Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Psychedelic/Space Rock

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Oceansize Effloresce album cover
4.05 | 309 ratings | 34 reviews | 34% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. I Am the Morning (4:18)
2. Catalyst (6:40)
3. One Day All This Could Be Yours (4:19)
4. Massive Bereavement (9:59)
5. Rinsed (3:58)
6. You Wish (6:00)
7. Remember Where You Are (5:22)
8. Amputee (5:32)
9. Unravel (2:50)
10. Women Who Love Men Who Love Drugs (8:30)
11. Saturday Morning Breakfast Show (9:04)
12. Long Forgotten (8:57)

Total Time 75:29

Line-up / Musicians

- Mike Vennart / guitar, lead vocals
- Steve Durose / guitar, backing vocals
- Richard "Gambler" Ingram / guitar
- Jon Ellis / bass, keyboards
- Mark Heron / drums

- Claire Lemmon / backing vocals (4,11)
- Kimberlee McCarrick / cello, violin, viola (4,12)
- Martin McCarrick / cello, violin, viola (4,12)
- ? / choir (10)

Releases information

Artwork: Phil Lee

CD Beggars Banquet ‎- BBQCD 235X (2003, UK)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy OCEANSIZE Effloresce Music

OCEANSIZE Effloresce ratings distribution

(309 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(34%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

OCEANSIZE Effloresce reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by frenchie
4 stars This is an essential album! Oceansize have managed to blend Space/Experimental atmosphere with occasional hard rock and post rock influences, to create a very original and intruiging sound. "Effloresce" is a work of beauty and pure creativity. This album sounds like an epic journey of different moods, without any breaks inbetween each song.

This album is opened up with the spacey, "I am the Morning", which is one of my most loved Oceansize tracks. It starts off very softly and keeps on building into a tremendous burst of uplifting rock music, gently climaxing into "Catalyst", the song that made me want to get this album. "Catalyst" is a very hard track with plenty of cool riffs and strong vocals that have a post-grunge feel to them as they often change between soft and uplifting sounds to powerful agressive vocals. All of this is in an impressive display of musicianship that keeps the listener intruiged for the full 6 minutes and 40 seconds as the song continuosly shifts through different moods.

"One Day All This Could Be Yours", is a much softer track, that has a very spacey and experimental feel to it, this track is genius as the lyrics are pretty minimalist but they are sung in different ways to show off some impressive vocal range, if "Catalyst" didn't already. This song is pretty trippy and stands out as being one of the most unique pieces on the album. This builds into "Massive Bereavement", definetly a massive track that has a noteable builds as the first half is quite gentle and spacey, which then finds its way into some excellent angst, full of thundering guitar riffs and menacing vocals. One of the proggiest tracks on the album.

"Rinsed" and "Unravel" are undoubtebly filler tracks which only use is to link the album together and show off some experimental and spacey sounds. These tracks can drag on far too long and take up too much time on the album. "Amputee" shows off a wide away of uplifting and chilled out sounds set in quite a heavy textured song. This follows the uplifting change of mood that was kicked off with "I am the Morning". "Amputee" is definetly one of the albums best tracks and a must hear.

The last three tracks are very long and tend to sum up the previous areas of the album well, though in a softer form. These tracks have many downer qualities which is good as it gives balance to the album, since many of the first tracks are positive and uplifting. "Long Forgotten" is full of emotion. The last three tracks are a great conclusion to a great album and show off some passionate and emotional vocals that have a depressing Radiohead-esque feel to them.

Oceansize definetly have potential to become a much more well known and loved band if their next album is as good as this one. I will definetly be looking forward to future releases and this is definetly a band that I recommend others to try out. "Effloresce" is just short of a masterpiece, the only real let down as that tracks like "Unravel" and "Rinsed" are clear fillers, but this album is an essential piece of music. Get it now!

Review by FishyMonkey
4 stars Really solid stuff here. The music is mostly a mix of Radiohead, Dredg and Tool, I'd say, combining psychadelic sounds with mixed crunching guitars and soft guitars. Songs like Massive Bereavement (easily one of my top 20 songs EVER) get really heavy and bear an uncomfortably similar resemblence to Tool, probably because the vocalist sounds like Maynard and the drummer is as creative and as fun to listen to as Carey. Other songs like the last three are very quiet and pretty emotional for the most part, sounding like the prementioned cross of Raidohead and Dredg without the Tool influence.

The musicians here are excellent, the vocalist does his job well, and sings prettily in some parts while letting out some decent Maynard-esque yells other times. The guitarists come up with some good stuff all around and osme real good riffs here and there. I compared the drummer to Carey, which is EXTREMELY high praise, and I mean it. He does some extremely creative and difficult stuff. Just listen to the heavier section of Massive Bereavement and you'll hear it. Bassist is very solid and very audible. Overall an excellent performance from each member. Anything to be noted is the production. For a debut album from a band with unknown members, the production values are top-notch and even rival production on the level of Porcupine Tree. Excellent.

Standouts are the last three songs, which may seem to meld together if your attention fades. In actuality, Saturday Morning Breakfast Show is an excellent conglamoration of tension-filled heavier sections and lighter psychadelic parts with excellent vocals. Long Forgotten is as pretty as can be, and WWLMWD is just as pretty. Massive Bereavement is the best song on the album, easily. The rest may seem boring but are nicely executed if you actually listen, like One Day All This Could Be Yours. There's some filler, whether it be in the middle of songs or entire songs (Rinsed, Unravel), but it doesn't detract fro mthe album too badly. I also caught some nasty touches of emo-ness in You Wish, but the rest of the song is strong enough to overcome it. Also, lyrics are very good.

I don't know whether I like this or EiP more...I'll have to say. EiP could very well turn into a masterpiece for me, because if they improved on this album...well.

Review by Tristan Mulders
5 stars Oceansize - Effloresce

During the last two years or so there have been only a few bands that really managed to impress me. Manchester-based Oceansize was one of them. I never heard anything like it before and absolutely loved their music since the first time I heard it.

During the first few weeks it almost seemed as if I had the CD on repeat. It was everywhere, on my computer, in my CD-player, on my mp3 player, wherever I went. there was this Effloresce album. And, approximately a year on, I still enjoy listening to it.

So, what's all the fuss about? Well, there's this new British band, which happens to make progressive oriented music, without any keyboards! What you say, prog without any keys??? Yes, that's exactly what it says and believe me the keys aren't missed at all!

Right from the start of the album you know what to expect: straightforward rock music with 'raw' vocals (sometimes they sound like the vocalist of Tool, other times they are a bit like the vocalist of Sigur Rós!). The music is layered with three different guitar lines, one per guitarist. Where the instrumental opening track I am the morning is still pretty gentle, the mania really starts of with the second track Catalyst. This songs starts with the three guitarist playing three different melodies IN STEREO! One guitarist is playing a riff on the left speaker, the other one is completing this riff on the right speaker, which gives the impression as if the guitar is circulating from left to right and visa versa and the third guitarist is playing a completely different riff in the centre of both speakers!

This is really typical for their music; all guitars are playing different things. More than a year on I still hear sounds and melodies in their music that I had not noticed before!

Not all songs are as heavy as the "Catalyst" song, but most songs progress within its running time. A good example of this is my favourite track of this album, the song Massive Bereavement. This 10 minutes lasting song starts of with a percussive loop accompanied by really weird guitar sounds and is very mellow for about the first four minutes, when a musical interlude starts which reminded me of the ending section of PINK FLOYD's song 'Echoes', but here it includes guitars. This section ends abruptly be a weird guitar sound, which indicates the change in direction of the track. The last section is up-tempo with great vocals. The song ends with a massive wall of guitar crushing in.

The short instrumental songs Rinsed and Unravel are welcome breaks between the heaviness of some of the songs. They are both very mellow and atmospheric. Unravel features some piano though, but overall there's no use of keys in the music presented on this disc.

Long forgotten has to be one of the most impressive closing tracks I have ever come across. So laidback and very emotional. This song includes guest musicians on cello, violin and viola, which give the music a very dramatic atmosphere. Weird thing is that the drums seem to be living a life of their own. Not only in this song, but also on the whole album in general. They seem to be quite contradictive to what the other instruments are playing at the same moment, but what is even weirder is the fact that it totally fits their sound scapes! I have seen Oceansize live a couple of times and this guy is so good on the drums!

As a small note, if you are interested in this album, try to find the special edition. This edition is a digipack, which comes with amazing artwork! The digipack is one of those foldout types. You can extend it in four directions with the CD in the middle, including a part of the artwork printed on the disc!

I have nothing more to say about the music on this album actually, this album is simply very special in my point of view. What's most special to me is that it is a sonic journey on itself. From the first sounds until the last notes, it feels like a trip to me. I love to listen to it at night with my headphone on, most lights down, enjoying a beer.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars Very alternative sounding with lots of instrumental outbreaks and spacey soundscapes.This is OCEANSIZE's debut and they made quite a splash. Some call this Indie, Psychedelic, Progressive or Metal, so yeah they offer up an interesting blend.The vocals remind me of the guy (Brandon) from INCUBUS at times.

They open the album with an instrumental called "I Am The Morning" that goes from mellow to intense then back to mellow. "Catalyst" has a heavy, industrial sound to open, this song reminds me of INCUBUS, it gets pastoral with outbreaks, and ends with some scorching guitar. I like the heaviness of this tune. "One Day All This Could Be Yours" is quiet to open before a nice drum section takes over. Vocals follow. This is great ! It's heavy and intense 3 minutes in. "Massive Bereavement" is a great tune that builds with a nice guitar melody that gets crazy around the 5 minute mark. It all ends with a wall of sound.

"Rinsed" is a laid back but dark instrumental. "You Wish" is one of the heaviest songs with aggressive vocals and heavy riffs. "Remember Where You Are" opens with percussion as it builds to a mid paced tune. Some heaviness 4 minutes in with some great guitar. Then it settles again. "Amputee" is a straight forward rocker with some excellent guitar. "Unravel" has this trippy beat with spacey sounds and keys. Cool track. My favourite on the album is "Women Who Love Men Who Love Drugs". Gotta love the picked guitar in this one. It kicks in heavier after 3 minutes then settles again. Spacey ending. "Saturday Morning Breakfast Show" is another guitar driven song but it opens with an electronic beat. "Long Forgotten" is relaxed with reserved vocals. It does get fuller. A calm 4 1/2 minutes in then it picks back up. Beautiful track.

A great debut and I like the next one even better.

Review by Prog-jester
4 stars This is how OCEANSIZE was born.Their unique style is less heavy here, less TOOLish and more Post-Rock/Spacy. The whole album seems to be a little bit boring and to be honest, it deserves 3 stars - but "LONG FORGOTTEN" makes it almost a Masterpiece!!! This is one of the best songs I heard in my entire life and can serve as a sampler SONG for Songy Post-Rock (like SIGUR ROS or RADIOHEAD). Others are nice too - especially "Amputee", "Catalyst", "Women...", "Saturday Morning Breakfast Show" etc. My major complaint goes to album's timing - it's a bit too long and hence unfocused.Without these instrumental meanderings like "Unravel" or "I'm the Morning" (usually built around one simple theme) it could be much better.On the other hand, it includes one of the best songs Earth ever faced - "LONG FORGOTTEN"!!! - so I'm not afraid to recommend it.
Review by Prog Leviathan
4 stars A genuinely creative and exciting release which may catch the listener with its occasional use of big melodies, but will reward even further with successive listens; there are many layers of sound going on here to discover, and Oceansize slips between genres and styles so effortlessly that it makes discovering them an interesting challenge.

One of the neatest things about this band is their extremes-- from the fat walls of heavy distorted chaos to delicate spacey interludes (which indeed are reminiscent of more well-known post bands) and everything in between. The three guitar players (!) weave some pretty dynamic textures, filling the void left by a keyboard effortlessly. There are few solos to speak of, but lots of layered melodies/countermelodies/effects in their place; solid, and upfront rhythm section round out the mix. Vennart's vocals are emotive if somewhat unremarkable, but lend themselves nicely to the band's sound.

Songwriting is first rate, and the production is nothing short of stellar.

Highly recommended for fans of contemporary progressive rock.

Songwriting: 4 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Review by russellk
5 stars 'Effloresce' is an extraordinary debut album that every lover of modern progressive music should listen to.

OCEANSIZE combines a wide variety of genres on this record. The Mancunians' most obvious influence is the ponderous guitar wall of sound, the textures and rhythms common to post-rock bands like PELICAN and ISIS, but this is masterfully combined with melodic elements to make an extremely palatable whole. A touchstone band for the sake of comparison is TOOL, as others have mentioned, for their use of rhythm and the JAMES MAYNARD KEENAN-like vocals, but OCEANSIZE are no mere TOOL clone. There's psychedelic, metal and space-rock elements here for good measure.

Having analysed it, it's a good time to say that at heart this album contains a selection of excellent, powerful songs. The opener, 'I Am The Morning', is just the warm-up act, but its fuzzed guitar and simple tune, weaving in and out of heavy sections, is fair warning that here is a band who understand beauty as well as power. The drums bludgeon even as the guitars caress. A wise selection as opener, the song speaks to the listener of the band's maturity. It is followed by 'Catalyst', a powerful storm of a song that begins in a cacophony but soon settles into crushing riffs with an acoustic overlay. The singing is sparse but excellent, adding another dimension to the post-rock sound. Oh yes, this is a band easy to fall in love with. And there's more than sixty minutes still to go.

Can I offer some humble advice at this point? The album is twice as long as albums used to be; it's the same length as YES's 'Tales' or GENESIS's 'Lamb', and takes as much listening - more, perhaps, if you're overwhelmed by the guitar sound. Please don't be quick to dismiss this record: stay with it until the themes become familiar to you.

The ominous vocals, searing riff and rumbling bass of 'One Day All This Could Be Yours' lead to the megalithic 'Massive Bereavement'. Massive it is, too, ten minutes of sonic intensity. 'Rinsed' gives us a rest: far from being 'throwaway' tracks, 'Rinsed' and 'Unravel' provide the necessary moments of rest that prevent the first few listens to this album from being impenetrable. In between the two tracks are three excellent songs. 'You Wish' sounds like a refugee from 'Aenima' - you'd swear it was a TOOL song - 'Remember Where You Are' has a wonderfully memorable chorus rendered in a monotone, and 'Amputee', though less impressive, is solid enough.

After 'Unravel' the album ends with nearly half an hour of the most post-rock sounding music on the album, three tracks with more build and less melody than that which precedes them. Of the three, the final track, 'Long Forgotten', is the best and belies its title: after a couple of listens you'll be hard pressed to forget it. Of their first three albums I find this by far the most compelling (though I've not heard 'Frames' enough yet), but all three are worth a listen.

This is a long way removed from the sort of music we called 'progressive' in the 1970s. Apparently OCEANSIZE don't consider themselves progressive, but despite themselves they have created an interesting and unique amalgam of sounds and styles from a variety of sources, most of them progressive. I'd recommend this to anyone enamoured of progressive metal and looking for something more sophisticated than the standard prog-metal fare, and to those looking to splash in the shallows of the post-rock ocean. This is what progressive music is becoming.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars If you are looking to some peaceful and space music, you are not really where you should be with Oceansize.

The music offered is really close to prog metal like the music played by "Riverside" or "Porcupine Tree" of course. Some wild and heavy riffs, turned instantly into soft melody for a (little) while is how "Catalyst" is built. No way to play this album at night to get asleep!

The sound is exploding at each moment; and your ears haven't the single moment to relax while listening to "One Day all this Could Be Yours" (well actually the closing ten seconds will bring you these.). No wonder though, with three guitar players it is almost normal to get such a powerful sound.

Amongst the first three short tracks, only the opener "I Am The Morning" is featuring some spacey breaks (but just for half of it).

The first long number sounds more as PT than PT themselves. It features melancholic vocal passages, repetitive riffs and lots of off-beat rhythms. A middle and chaotic section produces so many decibels that you need to check out the volume of your music player before starting to listen to it. This "Massive Bereavement" is not for everybody. Hang on tightly.

"Amputee " although not a lullaby is on the more melodic side; you know like .One of the best song from "Effloresce". More accessible and more "ears-friendly". This type of song is definitely going to bring this band on the radios and will open them to new fans if they are able to write more catchy songs like this. My fave here.

The first moment to breathe is the short and spacey instrumental "Unravel". Not necessarily very creative nor interesting.

For our peace of mind, the last part of this album is featuring "quieter" songs of which "Women Who Love Men Who Love Drugs" is brilliantly built : starting (and ending) like a tranquil (!) piece it is growing crescendo and the guitar work is extremely pleasant. The drumming work is also impressive during the heavier parts. Another highlight IMO (but I'm not keen on the super heavy sounds of "Massive Bereavement" to be honest).

Same sort of treat with "Saturday Morning Breakfast Show" but the heavy sounds are destructive again, while the quiet part is not so good than during "Women Who Love.". Just average. "Long Forgotten" is the third long number in a row and is fully on the soft side while the closing "Breed Siamese" sounds more as a filler.

This is an interesting album. Not truly spacey to say the least; it is more on the metal side. So, have this in mind if you would like to enter into "Oceansize" 's catalogue. This album is also extremely long and could have been shortened by fifteen minutes or so to make it more attractive.

Three stars.

Review by The Pessimist
4 stars Not a masterpiece, but nonetheless, a great album. No doubt about it that it's prog, but like The Mars Volta, it has way more bite than some of the lighter bands like The Flower Kings and Sigur Ros. The songs are also not as lengthy as some bands achieve nowadays, however, they do deliver the epic feel of a 15 minute-20 minute song (which is a difficult art in itself).

The highlights would be the songs Catalyst, You Wish, Women Who Love Men Who Love Drugs and Amputee. On the contrary, I would advise to stay away from Rinsed and Massive Bereavement, as this band don't seem to own the hypnotic progressive qualities of Pink Floyd or VDGG!

Overall, a great album with some real great moments. I would recommend it to anyone who likes the heavier, less friendly side of prog. 4.2 stars.

Review by obiter
4 stars I've always subscrbed to the view that if an album has a faw graat songs then it should be very highly rated.

Massive Bereavement and Remember Where you are, are great prog tracks. They should be in your collection and therefore, so should this album. MB gets into some stonkingly Soundgarden territory and as such is a real joy to listen to. RW U R is a bit more poppy and has a great catch single bite of cherry for you. Beautiful enough to forgive its sins (like so many ex-girlfriends) ......

However, I am the morning would keep me in bed (well until half way through anyway). Catalyst is just beyond me: probably a great piece of metally thrashy stuff with clever sound coming out the right then left tricks. Still can't make up for a pretty bland track. Even the cute breakdown can't save this one from mediocrity.

rinsed .... says it all although washed out would also sum it up pretty well. you wish .. (this song would end) amputee ... reminds me a Douglas Adams ... intestines leap through throat in an effort to save humanity from a bland song (although I reckon this would really rock live) unravel ... just compare this to sigur ros and you realise how far off the game this one really is women who love men who love dogs ... really great title (so true) ... but the song just doesn't make any real impression (one of a thousand bands) Saturday morning is beyond me. don't get it. long forgotten takes a typically dreary theme to round the album off ...

So the dilemma: a couple of awesome tracks floating in a sea of bland mediocrity.

well for me I reckon you've got to take the rough with the smooth. you'd be missing out big time without this album and that's enough to make it at least 4 stars. If I could I'd give it 4.5.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Effloresce is Oceansize debut album and a good example of how modern prog rock can sound. This is not retrospective prog rock. There are no seventies sounding keyboard sounds or anything else that links Oceansize to that great era of innovative music which is refreshing and innovative in itīs own respect. In line with a band like Tool, Oceansize is very rythmic orientated while still maintaining a very melodic and accessible sound. There are hints toward grunge but there are also some psychadelic/ space rock elements here on Effloresce.

Itīs taken me a while to get through Effloesce as it is a very long album. 75:31 minutes to be exact and while I would normally bitch about such a long album, there is literally nothing here that I would discard of. The music is generally midpaced or slow and if I should complain about anything it would be that there are no uptempo songs which would be great for the diversity, but I guess Ocenasize likes the more stoned approach.

The albums starts with the beautiful instrumental opener I Am The Morning which is followed by the energetic Catalyst. Catalyst is pretty much vers chorus but ends with an instrumental part that I regard as progressive. Cool part. One Day All This Could Be Yours is a bit more stoned, but itīs not less impressive. There are many good songs on Effloresce and some excellent too and other than the already mentioned songs I would pick the melodic Amputee, the long and stoned Massive Bereavement and the funny titled Women Who Love Men Who Loves Drugs but you could pick any song on Effloesce as they are all good.

The musicianship is good. Just donīt expect crazy instrumental runs because this music is not about show-of but about emotional playing. The vocals are good and diverse. Itīs a bit too emo like for my taste sometimes but I can live with that when the music is good.

The production is very good. One of the better modern productions I have heard in a while. Effloesce started out as a 4 star album for me but after listening to the album many times I have come to the conclusion that I will give it 3 big stars. Itīs a good album but it doesnīt quite hit my personal taste.

Review by Moatilliatta
4 stars Oceansize's debut is how they landed in the space rock category. There is a little space rock here, but sharing equal parts of their sound is a heavy alternative rock and post-rock. Effloresce is a strong debut, featuring thick layers provided by three guitars, odd times, and powerful melodies belted out by one of today's top vocalists, Mike Vennart. This is certainly the band's most accessible work to date, despite it being their longest at over 75 minutes long. On later releases, the band would start to make everything more complex: the rhythm work, the atmospheres and the structures specifically. Not to say this is an easy listen, but this is probably the one that will garner the most fans. The band does have a tendency to make the beginnings of their album difficult to get into, though. After a spacey intro that really sets the mood and intrigues, the band breaks into "Catalyst," which I believe is a fan favorite. I must say that it is a rather tough song to digest at first, as the intro is chaotic and the hooks don't get you immediately; it also doesn't help that this is one of the most rhythmically challenging pieces on the album. It should however, keep your interest enough to keep listening. The first four tracks are good, but it really starts to cook at the spacey interlude "Rinsed." As that ends and we move into "You Wish," the band's affinity for melody, atmosphere and odd times really start to synergize. Both that and the following "Remember Where You Are" are fantastic pieces that meld their characteristics very well. After that, the band is ready to knock us out, and strangely enough, without a single odd time! The next piece, "Amputee" hits really hard from he get-go. It's sheer power in numbers with a driving rhythm and soaring melodies. After a song that powerful, it's time for another interlude. Then, the band dishes out three 8-9 minute mini-epics: "Women Who Love Men Who Love Drugs," "Saturday Morning Breakfast Show" and "Long Forgotten." The first two are very dynamic and powerful, while the finale is really a beautiful piece that serves as kind of an ease-you-back-down closer, though it does slowly and subtly build to a fine finish.

Effloresce is a great album, where the band slowly sucks you in, teases you a bit, and then levels you, hard. They're nice enough to ease you out of their grasp, though. As I said, it's a bit tough to get into at first, but by the end you should find yourself in love with this band and album. Their next two would find the band really hitting their stride, managing to play even more complex rhythmic patterns while maintaining melody and atmosphere. Nevertheless, I can almost as easily recommend having this one in your collection, even if only for the awesome second half.

Review by progrules
4 stars My second encounter with Oceansize, the first was Frames and despite some criticism I couldn't resist to give the album 4 stars (though strongly rounded up from 3,5). At that point I already owned this album and was convinced this wouldn't happen a second time. This had to be 3 stars I was sure. But I don't know what it is with this band, it has a certain class in their music, something that's hard to define but is impossible to ignore. So after several listenings I'm not so sure anymore so once again the song by song rating will have to decide.

1. I am the Morning is an interesting track with a fine atmosphere. Very special this one, a quiet one for Oceansize standard. 3,5*.

2. Catalyst is the one where hell breaks loose right from the beginning, gets somewhat more quiet in the vocal part but remains heavy instrumentally. Good song too. 3,75*.

3. One Day all this could be Yours is a song where I get the feeling we are dealing with a heavy sort of Coldplay, especially at the start. There's certainly some resemblance detectable. Good track, 3,5*.

4. Massive Bereavement is one of the two highlights to me. A great song with a compelling build up. Psychedelic guitar at the end. Don't play this one too loud if you want to save your ears. Really impressive stuff this. Reminds me of Trail of Fire of the Frames album. 4,25*

5. Rinsed is a whole different ball game. Starting spacy in a very laid back style and continuing this till the end. It appears this is a varied album. 3,25*.

6. You Wish is more of an average song for this band without a significant feature. Pretty heavy but almost a normal song, unusual for Oceansize. 3,25*

7. Remember where you are is the one with the funny drumming in the beginning evolving in a friendly song with just a few rough moments proving that Oceansize is also capable of that. 3,5*

8. Amputee starts with the same psychedelic guitarsounds as at the end of Massive Bereavement but this time they only last a few seconds though I have to admit they do come back a few times. There's some great melodic moments in this song, another great track. 3,75*.

9. Unravel is the shortest of the album and is more of a quiet interlude. Not bad. 3*

10. Women who love Men who love Drugs is the first of three long tracks at the end of the album. Also this one has some resemblance with Coldplay. Big difference is that Oceansize is besides heavier also simply better and (of course) more progressive. Interesting song with again nice atmosphere. 3,75*

11. Saturday Morning Breakfast Show is my second favourite track, another great composition like the 4th track. Have a listen to the part from 3:15 till 5:25 and you know what I'm talking about. Not that this is the only interesting part but it's just an example. After this the song is showing the class I was talking about in my opening sentence. This is simply a high quality band. After the lovely part they surprise once again from 7:50 to burst once again and even more convincingly. Tremendous performance. 4,5*

12. Long forgotten is the third high class effort by Oceansize on this album. Much more quiet this time but also this style suits them very well. 4*.

Well, this proves I was very wrong with my initial plan to give this 3 stars. This album proves to be a lot more impressive than Frames. Clever build up too of the album. One great song in the first half and two superb ones towards the end leaving the listener with a very satisfied feeling. 4 stars no doubt.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Efflorescing indeed but slightly Oversized

Called progressive against their own will, Oceansize's music is nevertheless packed with progressive tendencies and bears many similarities to prog-related indie like Radiohead and to emotive prog like Riverside and Porcupine Tree. Of course their music has nothing to do with playing faster then what the human ear can follow, nor with music that does reproductions of old progrock glories, nor with any definition of Progressive Rock that concentrates on style and form. Oceansize is a modern rock band that takes in whatever idea, influence or sound that fits their songs, just like King Crimson, Genesis or Yes did in their time.

For all those reasons I would really want to love them with all my heart, but regardless how overwhelmed I was in the beginning, this debut suffers from a typical child disease called too many ideas. It makes the album both hard to sit through in one go and diminishes the overall quality with repeated listens. The problem is that some songs are too long for their own good and that the entire 75 album overstays its welcome.

There is spectacular material aplenty though, like One Day, You Wish, Saturday Morning Breakfast Show. Oceansize are named after a song by Jane's Addiction (one of those early 90's bands that screamed prog at me from the first time I heard them) and sonic outbursts as in Saturday Morning Breakfast Show or as in Massive Bereavement are a clear indication of their influence. Other songs like Remember Where You are and Amputee offer too much of the same and distract from this band's obvious talents.

Oceansize's debut is an impressive album, mixing an equal part of post-rock, emo, indie and modern progressive rock that lovers of Porcupine Tree, Anathema or Radiohead should lend their ear too. It could have been a 5 star 60 minute album, but it has become a 75 minute 4 star. I'm sure some people will say that's mathematically the same thing but music is no math for me, this album suffers under the bulk of material and would have greatly benefited from careful editing.

Review by jampa17
4 stars Alternative prog of the highest quality.

I don't like alternative rock with long orchestrations and a couple of experimentation so called "prog" as Radiohead or Dredg, but I have to say Oceansize is one of those bands and they are very good in what they are doing. If you are looking for an alternative rock sound with some moody vibes and changes between depressive tunes and heavy explosive rock with not so complex arrangements but well constructed songs, here you have a good album to start... so, let's see...

The album is plagued by guitar tunes and an average singer who can sings very soft and melodic (in an alternative way) and then give good raw scream-edge rocking voice which is nice because the music tends to travel from moody ballads to heavy rock. There's a couple of keyboards here and there and the drums and bass makes a decent work to put it all together and give an entertaining time while you will feel too mainstream for times but the instrumental parts will show you that you have a serious band here doing music in a very good musical way...

Catalyst and You Wish are the highlights of the album, but there's plenty material to anyone who is in the route of Porcupine Tree or Dredg, but I insist this band and this album has much more to offer, the production is tip top, very clean and well balanced. And extra advice is that you most listen to it when you want to relax a bit, because the moody parts are touching and very melancholic so you can dive in and let you go? it's a good exercise for after the work, but don't hear it if you are too rushed out, It won't feel the same...

Their album Frames is better, but here you have good piece of music that deserves a place in your collection... 4 stars for a good band who promises a lot still...

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Oceansize's debut album packed quite a punch, with its variety of heavy, odd-tempo, eclectic, post rock. Mark Heron, the drummer who refuses to play a straight 4/4 time, is a man after my own heart! I love the vocals of guitarist/vocalist Mike Vennart but more, the excellent background vocals of second guitarist Steve Durose. The album shows a band with some great diverse ideas but who is still searching for its direction and polish. It is with their next release, Everyone Into Position that the band hits full stride and sets the precedent for all other Heavy Experimental Post Rockers.

Favorite songs: the DOVES-plays Post Rock classic, "Women Who Love Men Who Love Drugs" (8:30) (10/10); the contemplative yet beautifully brooding "Long Forgotten" (8:58) (9/10), and; One Day All This Could Be Yours" (4:20) (9/10).

Review by Wicket
4 stars While in recent years I haven't considered this wonderful English quintet to be of the psychedelic nature, their debut here is probably is the most qualified of the (now) 4 records released by this group.

"I Am The Morning" is the perfect track to represent that, as a slow, dreary, almost optimistic chord progression begins the album, melding into a sort of post-rock groove, which is basically what you'll get throughout the entire album. In fact, the post-rock elements are present (not just this album but in later records as well) so much so that some people unfamiliar with prog would describe this music as shoegaze. Debatable, but perfectly reasonable.

"Shoegaze", for those who aren't familiar, is a style of music which mainly originated in England (Great Britain, UK, etc.) in which the song construction is very basic, the singing is very light (and at times creepy), capped off by the obvious notion that just about all of the bands' members stare down towards their shoes when performing. With this information in hand, judging this disc by the first song, you have a relative guesstimation on what you're going to experience throughout the rest of the disc; slow, continuous rock music with an ominous feel to it.

Then "Catalyst" bursts through with sludgy, almost Black Sabbath-esque riffs to kick you out of a dream. This song can easily put thoughts of a boring song structure and repetitive riffs to shame. Then you begin to notice the singing. Shoegaze is not technically known for the singing aspect of it, nor is post-rock or post-metal or post-hardcore or whatever the hell you call it. Mike Vennart has the pipes of a wannabe Nickelback rock star, and instead of sounding shy and timid like most shoegaze bands follow, he'll be crooning like a pop star until the heavier riffs come in, to which a point where he'll break down the walls with a sudden shriek of anguish and despair, which brings up another moot point.

When was the last time you heard a bland, chugging post-rock/metal band lighten the mood with different riffs, tempo and dynamic changes fronted by a lead singer that could not only croon like Jonny Craig but also scream like a man possessed? Oceansize could easily be pegged a standard post-metal band, but they're so much more than that. Neo-prog may sound like their best home, but even Eclectic prog would be a suitable destination. This outfit combines some of the more modern aspects of rock, metal and prog into a twisted cocktail all their own.

"One Day All This Could Be Yours" starts off in a typical post-rock fashion with an eerie intro and a slow chugging drum line. Vennart, with Steve Durose on the back mics, sings wonderfully well, even though it seems dark at times, but by the end the riffs kick up a notch and that metallic, heavy chugging sound is back again. This is where I really began to crave more interest in the band, since my previous interest in post-rock (during my depression days) has recently faded.

Of course, that post-rock sound returns in "Massive Bereavement" backed by a funky drum track. The vocals once again become a factor is Vennart begins to sing in the upper registers later in the song. In fact, throughout most of this album his singing began to remind me of Mike Patton's singing with Faith No More, albeit fuller and thicker. You take his voice and overlap it over, oh I don't know, a Nickelback or other alternative metal band, and he'd fit in perfectly. His screams at times even seem perfect for the occasion. It's a perfect storm of pop, metal and atmospheric post-rock.

That atmospheric touch is ever so present on "Rinsed", and the post-rock theme of using "rock instruments for non-rock purposes" is clearly there. Naturally, this is countered by the sort of alternative metal touch on "You Wish", followed by the alternative rock "Remember Where You Are", which segues into the heavy hitting "Amputee", followed immediately by the somber "Unravel". It's rather unusual to find 5 different tracks like this from different bands to be on the same album, but Oceansize makes it work, and it's a wonderful style that can't be duplicated.

"Women Who Like Men Who Like Drugs" is a sort of hurricane in a song (coincidence, I'm writing this in the middle of one right now!). The constant rush between soft, gentle guitars and the brash, metallic roar of the heavy sections almost makes you question what you're listening to. But, suddenly, that idea is dissolved in "Saturday Morning Breakfast Show". Here, the listener is greeted almost by a post-metal drone followed by a funky, almost grunge-like beat sustained throughout the song. I definitely hear a lot of Nirvana in this particular track. Of course the trending crescendo common in many songs on this album appears here too until five and a half minutes in where a sudden softness interrupts the ferocity of the guitars for a split second.

Finally, "Long Forgotten" brings a final element into this band's sound: harmony. Peace. Melody. This song could easily be played on the radio and immediately bring in a few new fans to this outfit. Although there are a lot more post-rock elements here than on later records like "Everyone Into Position", this is just their blueprint for the music to come. It's not perfect, but it's something new compared to post-rock bands in general, and that's one key reason why many prog fans have taken a liking to them.

Review by siLLy puPPy
3 stars OCEANSIZE, a band from Manchester, England and named after a Jane's Addiction song, plays a unique hybrid of Porcupine Tree inspired prog pop with post-metal and psychedelic rock along for the ride. There are the standard rock instruments such as guitars, bass, keyboards and drums as well as cello, violin and viola. In addition to the other influences there is also some classical as 'Unravel' is an exceprt from Maurice Ravel's 'Gaspard De La Nuit.' This was a surprise to hear as it is generally filed under the psychedelic or post rock categories, but when it rocks out it is clearly a post metal sound which vaguely reminds me of what Soundgarden might sound like if they had merged with Tool. The spacey parts are the true gem of this release as they incorporate all kinds of unique sounds and rhythms to add a layer of ambiance that works quite well.

The result of this marriage of sounds is sometimes very exciting but sometimes they drag on way too long as well. The first track 'I Am The Morning' is a perfect intro to the album setting up a spacey atmospheric feel and as the songs progress they build up to some interesting post rock jams at the beginning of the album but several tracks in it starts to feel like some of these numbers go on way too long and at over 74 minutes this album feels extremely bloated and could really use some of the filler trimmed out. Tracks like 'Amputee' are just plain boring as they sound like any mediocre alternative rock band and kind of ruin the flow of the album by creating unnecessary roadblocks. As for the songwriting OCEANSIZE is clearly going for a Porcupine Tree prog pop sound at times but they just don't seem to have the chops to create those unique ear worms that Steven Wilson and company are so adept at. Not a bad debut but not an outstanding one either.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars Oceansize is an excellent band using elements of post-rock, heavy prog and just a touch of space rock, though the latter is used sparingly. Think of them as a very original sound, sort of what Tool would sound like if they used post-rock type sound similar to Godspeed You! Black Emperor but with vocals. They have a heavy use of dynamics which are very important in their music, even at times more extensively than Tool does and more freely then GY!BE. This combination of sound creates music that is unique to Oceansize.

This album was their debut full-album, and it surpasses any expectations. The music goes from soft and flowing vocals and instrumentals to harsh and loud sounds approaching heavy metal at times, even more extensively than later Porcupine Tree does. On this album, the variation in dynamics is most apparent on the epic longer songs. For example, "Massive Bereavement' is a masterpiece of a song that uses dynamics throughout it's 9+ minutes run time to create something that is spectacular and original. This particular song, one of the big standouts on the album, features a collaboration with another famous prog band "Can". I'm surprised that hasn't been mentioned, especially with all the praise given to this song in the Archives. Don't worry, though, this is not the only masterpiece of prog on this album. "Saturday Morning Breakfast Show" is another example of perfect dynamic use with some soft sounds interrupted suddenly by heart-pounding riffs and hooks. "Long Forgotten" is a long and beautiful ballad, but not a ballad in any traditional sense.

This is prog at it's best and it puzzles me as to why this band isn't receiving the popularity in prog circles the way it should be. Lovers of Tool who are looking for more music of the same caliber, yet is not a copy, should listen to this music. It took me long enough to discover them even after being a fan of the song "Music for a Nurse" and a few other tracks that I had heard, knowing that I needed to pick up music from them. I wish I hadn't waited so long. Now I will be recommending Oceansize to all lovers of the harder side of progressive music.

Inventive, dynamic, stellar musicianship, great vocals with a lot of emotion especially at the louder sections, this album and band has it all. Even for a debut album, this music shines and rivals the best progressive bands in existence. Even the shorter tracks are inventive and more than just filler. Great music. I can't praise this music enough. This should be considered a masterpiece. 5 stars.

Latest members reviews

5 stars A truly remarkable debut album - I honestly can't recall a debut album from a prog band within the past 15 years that is as solid as this release from start to finish. Highlight tracks are 'Catalyst', 'You Wish', and 'Amputee' but honestly there isn't a weak segment on this album. Another fascinat ... (read more)

Report this review (#932442) | Posted by williedawg | Monday, March 18, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Oceansize.. Oh, Oceansize. This band has been one hell of a grower for me. The first couple attempts at listening to any of their albums left little to no mark on me whatsoever, but now I find myself going back and listening to all of their albums in pretty heavy rotation. This album is an abso ... (read more)

Report this review (#288636) | Posted by AgentSpork | Tuesday, June 29, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Oceansize - The spearhead of modern art rock. Oceansize's debut "Effloresce" is a monolith in modern music, blending Alternative, Post Rock and Prog to a refreshing style. There is everything you expect from a modern band. Great melodies, complex time signatures, heavy parts and three guitars. ... (read more)

Report this review (#278550) | Posted by Priamus | Monday, April 19, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is what I call a true masterpiece of modern prog, it mixes an enormous variety of styles related to the progressive music sound, the most notable is the space rock sound, very much alike Porcupine Tree, very influenced by Pink Floyd, also moments of straight heavy prog and prog metal, featur ... (read more)

Report this review (#224211) | Posted by JTP88 | Thursday, July 2, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I am having a hard time understanding why this is space rock. There are a couple decent songs, but it is not mellow at all. It truely reminds me of some punk/alternative stuff. I consider Radiohead very progressive. They are not an abrasive band though.... In Rainbows is a great example. Its mell ... (read more)

Report this review (#204720) | Posted by Beenhead | Saturday, February 28, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Are you tired of all the endless samey Indie rock that is churned out on the conveyor belt day by day, and yet sells in its millions? Keep thinking this is OK but I've heard it all before, and it has no depth? Then Oceansize are for you! They have transformed modern music into an entirely n ... (read more)

Report this review (#163527) | Posted by PinkPangolin | Sunday, March 9, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Well, I found out about Oceansize only in 2006 and what a pity I hadn’t known anything about them before. To my mind, Oceansize is a true example of what Modern Prog should be. These guys are amazing: they have unique sound (well, of course they have some influences, PT for instance, bu ... (read more)

Report this review (#159612) | Posted by Paper Champion | Thursday, January 24, 2008 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I'm really impress with the high score of this album, not because i think this is a boring album, or a bad one, because this album is not bad nor boring, but, in my (no)humble opinion, this album is not a masterpice, in my opinion, a masterpice should be original, or, at least, should show some or ... (read more)

Report this review (#154264) | Posted by CGH Tompkins | Wednesday, December 5, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars People called ŧprog puristsŦ might not like this one; it represents some kind of unique progressive/indie/metal/psychedelic rock music with lot of explorations, superb production, and still enough accesible and modern. Oceansize have three guitars, and each is different, connection of them is ext ... (read more)

Report this review (#131050) | Posted by nisandzic | Wednesday, August 1, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I must say this has to be possibly one of the best albums I have ever heard. As a debut album, it contains a great variety of styles and sort of blending them together to create a post/spacey and even experimental kind of style. The bands influences and the variety of styles give it a unique s ... (read more)

Report this review (#108432) | Posted by | Monday, January 22, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 3.5 stars. I wasn't sure if I should give Effloresce 3 or 4 stars, so I decided to round down, although this is still a good album. Effloresce is a good debut by the band Oceansize. The only problem I find with the album is that I think the second half of the album is stronger than the firs ... (read more)

Report this review (#104279) | Posted by darkmatter | Saturday, December 23, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I came across Oceansize the other week after listening to a month of non-stop porcupine tree for the first time. Since then I have written a lot of prog influenced songs. I think that Effloresce is a very impressive album... I have no idea why no one has ever heard of them in my area. The reco ... (read more)

Report this review (#81478) | Posted by poco | Monday, June 19, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Firstly, I'm surprised to see Oceansize mentioned in this forum (though I'm happy that they are) as I think the general 'prog' inhabitants of this board (i.e. those for who 'prog' is holier than thou & to be considered 'prog' you must have extended keyboard interludes and sing about elves & gi ... (read more)

Report this review (#34693) | Posted by | Friday, May 20, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is an awesome album, but when you take into account that it is the Mancunian band's debut effort, it's even more impressive. From the soothing opening track to the full out rock of the epic "Massive Bereavement", this album never fails to impress. The two shorter tracks are sample based, ... (read more)

Report this review (#34688) | Posted by Warren | Saturday, April 9, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars An execelent debut album from this England's band. I think you'll have to listen to it a few time to really get into it. But it is not gonna be a waste of time. Just look to the cover of Effloresque and you will have a small outline of the music. It's a kind of big brick, of very deep and inte ... (read more)

Report this review (#34686) | Posted by | Friday, April 8, 2005 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of OCEANSIZE "Effloresce"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.