THE OCEAN

Atmospheric Sludge Metal • Germany
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The Ocean (also known as The Ocean Collective) is an atmospheric sludge metal band from Berlin in Germany, formed in 2000.

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"The band originated in 2001, when mainman Robin Staps leased the basement of a former aluminum factory from World War II in the heart of Berlin-Kreuzberg. After a few weeks of daily construction work, “Oceanland” was born – a large underground complex of recording studio and sleeping rooms, where many members of THE OCEAN would spend the larger part of the upcoming few years of their lives. The band's live show was conceptualized and improved here, and over the years, a collective of musicians from classical as well as rock music backgrounds formed around Staps. Four albums were recorded at Oceanland, before the band was evicted from the place in 2008.

It's pointless to try to recall every past member of The Ocean. There must have been
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Thanks to Stooge, rushfan4, UMUR, adg211288, tupan, Bosh66 for the updates

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Metal Blade 2013
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THE OCEAN Discography

THE OCEAN albums / top albums

THE OCEAN Fogdiver album cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
Fogdiver
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2003
THE OCEAN Fluxion album cover 3.91 | 8 ratings
Fluxion
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2004
THE OCEAN Aeolian album cover 3.33 | 3 ratings
Aeolian
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2005
THE OCEAN Precambrian album cover 3.95 | 18 ratings
Precambrian
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2007
THE OCEAN Fluxion (2009) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Fluxion (2009)
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2009
THE OCEAN Heliocentric album cover 3.50 | 11 ratings
Heliocentric
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2010
THE OCEAN Anthropocentric album cover 4.13 | 22 ratings
Anthropocentric
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2010
THE OCEAN Pelagial album cover 4.21 | 7 ratings
Pelagial
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2013
THE OCEAN Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2018

THE OCEAN EPs & splits

THE OCEAN Queen Of The Food-Chain album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Queen Of The Food-Chain
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2002
THE OCEAN Burst / The Ocean album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Burst / The Ocean
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2005
THE OCEAN The Grand Inquisitor album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Grand Inquisitor
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2012
THE OCEAN Transcendental album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Transcendental
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2015

THE OCEAN live albums

THE OCEAN demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

THE OCEAN Islands/Tides album cover 3.08 | 2 ratings
Islands/Tides
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2001

THE OCEAN re-issues & compilations

THE OCEAN Fluxion / Aeolian album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Fluxion / Aeolian
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2006
THE OCEAN Anthropocentric / Heliocentric album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Anthropocentric / Heliocentric
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2010
THE OCEAN Fluxion / Fluxion (2009) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Fluxion / Fluxion (2009)
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2014

THE OCEAN singles (1)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Queen of the Food-Chain/Inertia
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2005

THE OCEAN movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Collective Oblivion
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2013

THE OCEAN Reviews

THE OCEAN Precambrian

Album · 2007 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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Warthur
Precambrian offers up two distinct musical trips, with an overarching theme concerning the earliest phases of Earth's formation. Hadean/Archaean offers about 20 minutes of direct aggression; Proterozoic offers an hour of more contemplative atmospheric sludge metal veering into progressive rock or New Age music at points. The full 80 minute package is, to be honest, a bit of a chore to listen to - but break it up into its two component parts and select the piece which suits your current mood better, and the overall package is substantially improved. Let's say it's a three star album packaged with a four star album - but which is which will hinge on the tastes of the individual listener.

THE OCEAN Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic

Album · 2018 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Metal is dead they say! But is it? Of course not but the naysayers seem to think that since there is no unifying metal band such as a Led Zeppelin, a Metallica or an Iron Maiden to rally around in the 21st century that the grandiose nature of the genre surely must be just a pathetic shadow of its former glory. Au contraire! The metal universe has never been so large and seen so many torches carried from the past masters and an even greater number of new torches being lit seemingly every single day. The big bang that began in the late 60s with proto-metal bands like Gun, Jimi Hendrix Experience and Iron Butterfly just to name a few, quickly led to the first metal oriented bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. While it would take a decade or so for the genre to branch off from the parent trunk, once the process began, it splintered off into a million directions and well into the 21st century we are treated to a genre that can seemingly adapt to any disparate musical style and inspiration that has ever been proposed.

Bands like THE OCEAN remind me of exactly how far the metal genre has evolved since its humble nascency that was a mere angsty reaction to the blues oriented rock. This German band while starting out in their own state of sludge metal disquietude has continually ratcheted up the complexity of their albums as they went from a chaotically noisy punk infused sludge metal band to a bona fide progressive behemoth that tamed their aggressive tendencies and funneled them into a more post-metal paradigm that implemented the incredibly diverse classical music elements and electronic sounds that have placed them in a rather unique niche of the progressive metal universe. Led by founder and guitarist Robin Staps, this band that is also known as THE OCEAN COLLECTIVE found a more stable lineup beginning with their album “Heliocentric” and has continued to awe and amaze the world with a series of sophisticated albums that uniquely incorporate Earth’s geologic history into the compositional process and while the geologic themes presented in all their nerdiness may seem a tad eccentric, the fact is that this band is absolutely brilliant in how they adapt the geological themes to the more personal human level of reality.

The title of THE OCEAN’s 7th studio album (not counting re-recordings, EPs or demos) is officially PHANEROZOIC I - PALAEOZOIC, so first of all we need a few definitions of the title so that the lyrical content makes a lot more sense. The PHANEROZOIC eon is the current geologic eon in the time scale which hosts the most abundant eon for all flora and fauna that has ever existed and began 541 million years ago with the Cambrian period when a huge diversity of hard-shelled animals made their debut onto life’s stage. The PALAEOZOIC era (also spelled PALEOZOIC) is the earliest of three geologic eras (the others being the Mesozoic and the Cenozoic) of the PHANEROZOIC era and lasted from 541 to 251 millions ago. THE OCEAN is serious about their scientific terminology and the seven mostly lengthy tracks tackle the unthinkable task of narrating the geological periods that the PALAEOZOIC era is divided into. There are only six periods, however the beginning Cambrian is divided into two tracks with the other periods following, the Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous (if you’re really a nerd you’d know this period is divided into two sub-periods, the Pennsylvanian and Mississippian!) and last but not least the Permian whose ending saw one of planet Earth’s largest mass extinctions in its entire history. That’s your geology lesson for the day, so how about the music?

As i’ve already stated, THE OCEAN may insinuate that the lyrical content comes right out of a university text book but in fact, the lyrics are quite nebulous and have double meanings while relating to the geologic narrative, they also incorporate the personal aspects of life. THE OCEAN seems to get more ambitious with each release and this latest endeavor is certainly no exception to that trend. While it’s true that THE OCEAN do not deviate from what came before and stick to their carved out niche like a scuba diver to an air tank, what THE OCEAN does accomplish on PHANEROZOIC is a nice mix of their early heavy chunky guitar riffs of sludge metal with frantic screamed vocals mixed with the sensual amorphous classical meanderings that showcase tender clean vocals with supplemental instrumentation that includes cello, trumpet, trombone, piano and symphonic atmospheres that find the band pulling a Jekyll & Hyde for much of the album.

One uniting factor is the progressive workouts that permeate both aggressive and placid aspects of the band as irregular time signature rich cadences jitter by with the accompaniment of jazzy drum gymnastics and hypnotizing post-metal meanderings that find repetitious riffing slowly transmogrify into a larger picture much like the geologic eras that change so slowly that we cannot perceive them. While the previous album “Pelagial” was in danger of exterminating the sludge metal aspects of THE OCEAN’s own musical history, PHANEROZOIC unapologetically brings back the harsher aspects of the band’s earliest recordings without sacrificing the progressive and atmospheric accomplishments they’ve accrued since their 2007 landmark album “Precambrian.” Suffice it to say, THE OCEAN strike a mean balance between their harshest moments of albums like “Aeolian” and the post-rock serenity of “Pelagial.” PHANEROZOIC finds the perfect balance between these two worlds and best of all this wider sonic spectrum is brilliantly mixed with a production value that perfectly balances the distorted metal outbursts with the exquisitely divine orchestral moments. While the final track is titled “Permian: The Great Dying,” it seems safe to bet that THE OCEAN won’t go extinct anytime soon. This phenomenal work is by far one of 2018’s most ambitious metal projects even if it hasn’t exactly expanded the elements that they are known for.

THE OCEAN Anthropocentric

Album · 2010 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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Warthur
One of two albums that The Ocean released in 2010 themed around different models of looking at the universe (the other one, naturally, being Heliocentric), Anthropocentric finds the band playing in an atmospheric, post-rock influenced style reminiscent of a more melodic take on late Mastodon - perhaps with the progressive sounds a bit more tempered by melodic accessibility. Tied in with a concept about how fundamentalism in religion and Creationist theories tend towards a simplistic view of the universe which tends to assume that everything, like the title implies, revolves around humanity, it's an interesting and accessible entry into the world of progressive, atmospheric sludge metal.

THE OCEAN Fluxion

Album · 2004 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Fluxion" is the debut full-length studio album by German sludge/post metal/hardcore act The Ocean (sometimes referred to as The Ocean Collective). The album was released through Make My Day Records/Throne Records in November 2004 (Pelagic Records released a remixed and remastered version of the album in 2009, which also featured re-recorded vocal tracks with another vocalist). The Ocean recorded a lot of material during the sessions for "Fluxion" and ended up with enough tracks to fill two full-length studio albums. "Fluxion" features the most experimental/progressive and melodic tracks from the recording sessions while a second album titled "Aeolian" (released through Metal Blade Records in November 2005) features the most raw and brutal sludge/hardcore tracks from the same sessions.

Stylistically the music on "Fluxion" is sludge/post metal/hardcore but featuring adventurous ideas and progressive elements. There are lots of classical influences on the album and there are both violin, cello, and clarinet featured on the material. The music is very heavy with sharp distorted guitar riffing, pounding drums, and an angry sounding and raw shouting frontman. There are only very few clean vocals on the album but when they appear on "Isla Del Sol" it´s a positive surprise which is great for the diversity on the album. Other standout tracks would be the symphonic opener "Nazca" and the closing 14:33 minutes long "The Greatest Bane". "The Greatest Bane" touches post metal territory with it´s slow- to mid paced tempo and slow building structure. There are also some really agressive hardcore tracks featured on the album like "Comfort Zones" and "Dead On The Whole" while "Fluxion" and "Loopholes" show a more atmospheric and subtle side of The Ocean. The tracklist has a conceptual feel to it, and "Fluxion" is the kind of album, which deserves to be listened to as a whole in one listening session. That´s the best way to discover and feel the effect of the dynamics of the loud heavy parts and softer more atmospheric moments.

The album is well produced, featuring a powerful, atmospheric, and detailed production (the drums could have prospered from a more organic tone though), which goes well with the often layered and complex music. The musicianship is on a high level throughout and upon conclusion "Fluxion" is a very strong and promising debut album by The Ocean. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

THE OCEAN Fogdiver

Album · 2003 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Fogdiver" is an EP release by German/multinational sludge/post hardcore/metal act The Ocean. The EP was released through Make My Day Records in June 2003. Unlike their 2001 "Islands/Tides" promo, "Fogdiver" is a fully instrumental effort. The EP features 5 tracks and a total playing time of 29:57 minutes.

The music on the EP is a mix of post rock and more heavy sludge metal/hardcore sections. If you´re familiar with The Ocean´s succeeding album releases, the material on the "Fogdiver" EP is actually surprisingly less heavy than what you might expect. I was reminded of Mogwai a couple of times during the playing time. There are still plenty of heavy parts featured on the EP though, so this is still a "metal" release.

The sound production is professional and relatively powerful, and overall suits the music well. No vocals in sludge/post hardcore/metal can be an obstacle to some people, but with "Fogdiver", The Ocean prove that instrumental sludge/post hardcore/metal can be highly entertaining and quite clever as well. They would not further pursue this style though as they would add raw vocals to their music on their debut full-length studio album "Fluxion (2004)". "Fogdiver" deserves a 3.5 star (70%) rating.

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