikes me as Thrash-inspired. Apparently all guitar is performed by Robin Staps, though this track features a great solo by Mitch Hertz [I tried to find more on Hertz, though I don't know what 'Hot Slop' is and he apparently only ever appeared on this and The Ocean's prior release]. Once more seamlessly, we transition to the next multi-parter, "Abyssopelagic", its first part "Boundless Vasts" featuring a pretty great, very Post-Metal riff. Here, we also get a return of our strings, this time featuring all three performers. This then falls away, in preparation for the second part, "Abyssopelagic II: Signals of Anxiety", which then starts off with a very singular, otherwise ambient bass and guitar chord figure. This builds slowly, I feel appropriately approaching the feeling of its title. This is a very Post-Rock sorta track... Skip... Any Avant-garde elements here, thus far, have been bettered elsewhere. Vocals here, once more, but to put it in plain language, are quintessential Post-Grunge. Unavoidable. Not sorry. Say your prayers haha.

This lull continues on the equally singular "Hadopelagic I: Omen of the Deep"... Its second and final part, "Let Them Believe" is of an entirely other feel, with the return of clean guitar sounds, first heard in the introductory "Epipelagic". "Omen...", to me, had almost no purpose (this feels significant, given the clear conceptual nature of Palagial). With clean instrumentation, we also get more from Rossetti's strong suit (seriously, he has a great voice). This is our longest track, at over 9 minutes (barely longer than what comes next). Big, beautiful chords here. We also get some really interesting, sort of swirly synth(?), I assume then by Vincent Membrez, though honestly I wish it were seriously prioritized in the mix. Much needed quirk. What can be said, though, is that the mixing for the album is genuinely good. With the continuation of other varied sounds within the layers, acoustic piano is met with cello at least. Some really unusual rhythms are pulled out and this will certainly grab your attention, as it did mine. Anyways, far as I'm concerned, "Let Them Believe" is how you do Post-Metal.

Approaching the end to our concept album, "Demersal: Cognitive Dissonance" has a very fun, bouncing rhythm. Some of the most quirky ideas on the album, these elements mostly disperse in favor of ginormo guitar and a hypnotic beat (a modification from the aforementioned introductory rhythm). I'm totally blanking on where I've heard this particular vocal style, though ultimately I feel it's likely rooted in Metalcore. Once again, big beeves all 'round. One of the strongest tracks for the sake of pure songcraft, to me. This is where Post-Metal intersects with subgenres such as Doom. Low and slow, yet totally effective. Finally, we have "Benthic: The Origin of Our Wishes", which is frankly a continuation of this doomy effect; though in this, the track honestly did just about nothing for me. So, it's a somewhat sad ending to an otherwise decent concept album.

True Rate: [barely] 3.5/5.0

 Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic by OCEAN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.95 | 95 ratings

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

Review by Gallifrey

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 - www.facebook.com/TheExoskeletalJunction

 Precambrian by OCEAN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.10 | 110 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
3.95 | 95 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
3.95 | 95 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
3.95 | 95 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
3.95 | 95 ratings

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

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

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.

 Precambrian by OCEAN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.10 | 110 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
3.69 | 52 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)

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

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