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Symphonic Prog • Germany

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Ocean picture
Ocean biography
In the beginning of the 80's, a group of teenage musicians lead by keyboardist Peter J. Kunz, formed OCEAN, a Symphonic band with ELP and FOCUS influence that combined the clear Symphonic elements with a bit of Jazz.

Their two albums "Melody" (1981) and "Double Vision" (1984) are very rare collector items, very hard to get, being that they were only released on LP. Sadly we can't add more biographical information because the band never had a web site and most Prog literature hardly mentions them, but surely OCEAN deserves a place in Prog Archives.

Iván Melgar - Morey - Perú

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

4.04 | 12 ratings
3.20 | 5 ratings
Double Vision

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OCEAN Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Melody by OCEAN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.04 | 12 ratings

Ocean Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Absolutely obscure German band from the early-80's, started as a trio with two keyboardists, namely Mike Hoffmann and Peter Kunz, along with drummer Thomas Pfeiffer.For their first album they were helped by bassist Gregor Heinrich.''Melody'' was recorded between February and April of 1981 and released the same year for the cult German label Tonstudio Bieber.

The dual keyboard attack of Hoffmann and Kunz managed to produce an incredibly rich, grandiose and dramatic sound, accompanied by a soft but tight rhythm section, which recalls much of the works by SCHICKE, FUHRS & FROHLING.And while the compositions never match the absolute inspiration of the later, they are sure adventurous, highly inventive and bombastic at moments.Most of them follow the familiar Symphonic/Classical Rock vein with some fantastic piano work, nice string and moog synths and a touch of mellotron, containing some great harmonies and creating some fully romantic atmospheres, sometimes close to NOVALIS.The combination of the keyboard-led complex patterns with the piano-centered amazing interludes is simply stunning for the most of the album's length.A couple of jazzy breaks appear on the album as well, for example the middle part of ''7 to 8 melody'' or the entire ''Melody bass'' are nothing more than smooth Jazz with delicate piano lines, not completely conveincing but not bad either.Still the big symphonic mood covering the effort is the definitive highlight of ''Melody''.

Great but extremely rare release.Fans of keyboard-based prog and Symphonic Rock are propably the ones who should invest some more bucks to track down a copy.Romantic, atmospheric and well-executed prog of high level, strongly recommended to say the least.

 Melody by OCEAN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.04 | 12 ratings

Ocean Symphonic Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Although not blessed with the greatest production, a dull cover, and some wildly varying mixing, the playing from the young band members and their arrangements of the material is first rate. Serving up classical influenced instrumental progressive rock in the E.L.P and Focus vein, with slight jazz elements sometimes creeping in, the album is filled with nearly all top-notch material. Considering the band members all appear to be barely out of their teens, they all show incredible playing ability and skills, and each get numerous moments to shine.

The title track features an endless number of good ideas, great variety of piano, organ, bubbling synth runs, some very busy drumming and chunky grumbling bass. Easy enough to win any fan of classically inspired progressive rock over.

`Katrin' has an uplifting quality to it, the piano being a particular highlight on this one. It also drifts in and out of more serious and dramatic moments that are very striking. At a little over four minutes, there's a great deal going on without being over-cluttered and too busy.

Haunting but brief Mellotron throughout the first minute of `7 to 8 Melody', though there's a (thankfully short) somewhat cheesy `honky tonk' piano section in the middle of the track that reminds me of my least favourite moments of any Rick Wakeman solo albums! The rest of the track is superb, especially the triumphant finale.

`Wild Pig' has a more urgent and frantic sound, and occasionally it's quite bombastic. It's slightly let down by one or two sections with loud and overmixed string outbursts that boom over the top and drown out the rest of the music. This however is only a slight complaint!

`Slow & Chromatic' has sombre church organ and Mellotron, quite restrained and almost subtle compared to the business of much of the rest of the album. Very classical and gothic, it's a welcome break right in the middle of the album. Spacey sound effects and epic piano add a real sense of drama and mystery to this one.

Very jazzy piano brings another surprising element to this album on the short but sweet `Melody Bass', a very warm and positive sounding track. A welcome surprise, and yet another highlight.

`Bolero' ends the album with a very joyful E.L.P sounding fanfare finale, however the three and a half minute track is very repetitive and under-developed, and hardly a fitting sendoff for the album. The only disappointing part of the album.

If you can find the album, do not hesitate to snap it up. It's a first-rate prog knockout that showed a band with immense potential and endless ideas. `Melody' is a more than worthy addition to any prog fan's collection.

Also, well done to David (Prog archives member Yam Yam) for getting this band on the Archives in the first place!!

Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition.

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