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OCEANS OF NIGHT

Progressive Metal • United States


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Oceans of Night biography
OCEANS OF NIGHT is a heavy rock/metal band that synthesizes a diverse range of musical influences under the deceptively descriptive title of ambient progressive rock. As the enigmatic and mysterious name suggests, OCEANS OF NIGHT forge a powerful, modern and dynamic musical experience that demands your undivided attention.

Consisting of musical mastermind Scott Mosher and vocal powerhouse Scott Oliva, OCEANS OF NIGHT released their first CD, "The Shadowheart Mirror", in June of 2009. Equal parts progressive metal and modern rock served with a distinct ambient flavor, "The Shadowheart Mirror" is a dark, haunting and cinematic musical statement that resonates with emotional impact.

Through the course of 4 CD's, Scott Mosher has bridged the worlds of progressive metal, melodic hard rock and ambient music to create an experimental yet complimentary style of ambient metal that is at once as subtle as it is powerful, aggressive as it is dynamic and timeless as it is modern. Scott Oliva continues to perform in the legendary NY IRON MAIDEN tribute band, LIVE AFTER DEATH and has played with WIND WRAITH, INNER STRENGTH, LAST VISION BLACK and DRIVEN. The Scott's have previously worked together on Mr. Mosher?s 4th CD release, "Deep Horizon", in 2006.

Bio courtesy of http://www.oceansofnight.com/

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Midnight RisingMidnight Rising
CD Baby 2014
Audio CD$9.09
$16.66 (used)
The Shadowheart MirrorThe Shadowheart Mirror
CD Baby 2009
Audio CD$7.04
$5.38 (used)
DomainDomain
CD Baby 2011
Audio CD$9.11
$65.94 (used)
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OCEANS OF NIGHT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.56 | 3 ratings
The Shadowheart Mirror
2009
3.05 | 5 ratings
Domain
2011
4.00 | 1 ratings
Midnight Rising
2014

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OCEANS OF NIGHT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Midnight Rising by OCEANS OF NIGHT album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Midnight Rising
Oceans of Night Progressive Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
4 stars 'Midnight Rising' - Oceans of Night (74/100)

Midnight Rising is the best record from Oceans of Night to date. I say this as someone who has followed the band's saga from their debut The Shadowheart Mirror and even prior to that, with multi- instrumentalist Scott Mosher's quadrilogy of solo albums. In a broad sense, Oceans of Night is a continuation of Mosher's solo ambitions, drawing sounds from ambient, electronic and prog traditions under a banner of bombastic melodic metal. Collaborating with vocalist (and fellow Scott) Oliva, the pair make a promising duo, with more than enough talent between the two to make Oceans of Night a potential force to be reckoned with. In spite of that promise, there were problems on both of their past records that held me back from full appreciation; The Shadowheart Mirror sported solid songs and melodic writing but suffered from a muddy production. It's follow-up, Domain on the other hand improved upon the execution, but lacked the tactful composition to make it feel like an improvement. With Midnight Rising, I'm all-too happy to hear writing and execution impressing me evenly. Oceans of Night's third record isn't without its share of weaker aspects, but whatever faults there are on the album are vastly outweighed by the ambitious strides they have made here.

In describing Oceans of Night, I'm torn between likening them to traditional progressive metal, or placing them within the melodic branch of modern prog. Oliva's theatrical delivery and many of Mosher's riffs convey a rich appreciate for '80s progressive metal (primarily Queensryche and John Arch-era Fates Warning), but the weight they've placed on retro-futuristic space atmosphere is reminiscent of Arjen Lucassen's Star One project, or Portugal's Factory of Dreams. For what it's worth, many of the best bands in [progressive rock today see fit to fuse influences old and new together, and this natural mix of styles has resulted in a fairly distinctive sound for Oceans of Night, especially for a band with such a focus on melody.

While The Shadowheart Mirror was defined by its songwriting and Domain for its atmosphere, Midnight Rising is so defined by its proper fusion of the two. Nostalgic synthesizers and space-age timbres have a very strong presence on the album (at times even outshining the guitars), but (unlike Domain) it hasn't softened their sense of composition. Midnight Rising is alight with some of the best, most style-defining tracks Oceans of Night have yet done. "Gone Forever" is the best song Oceans of Night have ever produced, with melodies and structure so tightly refined it's easy to forget the track is over ten minutes long. At the same time, Scott Mosher has spread the project's wings a little further, branching out with a couple of surprises along the way. "A World Born of Fire" is a change of pace for the band nearly to the point of seeming out of place; it takes a much more metal-centric approach, ditching the vocals for an instrumental that you might hear from Fates Warning or Dream Theater. The album closer "Reach Me" (made special with guest vocals from Stephanie Warren) recalls something Devin Townsend might have done with Anneke van Giersbergen, circa Addicted.

For an album with such an emphasis on melody, Midnight Rising isn't particularly sharp with its hooks. This could be said even moreso for the work Oceans of Night have done in the past. Oliva's vocals are rich and striking (drawing a close parallel with Queensryche's Geoff Tate, before he lost his edge), but his voice never seems integrated fully with Mosher's instrumentation. I'd guess that Oliva's vocal lines were penned atop the instruments after the fact. Oliva's contributions on Midnight Rising are certainly inspired, but the vocals still aren't as fully infused into Oceans of Night's songwriting as I'd like to hear. With that having been said, the duo sculpt an excellent chorus on "Gone Forever", and "Midnight Rising" is one of the best-written tunes they've done so far.

Oceans of Night's songwriting still doesn't jump out at me as consistently as I'd like it to, but Midnight Rising more than compensates for it with many stand-out passages and ideas. Oceans of Night's space-age atmosphere gives Mosher plenty opportunity to explore ambient approaches alongside the metal. The introduction to "Midnight Rising" is long and ominous, bringing to mind what the Blade Runner soundtrack might have sounded in the hands of rock musicians. "Critical Mass / The Breathless Sleep" conjures up some incredible atmosphere with its simple guitar lead and subtle synthesizers. While Scott Mosher's flagship instrument is clearly the guitar, it's the synthesizers and electronic incorporations that arguably impress me the most on Midnight Rising. The drum duties have been attributed here to the dubiously-named 'Alan Smithee' (search up some of the man's other accomplishments and you'll understand my doubts); even though the drums are almost certainly programmed, they're well-composed and don't cheapen the band's sound at all, though I'm sure Oceans of Night would benefit from the dimension added by a live drummer.

Ultimately, I think Midnight Rising has been a long time coming. It's always been obvious that Oceans of Night had the talent and stylistic novelty to create a great album, but there always seemed to be kinks in the formula that needed work. There's still plenty of room left for Oceans of Night to refine their craft, but with Midnight Rising, I think they are finally hitting their stride.

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 Domain by OCEANS OF NIGHT album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.05 | 5 ratings

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Domain
Oceans of Night Progressive Metal

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars US duo OCEANS OF NIGHT is the creative vehicle of composer and instrumentalist Scott Mosher with Scott Oliva catering for vocals and some of the lyrics. The twosome made their debut with "The Shadowheart Mirror" back in 2009. "Domain" is their second full length production, and was released in the fall of 2011.

Dark, bombastic progressive metal liberally flavored with futuristic keyboard sounds and ambient moods is what Oceans Of Night provides on their second album "Domain". The epic beast of a title track is arguably the best reason to examine this disc, as long as you like music of this character. How much the rest of this CD will be enjoyed depends very much on your taste in lead vocals. If you enjoy operatic-oriented, emotional vocals chances are good that you'll love the other tracks too; if you don't, then this is a disc that warrants a closer inspection prior to a purchasing decision.

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 Domain by OCEANS OF NIGHT album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.05 | 5 ratings

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Domain
Oceans of Night Progressive Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Domain' - Oceans Of Night (6/10)

The second album by Scotts Mosher and Oliva represents a distinct shift towards the artsier side of metal. With 'The Shadowheart Mirror', Oceans Of Night introduced themselves with a debut album that screamed all things 'melodic'. While it was very impressive in terms of songwriting, I found that the band did not live up to the 'ambient prog metal' label they pitched themselves with. Now, their sophomore 'Domain' sees Oceans Of Night amping up their ambition, and finally creating a more distinct sound for themselves. Like so many second albums by artists though, in maturing their sound, they have lost some of the charm that drew me towards the debut.

To say that 'Domain' is a step above 'Shadowheart' would be only half-true. In many ways, Oceans Of Night have created a more challenging, denser work here. On the other hand, as ambitious as 'Domain' is, its the melodies and memorable songwriting that have been hit the hardest. With a seventeen minute track opening up the album, it's instantly clear that Oceans Of Night have configured their priorities, and in doing so, they have had to let some good things go. Ultimately, the more forward-thinking approach here is to the band's credit. Though there is a much greater emphasis on progressive atmosphere, the quality of the music itself has not been much improved. It's as if they have bought a bigger fish tank, without buying more fishies to warrant the purchase.

Of the two Scotts, Mosher handles the music, while Oliva lends his vocals. While Oliva's classic metal singing was the musical highlight of 'Shadowheart', here his vocals are a little more reserved. Although not as impressive at first, it's a natural change that goes well with the new musical direction Oceans Of Night is going for here. The new star of the show are Mosher's spacey keyboards. This is where the 'ambient' aspect of Oceans' sound comes through. They sound much like the sort of keyboards that Geddy Lee used on Rush's 'Moving Pictures', and they work well to create a futuristic vibe for the music. In terms of the metal, Oceans Of Night's production has enjoyed some improvements in regards to the once-garbled rhythm guitars, but the sound still feels a bit flat. Mosher's lead guitar work is beautiful, but as a whole, I prefer 'Shadowheart's upfront catchiness to this more reserved approach. Both of Oceans Of Night's albums to date are about the same in terms of quality, but they achieve that quality through very different outlets. Where the debut was enjoyable for its melody and songwriting, 'Domain' is intriguing for its ambition and vast atmosphere. I'm not completely sold on either album, but it will be very interesting to see where they go next with it.

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 The Shadowheart Mirror by OCEANS OF NIGHT album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.56 | 3 ratings

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The Shadowheart Mirror
Oceans of Night Progressive Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'The Shadowheart Mirror' - Oceans Of Night (6/10)

Scott Mosher is a musician already fairly established in progressive metal. With a string of solo releases under his belt, he was already an experienced recording artist by the time Oceans Of Night was formed. Collaborating with vocalist Scott Oliva (no, not the singer from Savatage!), Oceans Of Night seeks to move Mosher's music forward. 'The Shadowheart Mirror' is no revelation for progressive metal, but it stands as a strong collection of well- written tracks that probably could have been better.

Although the band self-labels themselves as 'ambient progressive metal', Oceans Of Night are rooted in the sound and tone of classic melodic metal. Power metal may be a good fit for this music, although the ambient angle does come through in the thick keyboard atmosphere. Incorporating slight prog sounds into the highly melodic take on heavy metal, it's clear from the start that Oceans Of Night are placing themselves within a school that's crowded as it is. Where 'The Shadowheart MIrror' lifts itself up however is through the songwriting, which- above and beyond- is the best thing that the album has going for it. Although I've admittedly grown weary of the 'AOR' take on progressive metal, Oceans Of Night have an excellent grasp of melody, and I found myself humming along to many of these tunes by the third chorus. Driving most of the melodies is vocalist Scott Oliva, who has a voice perfectly suited for this sort of music. I could compare him to a slew of legendary metal vocalists; Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford, or Geoff Tate. As technically skilled a vocalist as he is, 'The Shadowheart Mirror' does not showcase him as being terribly unique, although his performance here is top notch.

Scott Mosher's contribution lies in the instrumental delivery, and this is where Oceans Of Night's execution gets a little muddy. First of all, Mosher is a great musician, and though he has several instruments to contend with here, he manages to succeed with each of them, at least decently. The complaints I have about the instrumentation don't lie in the way Mosher has played, but rather the way it is recorded. The production on 'The Shadowheart Mirror' is painfully inconsistent. Oliva's vocals and the playful guitar leads are both captured beautifully, and though the keyboards and drums are doused with nostalgic 80's cheese, they're still listenable. Where Oceans Of Night gets hurt badly are the rhythm guitars, and the way they have been recorded. Throughout the album, the rhythm guitar sounds either like it's playing through an amp that's blown, or my speakers themselves have bit it. I checked it a couple of sound systems however, and while the other aspects of Oceans Of Night were coming out clearly, the garbled sound of the rhythm guitar is painful. For audiophiles out there, the blown rhythm tone might be enough to put you off your lunch. It's a real shame too, because the rest of 'The Shadowheart Mirror' makes Oceans Of Night out to be an incredibly capable melodic metal act. While they're not 'my sort of metal' by any means, there is skill with crafting great songs and catchy hooks that lifts the band's work above many of their melodic peers.

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 The Shadowheart Mirror by OCEANS OF NIGHT album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.56 | 3 ratings

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The Shadowheart Mirror
Oceans of Night Progressive Metal

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Oceans of Night is first and foremost the creative vehicle of Scott Mosher, with vocal contributions from one Scott Oliva. The Shadowheart Mirror is their debut effort, and while it has several weaknesses it does hold some promise as well.

The music presented here is a rather primitive one as far as progressive music goes. Few changes of pace, sound and style; there's hardly any truly sophisticated elemenst utilized either - no subtle dissonances or disharmonies, nor instrumental details adding slight touches of variations to the proceedings. Instead, the main focus seems to be on melodramatics and stark contrasts.

The stylistic expression blends AOR with a slightly sophisticated version of power metal - vintage Bon Jovi meets vintage Helloween if you like. Singalong melodies and chorus parts, dark, distorted guitars contrasted by light, floating synth textures and powerful very typical metal vocals on top - think a less refined Brude Dickinson for the latter. With a few dreamier passages thrown in for good measure - hence the ambient descriptions given by the band.

The basic ideas are rather good for a fun, simple prog metal joyride. But poor production - at least as I hear it - is a general weakness. The guitars, apart from the soloing passages, sounds undefined and noisy. The vocals appear too be just slightly out of tune at times - probably not noticeable by most listeners though, as I know I am picky about this one. And at last the programmed drums sounds like just that, one-dimensional and mechanical. Which to some extent sums up this album too. With better mix and production this could have been an enjoyable effort, but as far as I'm concerned the weaknesses present distracts too much.

When that is said: I'm close to 40 years old, have listened to such vast amounts of music that my standards are somewhat extreme at times - and 20 years ago I know I would have found this album fascinating. Oceans of Night most certainly aren't in the same league as acts like Riverside or Ayreon, but if a less sophisticated romp through the genre with distinctly old school metal vocals and slight AOR leanings sounds like fun, you might just come to like this production.

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