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OUR OCEANS

Crossover Prog • Netherlands


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Our Oceans picture
Our Oceans biography
Founded in The Netherlands in 2013

Guitarist Tymon KRUIDENIER is known in the progressive metal world for his virtuoso skill and incredible technical songwriting ability and has a made a name for himself as a member of legendary prog death metal band CYNIC as well as his own band EXIVIOUS. After EXIVIOUS' second full length album, however, KRUIDENIER said that he wanted to explore a different avenue of songwriting - vocals. Thus, OUR OCEANS was born. KRUIDENIER began the band with a crowdfunding campaign in 2014 - he was looking for ?8,000 to fund the writing and recording of the new band's first album. He, along with EXIVIOUS bandmates Michel NIENHUIS (guitar) and Robin ZIELHORST (bass), as well as Jasper BARENDREGT (drums), also began to search for a vocalist, which ended with vocalist Noora HAKKINEN, a Myspace-based vocalist, whose preliminary demos seemed to fit Tymon's music excellently.

In early 2015, however, before the album had been completed, the band announced HAKKINEN was leaving the project due to personal differences and that the band would be pursuing different options for vocalists. After some weeks of silence, it was announced the KRUIDENIER himself would be taking over for the vocalist position, retaining the EXIVIOUS lineup for OUR OCEANS. The band's debut self-titled album was finally released after a successful crowdfunding campaign on November 15th, 2015.

The band's music is light and melodic, with some of the technical jazz influences of the band member's previous band. As KRUIDENIER explained when the project was first announced, this band was much more focused on the singer-songwriter atmosphere, and this can be seen in the music of the debut. The band is for fans of atmospheric, melodic progressive rock.

:::Andy Webb::::

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4.01 | 39 ratings
Our Oceans
2015
4.00 | 8 ratings
While Time Disappears
2020

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OUR OCEANS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 While Time Disappears by OUR OCEANS album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.00 | 8 ratings

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While Time Disappears
Our Oceans Crossover Prog

Review by nick_h_nz
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars [Originally published at The Progressive Aspect]

Our Oceans, as some may know, came from the ashes of Exivious. Well even that's not quite true, as Our Oceans was originally envisaged as being a one-off side project, and Exivious was reduced to ashes only after Tymon Kruidenier abandoned that band after realising he didn't want to return to being "just" the guitar player. This history is somewhat important, as this sophomore album from Our Oceans is a very different beast to the debut. And for that, I'm quite glad, as when it was first announced that Exivious existed no longer, and Our Oceans would be continuing, I was quite disappointed. Not that I don't like the debut Our Oceans album by any stretch of the imagination, but I do far prefer the music of Exivious. Their blend of metal and jazz fusion instrumentals easily trumps the more mellow and dreamy Our Oceans debut for me.

Our Oceans came from Tymon's desire to release a song-based album, and was initially a collaboration between him and Noora Häkkinen. However, creative differences meant Noora left before completion of the album. Well, I say before completion, but by all accounts the album was more or less complete, apart from vocals, and Tymon took these on himself. However, rather than this one- off side project getting Tymon's song-based writing out of its system, and after the end of Exivious, Our Oceans has been streamlined to a trio for While Time Disappears. And that's just the beginning of the changes!

Opening track and lead single Unravel is well titled, as within seconds any thoughts that this might be a continuation of the sound of the debut are unravelled. It sets the stall here, definitively stating that this will not be another mellow and dreamy affair. The song has its origins in the time when it remained uncertain whether it would be Exivious or Our Oceans which became the future, and that shows. This song has more than a little feel of Exivious about it. It's clear there will be more aggression on While Time Disappears, more of the metal that wasn't really present on the debut. As the album progresses, it also becomes obvious that the band is worrying far less about keeping within clear boundaries of any one style. The debut gave the impression that Tymon had envisioned a firm foundation to work on, with well planned blueprints of what to build upon them, so that the whole seemed somewhat constrained. While Time Disappears, however, seems more like it was built from only rough outlines, and although Tymon may still have had a map, he was happy taking whatever direction felt right at the time. It all feels more natural and fluid, and yet still an entirely cohesive listen.

Weeping Lead follows, and immediately pulls back to less beast and more beauty. If Our Oceans was Tymon's idea of creating song- based material, this is proof that he's taken it one step further, into singer-songwriter territory. Throughout the album I'm reminded of troubadours such as Nick Drake and Tim Buckley (though Tymon, vocally, probably sounds more like Jeff than Tim). The song changes halfway through, and Yuma van Eekelen sounds great on the drums. I love his playing throughout, and though Jasper Barendregt is a great drummer as well, there is no doubt in my mind that Yuma is the right man for Our Oceans. His drumming is definitely a highlight for me.

But I also have to make particular note of the playing of Robin Zielhorst on bass, who has played with Tymon in Cynic and Exivious, as well as Our Oceans, and his interplay with Tymon's guitar playing is absolutely beautiful. Robin also more than fills the gap left from the absence of a second guitar player. The music of Our Oceans on this album feels so much more alive than that of the debut, and I think this is due to the more sparse and concise sound made from the trio, with Robin's bass work the most obvious example of this. There is honestly no need for a second guitarist on While Time Disappears.

Weeping Lead turns into something that sounds part Alice in Chains and part Mater Thallium. It's all bendy and doomy, and wonderfully heavy. Tymon's tortured vocals just before the song begins to fade into the ether are glorious. This is a standout song that was an obvious choice for a single. That the following The Heart's Whisper was also a single makes me glad I hadn't listened to any of the singles prior to the album release, as it meant they were all new to me. (I long ago gave up on listening to singles before the release of an album, as they can too easily give the wrong impression, out of context.) Again, it starts out far quieter than it ends up. The crescendos and climaxes (yes, plural) are a roller coaster of emotion that is essentially the album in microcosm.

It might seem a strange way to end a review, but these three opening songs and singles do give a very good idea of what to expect within this album. The three musicians exist in the liminal space between power trio and jazz trio, with a sound a little like Leprous meets Radiohead via The Mars Volta, with occasional Floydian overtones, playing Nick Drake and Tim Buckley, with Allan Holdsworth on guitar ? yes, I really did just compare Tymon's playing to Holdsworth ? deal with it! I may have come to this album somewhat reluctantly, knowing this band was responsible for the demise of Exivious, but I have been well and truly won over. I may originally have been disappointed to hear that Our Oceans was not a one-off, but I'm now excited at the prospect of what this band might do next. While Time Disappears makes it clear that Our Oceans do not feel at all bound by what came before, and songs like Your Night, My Dawn (probably my favourite song on the album), make it clear that nor are they bound by the present. It almost goes without saying that I'm already intrigued about where they might go next.

 Our Oceans by OUR OCEANS album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.01 | 39 ratings

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Our Oceans
Our Oceans Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars I love it when metal heads are smart and creative enough to eschew their habitual 'sturm und drang' day job and seek to delve into the softer realms of sonic manipulation. Case in point this new band from the Netherlands which nicely proves my point. Tymon Kruidenier is both a leading member of prog death metal band Cynic as well as Exivious, a highly talented guitarist, composer and vocalist. While these bands are not my cup of tea, I was quite determined to review this album, not only for the fabulously gorgeous cover art (album art of the year, me thinks!) but also because I was intrigued by the fretless bass video demonstration from Robin Zielhorst, which really resonated with me. His playing throughout is first rate, nicely up front and center, thankfully not buried deep in the mix. Tymon also has some pretty amazing vocal chords and the material he chooses surely elevate his talent even more. Shouldered by a terrific drummer in Jasper Barendregt and second guitarist Michel Nienhuis, this foursome certainly can deliver the goods. All four form the basic lineup of Exivious and having heavy and technically expert musicians playing 'lighter' material is a true measure of the excellence displayed here. What kind of music you ask? Well, generally short songs firmly in the crossover genre, relatively mainstream accessible but with overt power in the delivery and confidence on the playing ability. The quality of the pieces are on par with similar acts such as Steve Wilson or even recent Riverside which frankly comes as a purely intended compliment. Tymon sings with passionate thoughtfulness throughout, hitting a variety of high notes with seemingly little fuss, crowning the melodic prog-rock with some expressive power and feeling.

Songs flow naturally, all imbued with their own melodic preciousness, each one hitting the listener with immediate positivity. They are all fabulous tunes, no filler here, believe you me! Immediately attractive songs like the deliciously overpowering opener 'What If?' with its jazzy feel, airy vocals and fluid bass lines and the more mysteriously demure 'Tangled' really show off some serious talent, exuding both interest and confidence that bodes very well for the future. Tymon's vocals are awe-inspiring and technically intricate, the man can sing with the best of them. The electric guitar solo is a trembling and trilling flurry of sizzling notes and heartfelt zeal. More spine- tingling leads 'Precarious' along, a brief slice a dreamy atmospheric prog that really hits the mark. There are times when a slight jazz feel shows its head, a bit like Holdsworth-era Level 42, again a huge compliment indeed. The surprising 'Lioness' Sunrise' is the first of two longer track here, clocking in at over 6 minutes and is perhaps the most atmospheric and laid-back, showcasing restraint and ambient feel. Robin's bass roll dazzlingly along, a master of fretless resilience that really elevates this album to heights that I can really quantify.

The supremely melodic 'Am I Still Here?' hits some very high notes (damn, those metal boys sure can wail!), thus always keeping things interesting within the rather restrictive genre they have chosen. This short piece contrasts hard and soft craftily, seeming like a roundabout turnstile track and a sign of things to come. 'Illuminate' does exactly that, showering shimmering light upon the psychedelic proceedings, a warm settling breeze blowing through the clouds, 'drifting out of mind' . There is a cool Anathema-like feel, dreamy atmospherics marshaled front and center, with an airy voice that can suddenly wail mightily as the aromatic Zielhorst bass blows like a Mediterranean zephyr. The second part really intensifies into a grandiloquently lit stage for some harrowing interplay.

Another fabulous track, and longest here is the sinewy 'Turquoise', a dreamy and atmospheric journey that smolders like a sizzling campfire, mostly due to Robin's fascinating fretless bass furrow, rekindling commemorations of giants like John G. Perry, Percy Jones and the immortal Mick Karn. The colliding guitar cascades are harrowingly perfect, as both Kruidenier and Nienhuis cross axes with apparent affluence, Jasper beating his kit like some madman across the water. Stellar track, this! The immediacy of 'Let Me' aims straight for the pleasure nodes, a rolling and rocking piece that cuts to the chase and delivers a harder edge. The helium-fueled soaring vocals from Tymon are mind bending, the mood overpoweringly bombastic and a true blast for its immediacy, freshness and virtuosity!

My favorite track among many, 'Reawaken' is the splendiferous finale, fully loaded with serenity and eloquence, featuring Tymon's softest voice yet, gradually working up into a frenzy as the spirit of the song 'reawakens' the sense of pleasurable listening that permeates this entire recording. Pastoral and bucolic at times, then forceful and animated, the track does wonders with the enthralled mind seeking deliverance.

All in all, a stimulating addition to our precious prog community and certainly very deserving of added interest as well as more reviews on our site. Fans of Anathema, Sylvan and Riverside will like what they hear. Great debut with many more to come!

Dank u wel, Tymon!

4.5 Shared Waters

 Our Oceans by OUR OCEANS album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.01 | 39 ratings

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Our Oceans
Our Oceans Crossover Prog

Review by Timdano

5 stars I'm shocked that Our Oceans hasn't created more of a splash at ProgArchives.com! Get the pun?

Seriously, though, I consider it an honor to be the first reviewer of this crowd-funded, wonderfully-crafty, spacey and otherworldly-melodic album. Every single song here flows with an effortless ease that I'm awe of, from the mellow, introspective opener "What if" leading to hypnotic "Tangled" and closing with the wonderful gem "Reawaken" - every single song here is great, no filler nor skippable material.

Triple A+ quality songwriting and execution here, folks - do yourself an aural favor and check it out. If there was ever any justice in the music business (there isn't any at all) this offering would be a chart-smashing success.

Thanks to andy webb for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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