5 Silhouettes, their backlit bodies moving frenetically in front of the monstrous LED lighting rigs, flashing synchronized to every little change in the music: watching THE OCEAN perform live is an experience. The videos, the lighting and more than anything, the music – orchestral, dense and epic – all contribute to that certain atmosphere that sets THE OCEAN apart from most of their peers in the realm of modern day’s heavy music. The lynch-esque play with darkness and dynamics make it easy for the listener to get lost in the dismal oceanic spheres.
The band originated in 2002, 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 bigger 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.
Despite initial hardships and the ever-changing lineup, The Ocean Collective have released 5 critically acclaimed studio albums over the course of the past 6 years. Praise of their 80 minutes concept-opus “Precambrian” (2007) spread like wildfire in the community: “Epic in scope and flawless in execution, ‘Precambrian’ reinforces The Ocean as one of the most exciting names in modern heavy music. Behold mind-blowing metal on a wagnerian scale”, ROCK SOUND (UK) cheered. “Ambitious and epic, dense and orchestral, the latest album from Germany’s premier thinking man’s metal collective The Ocean features a dizzying array of musical and vocal styles, from Mastodonian prog jags and Fear Factory jackhammer blasts to ethereal electronics and florid classical instrumentations”,AMP (USA) added, and DECIBEL (USA) found the album to be “…engrossing to the point where words don’t necessarily matter. The Ocean do for earth science class what Mastodon did for Melville: make learning brutal”.
After more than 500 shows all over the world, supporting bands like OPETH, ANATHEMA, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, CULT OF LUNA and ISIS and successful headlining tours in Europe and the US, the addition of vocalist Loïc Rossetti marks the final step in a recent development within the band: after 8 years of existence, THE OCEAN has transformed from a collective into a band. „The people I am working with now are the people I have always been looking for, and naturally, everyone else is much more involved than ever before”, comments Staps.
The Ocean released their opus magnum in 2010 with the separately-released double-album „Heliocentric“ (April 2010) and “Anthropocentric“ (November 2010). This enormous conceptual effort took almost 2 years to be completed. From a lyrical and artistic point of view, the albums represent a fundamental and philosophical critique of Christianity. Both albums scored rave reviews all over the world, including „album of the month“ in Metal Hammer Germany, Italy and Greece and a cover feature on the December- issue of Metal Hammer UK / Subterranea. AMG Magazine (US) stated that “This is the most forward-thinking statement by the Ocean yet, and stands as the most seamlessly integrated and consistent recording they’ve issued to date”, and Rock Sound (UK) found the album to be “Luxurious, tectonic, ingenious, calculated, charismatic, enterprising, dextrous, inventive, unrestrained, fascinating and poignant. If all this doesn’t convince you to at least check them out, then seriously, fuck off.” - Rock Sound (UK), 9/10