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 all these 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. 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.
Originally known as the Ocean Collective, before shortening their name to simply the Ocean, this forward-thinking ensemble from Berlin, Germany, was founded in early 2000 by guitarist Robin Staps, who soon surrounded himself with fellow guitarist Andreas Hillebrand, bassist Jonathan Heine, drummer Torge Liessmann, percussionist Gerd Kornmann, and a variety of individually specialized vocalists, including Nico Webers, Sean Ingram, Nate Newton, Thomas Hallbom, and Carsten Albrecht. Inspired in part by the progressive explorations of Americans Neurosis, and wishing to compose brutal heavy metal containing lighter, atmospheric elements under strictly orchestrated parameters, the group's demos, EPs, and two albums (2004'sFluxion and 2006's Aeolian -- which were recorded at the same session) have been described as "ambient doom soundtracks." The hard-hitting, prog-tinged Precambrian arrived in 2007. For 2010's Heliocentric and Anthropocentric (released just five months apart), vocalist Loïc Rosetti (who actually singsrather than growls) replaced Albrecht and helped to shift the band's focus toward a more spacious approach with larger textural and dynamic shifts. In April of 2013, the Ocean released their most ambitious undertaking yet in Pelagial. Written to be performed as a single 53-minute conceptual work, its various sections virtually interact with one another. The package contained both vocal and instrumental versions of the album.