Our Oceans
Our Oceans


4.0
excellent

Review

by Benjamin Kuettel STAFF
April 13th, 2019 | 22 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Our Oceans channels the creativity of its musical ancestors while pursuing a new direction with a balance between impressive instrumental work and beautiful soundscapes.

A traceable lineage exists in the realm of atmospheric, dreamy progressive metal with jazz fusion elements that began with the legendary band Cynic in the late 1980s. Despite only releasing three full-length albums since its inception, the members launched various side projects and collaborations over the years in the spirit of the original group’s unique artistry. Exivious, one of these main extensions, released two excellent instrumental albums around the turn of the decade. The frontman, guitarist Tymon Kruidenier, eventually decided to retire his previous band after launching the considerably mellower band, Our Oceans. The eponymous debut album considerably dials back the free improvisation, complex rhythms, and technical metal styles from Exivious and other groups in the sprawling Cynic family tree.

Our Oceans rewardingly hearkens to the celestial themes and song-based compilation Portal, a one-album extension of Cynic. The opening two tracks and “Illuminate” feature aquatic and chiming guitars alongside soaring vocals and laid back tempos. Like Portal, this new project is driven just as much by singing as it is by the instrumental work, lending a traditional and accessible feel compared to the sometimes obtuse and self-indulgent qualities of typical prog metal. Each song takes its time and revels in lush musical textures, unfolding carefully and embodying songwriting experience that came from the past.

Our Oceans stands out mainly due to pursuing even more of a post-rock direction than any of the aforementioned bands. The longest track and album highlight “Turquoise” gradually builds to a dense, gorgeous soundscape more akin to Cocteau Twins, Explosions in the Sky, or Jakob as opposed to Cynic or Death. Atmosphere flourishes even more as well, this time feeling like the priority over the complex instrumental work and jazz fusion elements from before. The talent is still felt in numerous ways, but taken in a straightforward and ethereal place with hardly any metal elements to be found. While not a return to the heyday of Cynic nor a direct continuation of Exivious, Our Oceans rewardingly occupies a different artistic place while possessing even more of their spiritual themes and ambiance. This debut feels like part of the lineage it came from and traverses new musical directions with an identity of its own. While most all of the related bands appear to be over, Our Oceans is an exciting, promising project with a bright future ahead.



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user ratings (45)
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
April 13th 2019


18879 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Was surprised no one reviewed this, hopefully it'll get more attention.

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Calc
Contributing Reviewer
April 13th 2019


16354 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

come on fellas it's going on year 4 now...

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TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
April 13th 2019


18879 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yea this has some top tier spacey prog/post-rock whatever for fans of that aesthetic

nightbringer
April 14th 2019


843 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Jamming this now, digging it.

Ecnalzen
April 14th 2019


8767 Comments


Didn't know this was a thing. Will check.

Faraudo
April 14th 2019


3276 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Why did I never checked this out in the first place? I feel mad because it took me so long, but glad that I eventually did.

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TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
April 14th 2019


18879 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yea this is a beaut

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
April 14th 2019


11131 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dang! How'd I not know about this. Good review Talon and thanks for the heads up!

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
April 15th 2019


18879 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Glad to bring this some recognition, and thanks!

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
April 16th 2019


11131 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is so good. Like better produced Portal.

Hawks
April 16th 2019


73729 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Need this.

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TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
April 16th 2019


18879 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yea this is great for those like me who want more Portal

Hawks
April 16th 2019


73729 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is nice and chill.

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
April 18th 2019


18879 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Very blissful yea. Would be cool if a new one was released this year or next

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
April 19th 2019


11131 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I gotta admit, it causes me genuine confusion to know that Sean Malone isn't playing bass on this album. Did Robin Zielhorst imbibe so much Malone-ness when he replaced him in Cynic that now he just sounds like him all the time?

Ecnalzen
April 19th 2019


8767 Comments


Gonna check this out now. Hoping for the good stuff.

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
April 19th 2019


18879 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The bass lines on here are magnificent yea, I believe it’s fretless

Ecnalzen
April 19th 2019


8767 Comments


Mmhmm. They specifically mention it in the about section on their bandcamp.

BallsToTheWall
April 24th 2019


49821 Comments


This looks sexy.

Digging: Great Master - Skull and Bones

bloc
April 24th 2019


58308 Comments


Couldn't get into this, every song sounds the same

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