The Ocean: The Greatest Post-Progressive Metal / Rock Band

The Ocean: The Greatest Post-Progressive Metal / Rock Band

Daylen DeKeyrel

The Ocean (also known as The Ocean Collective) is a post-rock progressive metal band. More on the side of progressive metal they have elements of post-metal and even post-rock. After their debut mini-album Fogdiver (2004), they decided to become a collective. A collective that guest stars musicians and throughout they perform within the records. Having up to five vocalists present in an album, and many other musicians that are in the double digits. Releasing three studio albums under the collective, Fluxion, Aeolian, and Precambrian. Robin Staps the creator of The Ocean decided to make a double-concept album called, Heliocentric and Anthropocentric. They dropped the collective for these two albums, but that didn’t change the diversity in each album. The Ocean found their ‘sound’ and voice at this point. (Which is Loïc Rossetti, their lead vocalist) In 2018, they reformed into The Ocean Collective again. Every Ocean album is different in theme, sound, and tone. Instrumentally going from violins to synths. From crystal clear vocals to hard false chord screams, and lastly from a piano solo to hard riffs. Here are my rankings from worst to greatest The Ocean (Collective) studio albums.

Fluxion (2004)

This is their first full length album, and it’s a personal favorite of mine. The narrative of The Ocean originally is absurd to say the least. There is no real theme besides society and human interaction. The one track to represent the now familiar narrative, and that is “Isla del Sol.” This album has great violin pieces and instrumentals throughout. By the last two tracks it is absolute post-metal, and those are my highlight tracks of the album.

6.5/10 Highlight tracks: “Isla del Sol” and “The Greatest Bane”


Aeolian (2006)

Their second full length album brings the aggressive strides that Fluxion had, but that’s consistently throughout the album. It is all about the hardcore feel in this album. The diversity in each track is there, but not as prevalent compared to the predecessor. The vocals feel as harsh as the hardest vocals Mike Pilat  (the lead vocalist at the time) gave in “The Greatest Bane.” Same with every vocalist and musician here, and that’s the point. It’s what Robin Staps intended for this album in comparison to Fluxion, even though it feels you couldn’t top it. Yet they totally did, and that’s just how amazing this album is overall. This is not my favorite Ocean period, it’s my least favorite in fact. Still an amazing album, and I appreciate it more and more everyday.

7/10 Highlighted tracks: “The City in the Sea” and “One With the Ocean”


Precambrian (2007)

This is the last collective album that they released. Similarly to Fluxion this album thematically is not consistent. Yet again the lyrics of the second half of the album resemble the well known Ocean lyrics. Only drawback is the consistency of the two albums, but I enjoy the variety too. Full of post-hardcore and especially post-metal this is an amazing double album.

7.5/10 Highlight tracks: “Neoarchaeon” and “Rhyacian: Untimely Meditations”


Heliocentric (2010)

Similarly to Fluxion and Aeolian, this is a part of another double concept album. In the theme of religion and belief, this is their most diverse album to date. With the cleanest vocals yet, and the bitter sweet classical instruments evoking emotion. This album is divisize amongst fans because of the tone throughout, but I love it. Few songs are throwaway for Ocean standards, but they work well with the theme and tone almost perfectly. That something the other half, Anthropocentric does even better in my opinion.

8/10 Highlight tracks: “Firmament” and “Swallowed By the Earth”


Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic (2020)

This album revolves around the concept of time. Being their most progressive album to date this album is similar to Anthropocentric in how it has every Ocean roster of songs throughout the album. I do say that this album’s one issue that I find is that the album becomes too consistent after the first two tracks. Going from a thirteen minute track to three, four minute tracks in a row. It makes the pacing of the album odd and seems unlike them. Compared to the original Phanerozoic I, It doesn’t equate to what I thought this would sound like. It’s as if it’s a slow paced second act to their Phanerozoic trilogy. Which might be possible because they’ve just released a single based upon the Holocene epoch. (That’s this era)

8.5/10 Highlight track: “Jurassic | Cretaceous”


Anthropocentric (2010)

Not diving into this album all too much. It’s about the anthropocentric belief that we’re the center of the universe. That we are God’s greatest creation, enough said about the theme. This is the most they’ve been described as post-rock. This record has every type of Ocean song done amazingly. It is one of my favorite records of all time.

9/10 Highlight track: “Anthropocentric”


Pelagial (2013)

Being one of, if not their most acclaimed album they’ve released. It was initially an instrumental album that then suddenly was turned into another album with Loïc Rossetti. The vocals were added in post of the intended instrumental production. Themed around The Ocean depths and a conceptual narrative based around the 1979 movie, Stalker. Being based on the dark and claustrophobic feeling of the ocean deep. It also represents the inner depths of the psyche, similarly to Stalker. This album is their most diverse album in an evolving tone and genre throughout the album. From post-rock to pure sludge metal, this album has every good kind of Ocean song. It’s the best of both worlds from Heliocentric and Anthropocentric. The concept of the album is one of my favorites, and it has the most emotion any album fluctuates especially through sound design and vocal variations. Overall their best record when it comes to consistency, length, and theme. This is a great instrumental album alone.

9.33/10 Highlight tracks: “Hadopelagic II: Let Them Believe” and “Benthic: The Origin of Our Wishes”


Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic (2018)

By far my favorite album, every main track is incredible. The instrumental track “The Carboniferous Rainforest Collapse” is my least favorite, but I still enjoy it. A sequel to Precambrian it continues the theme of the time periods. The opening transition is one of my favorite openings to an album. “The Cambrian Explosion” the opening track, is a similar track to “Cryogenian” the closer of Precambrian. The riffs are incredible and the subtle piano and violins in the background are The Ocean‘s perfect quality. Some of my favorite vocals ever in “Silurian: Age of Sea Scorpions” and “Devonian: Nascent.” Truly, truly my favorite Ocean album and one of my favorite albums of all time.

9.5/10 I wish it was longer, it is the shortest record in this list. With that said it still shows how good quality is over quantity. Highlight tracks: “Cambrian II: Eternal Recurrence”, “Silurian: Age of Sea Scorpions”, “Devonian: Nascent”, and “Permian: The Great Dying”


With a new record on the horizon, I imagine they’ll keep changing their sound and evolving progressively. Like an ocean current, they are strong and never in the same direction as before. The Ocean isn’t a broken record undoubtedly.  even though they are always changing, they still have The Ocean charm. This may be their downside for some, but I believe diversity (and a form of consistency) makes a great discography within a band. They aren’t as diverse musician wise as they were originally. Their albums still vary in sound, and their newest single sounds the most technological and futuristic yet. Sadly this may be my least favorite record in The Ocean‘s discography based on the single they’ve just put out. I’ll review that once it comes out, until then it’s on to The Dillinger Escape Plan.