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OCEANARIUM

Deluge Grander

Symphonic Prog


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Deluge Grander Oceanarium album cover
3.83 | 89 ratings | 10 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2017

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A Numbered Rat, a High Ledge, and a Maze of Horizons (11:32)
2. Drifting Inner Skyline Space (8:28)
3. The Blunt Sun and the Hardened Moon (15:25)
4. Finding a Valley in a Gray Area on a Map (3:24)
5. Finding a Shipwreck in a Valley in an Ocean (6:20)
6. Tropical Detective Squadron (14:10)
7. Marooned and Torn Asunder (8:06)
8. Water to Glass - The Ultimate Solution (12:31)

Total Time 79:56

Line-up / Musicians

- Dan Britton / keyboards, guitars, other instruments
- Brett d'Anon / bass, guitar
- Patrick Gaffney / drums

With:
- Dave Berggren / electric guitar (6)
- Corey Sansolo / trombone (1)
- Denis Malloy / bass clarinet (1-3,8)
- Steve Churchill / oboe (1,7)
- Brian Falkowski / saxophone (3), flute (4,5), clarinet (8)
- Neil Brown / trumpet (8)
- Natalie Spehar / cello (2,4,5,8)
- Zack Stachowski / violin (4,5)

Releases information

Artwork: Alex Bennett

CD Emkog Records ‎- EMKOG 007pre2 (2017, US)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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DELUGE GRANDER Oceanarium ratings distribution


3.83
(89 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
27%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
42%
Good, but non-essential (24%)
24%
Collectors/fans only (8%)
8%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

DELUGE GRANDER Oceanarium reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by LearsFool
COLLABORATOR Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars "Oceanarium" finds both Deluge Grander and their listeners on a precipice. As it happens, the band place their wonderful limited edition 2014 album "Heliotians" at the start of a whole seven album series, with this release meant to be interrelated with both its predecessor and promised follow up "Lunarians". Exhibit A is the description of this album's "Marooned and Torn Asunder", which hearkens back to "Saruned" and apparently forwards to a track called "Torn Amoonder". Furthermore, there is an increasing amount of musical ingredients, with the group's Canterbury leanings becoming more apparent to the point of fusion, a return to some heavier moments last seen with Cerberus Effect, some violin use that reminds of David Cross era Crimson, and even use of banjo, mandolin, and hammered dulcimer. Appropriately enough with the band taking the plunge into ever more ambitious musicmaking, the hard- hitting opener "A Numbered Rat, A High Ledge, And A Maze of Horizons" is meant to invoke the image of a ratman tumbling down from some height to a world of strange landscapes, warring factions, some sort of battle of the bands between Sun Ra and Moondog, and TJ Hooker. Colour me intrigued.

Highlights include the aforementioned opener, which compares favourably with Haken's "The Mountain" and has some of the most jazzy moments on the record. As well, there's the somewhat Floydian "Drifting Inner Skyline Space", the split up piece made up of "Finding A Valley" and "Finding A Shipwreck", and the rambling "Tropical Detective Squadron". In general, the band create not just a nice symphonic soundscape, of which there are plenty every year, but one which mixes in influences and sounds that have been woefully uncommon in the symph revival. This release is one that symph lovers should be particularly excited for, offering new horizons both in the music itself and what the future holds.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
5 stars The word DELUGE is an English word that can mean a great flood, a heavy downpour or can mean to overrun or inundate. Dan Britton is back with his highly innovative symphonic prog band to bring us something even GRANDER than what came before. Yes, DELUGE GRANDER returns and living up to their name unleashes a veritable torrent of music in the form of the band's fourth full length album OCEANARIUM. While it may have seemed that Britton was playing back-and-forth with his two bands by releasing one album from one and then one from the next, it seems that the Birds And Buildings project has been put on hold while DELUGE GRANDER, well could get even GRANDER than anyone thought possible. As with the other three albums, OCEANARIUM is a dense and heavy ride through a sophisticated swirl of never-ending progginess that harkens back to the 70s in similar style and production, yet somehow feels very contemporary in the second decade of the 21st century with its grandiloquent larger-than-life elegance as it prances around like a symphonic prog pony on all those classic 70s albums and then back to the here and now.

OCEANARIUM follows the 2014 "Heliotians" as the second album in a 3-level 7-album series which purportedly will be followed by the album "Lunarians" open to the public possibly as early as 2018. While this middle section of the first level of an ongoing theme has much in common with the previous albums which came before, in sophistication and style, OCEANARIUM takes all of the attributes of a typical DELUGE GRANDER and creates a much denser and craftier manner of orchestrating the large number of instruments on board. Unlike the previous offerings, this one is exclusively instrumental without a vocal peep finding its way into the mix. There are eight tracks on board and are accompanied by stunning artwork in a lavishly designed packaging ( a 20-page full color booklet with artwork representing each track) with each track representing a stage of the loose concept that narrates a story about a rat-man who unluckily falls off of a building and into the lands of competing tribes and after fleeing from the conflicted areas only manages to become lost without the certainty of ever finding his way back to where he began.

While Dan Britton is the undisputed leader of this project, handles the keyboards, guitars and a plethora of other instruments, he is joined by Dave Berggon on guitar, Brett d'Anon on bass and guitars and Patrick Gaffney on percussion. While these guys have the chops to make a totally satisfying prog behemoth all by themselves, DELUGE GRANDER go for broke on OCEANARIUM with seven additional musicians lending a hand on trumpet, oboe, sax, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, trombone, cello and violin. Although Britton is modest and doesn't want to include his long list of contributions as a multi-instrumentalist, also included on this album are the sitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, xylophone, hammered dulcimer, hand drums and oh yeah, can't forget about the tambourine! The density of OCEANARIUM is thicker than a uranium atom with enough radioactive zest to please even the most hardened of proggers as it feels as expansive as the Pacific melding with the Atlantic with no clear boundaries set between them but yet each segment still exuding its own personality in the nebulous mix.

Because of the fact that this album is so chock full of sounds and creative ideas, i solicited a bit of info regarding the storyline to aid as a training wheel for those of us who don't have the patience to unravel all the mysteries through countless listens. Here are a few comments about the eight tracks delivered to me by Dan Britton himself:

------------

Track 1 - "A Numbered Rat, a High Ledge, and a Maze of Horizons" [11:32]
 Heavy to symphonic to fusion to heavy

------------

Track 2 - "Drifting Inner Skyline Space" [8:28] Can (the Inner Space) meets Marillion (the Skyline Drifters), though perhaps only titularly

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Track 3 - "The Blunt Sun and the Hardened Moon" [15:25] Sun Ra and Moondog battle for the soul of Rat-Man

------------


Track 4 - "Finding a Valley in a Gray Area on a Map" [3:24] 
Track 5 - "Finding a Shipwreck in a Valley in an Ocean" [6:20] These two tracks were originally one 10-minute piece but were split to fit the album better onto two LPs

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Track 6 - "Tropical Detective Squadron" [14:10] The soundtrack to an imaginary cop show from the 1960's, 1970's, or 1980's

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Track 7 - "Marooned and Torn Asunder" [8:06] A combination of musical ideas from "Saruned" off Heliotians and "Torn Amoonder" off Lunarians

------------


Track 8 - "Water to Glass / The Ultimate Solution" [12:31] Inspired by the PFM album Per un Amico, especially the songs "Appena un Po" and "Per un Amico"

------------

Britton cites some of the usual 70s suspects as influences such as King Crimson and Genesis as obvious reference points but also found many lesser known bands as inspiration giving credit to artists as diverse as Kayo Dot, Kenso, Maneige, Miriodor, Semiramis, Asia Minor, Kotebel and Crucis. While it is obvious that some of the symphonic keyboard styles are derived from the Japanese band Kenso, the more bombastic rock heft can clearly be heard from the Spanish band Kotebel as well as the extra symphonic touches coming from many of the aforementioned and beyond. Personally i find OCEANARIUM and its narrations through music prospect reminds me the most of Pekka Pohjola's classic musical narrative on "Harakka Bialoipokku" as the music is the only form of explanation of emotional connection to the storyline at hand and like the late Finnish maestro's best efforts, DELUGE GRANDER effortlessly convey the emotional rollercoaster ride through the sophistication of the musical tapestry of sound alone.

One other influence not cited that immediately comes to mind for me as well is the sophisticated symphonic texturing approaches of the American band Happy The Man with their light and uplifting overall mood elevating effects. In the end, DELUGE GRANDER succeed in amalgamating all of the prog heroes who came before yet sound themselves like no other progressive rock band and display in vivid sonic form exactly how highly complex prog should be done in the 21st century while still firmly placed within the ongoing traditions already set during the heyday of the 70s. OCEANARIUM not only takes the band's compositional approach to a personal higher level but also ups the bar for symphonic prog section of prog in general. Even for a hardened proghead like me, this one was a dense and impenetrable experience on the first spin, but subsequent listens have allowed it to sink in on a deeper level of consciousness as well as taking in the countless passages that are sewn together like a royal cloak in the high court. Here we are in the year 2017 and a new classic is born somewhere in the tiny US state of Maryland. Bravissimo! Great job, guys! Looking forward to the continuing saga.

4.5 but prog this good needs to be rounded up here :)

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars An album of oddly recorded instruments (everything muted, compressed, or dampened at the high end?) composed in a style that sounds like the pretentiousness of a 1970s soundtrack to a porno film. The whole time I'm listening to this album I feel as if it's 1970 and I'm sitting in a basement practice studio in Poughkeepskie, New York, or Waterloo, Iowa, listening to the local Symphony Orchestra run through a rehearsal of a locally produced rock opera that was composed in the by some local who is heavily inspired by Mike Oldfield. Weird. Though almost every song on the album has interesting and enjoyable parts, section, themes, or performances, no song is fully satisfying start to finish. Is Dan trying to have his music sound like it came from a 78 rpm recording from the 1920s?

1. "A Numbered Rat, A High Ledge, And A Maze Of Horizons" (11:32) opens with a bit of an ELP flare before going symphonic X-Files, Spaghetti Western, and Karda Estra. (8.5/10)

2. "Drifting Inner Skyline Space" (8:28) Sounds like a Sergio Leone-George Martin lovefest--until Mike Oldfield and John Barry (Midnight Cowboy) squeeze their way in. (8.5/10)

3. "The Blunt Sun And The Hardened Moon" (15:25) Hawkwind meets Sergio Leone. Nothing new here. (7.5/10)

4. "Finding A Valley In A Gray Area On A Map" (3:24) Unfulfilled portentousness. (7.5/10)

5. "Finding A Shipwreck In A Valley In An Ocean" (6:20) Aimless and meandering. (7/10)

6. "Tropical Detective Squadron" (14:10) Seriously?! This must be the "tension reliever"? or from the Steven King comedy soundtrack. (6.5/10)

7. "Marooned And Torn Asunder" (8:06) one of the three best songs on the album--even if it is a Mike Oldfield ripoff. (8.5/10)

8. "Water To Glass / The Ultimate Solution" (12:31) What is the point to stringing together all these odd, unusual, and incongruous themes? Showing off the disconnected wanderings of an ADHD mind? (7.5/10)

While Dan is obviously an accomplished musician and mature composer, I wonder about his sound sensibilities as there has never been a release that he's been associated with that has what is in my opinion "good" sound. (I have my own standards, of course). What is meant when contributing artists are credited with "other instruments" and "compositional contributions" (Dan Berggren, Patrick Gaffney, and Christopher West)? Is it all composed on GarageBand?

3.5 stars; interesting but "unfinished"?or "unpolished."

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This really comes across as a homage to Mike Oldfield, and unfortunately for me I'm not a big Oldfield fan. As highly as this has been rated by the majority there's little here that does anything for me. This just isn't my kind of music. Should have sampled it first. I still get a kick out of the fact the drummer here is Patrick Gaffney who I knew from his CHAOS CODE days, loved that band. Anyway Patrick has played on a number of Dan Britton projects. The album cover is one of my favourites from this year, so there's that. DELUGE GRANDER is pretty much a trio with many guests helping out. I believe there are 8 musicians helping out here playing a variety of horns and strings mostly. 80 minutes of music!

"A Numbered Rat, A High Ledge, And A Maze Of Horizons" hits the ground running after a pause. The guitar isn't in the style I like and the synths are high pitched which I also am not into(haha). Is that harmonica? Anyway the song has many tempo shifts with lots of guitar, piano, synths and drums. The calm starting before 3 minutes features trombone and bass with the piano to follow. Oboe 6 1/2 minutes in then guitar to the fore after 7 minutes.

"Drifting Inner Skyline Space" has a relaxed sound to it with a slow beat. Cello helps out along with the bass and more. I like it best after 7 minutes where we get some space with electric piano, bass clarinet, cello, guitar and more. It then picks up again.

"The Blunt Sun And The Hardened Moon" is uptempo with sax over top. High pitched synths replace the sax unfortunately then a brief calm before 2 minutes. The sax is back around 3 1/2 minutes. The sound might be at it's heaviest on this album before 5 minutes, and it's not heavy. The piano leads before 5 1/2 minutes. I'm not into the lighter sound that follows a minute later. I do like the sound before 9 minutes though and we get what sounds like mellotron that follows. Back to that uptempo sound before it settles back before 13 minutes to the end.

"Finding A Valley In A Grey Area In A Map" is a song I like early on with the bass and flute. Violin before a minute and the piano is fairly prominent at times. An Eastern vibe before 3 minutes then it picks up in pace.

"Finding A Shipwreck In A valley In An Ocean" opens with bass and piano, kind of jazzy actually. It becomes catchy with violin helping out. The music swells after 5 minutes.

"Tropical Detective Squadron" has a light and humerous sound to begin with. Again the high pitched sounds are prominent that bug me throughout. I really like when it turns darker before 3 1/2 minutes, a nice change. Sounds like mellotron, electric piano and a beat that follows. So good! The high pitched sounds are back changing the mood.

"Marooned And Torn Asunder" opens with oboe and other intricate sounds. Guitar too. Oboe to the fore after 2 1/2 minutes as it settles. Beautiful stuff. Nice guitar melodies before 4 minutes then more oboe. The guitar after 5 1/2 minutes goes on and on.

"Water To Glass/ The Ultimate Solution" is majestic sounding with piano and horns early on. Strings too, then eventually after 4 minutes it's piano only but atmosphere, oboe and more follow in this mellow section. We get some Oldfield styled guitar coming and going on this one especially after 5 1/2 minutes. Lots of piano before 8 1/2 minutes and cello around 10 minutes.

Clearly a grand work for Dan Britton. I can't even imagine the work that went into this. Bottom line though is that I'm just not into this style of music.

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Prog Team
4 stars This is the fourth album from Deluge Grander, but it is the first time I have come across them. To be honest, if it wasn't for bandleader Dan Britton (keyboards, guitars, other instruments) contacting me through both ProgArchives and LastFM, I still wouldn't have! But, I personally think it is great when musicians push themselves out there to people who may be interested, so I was intrigued to hear this. Joining him on this album is Brett d'Anon (bass, guitar) and Patrick Gaffney on drums along with assorted guests, and by having certain instruments only involved with certain songs it gives the music an incredibly varied feel.

I have seen some people liken this to Mike Oldfield, but that isn't at all fair on either artist, and doesn't represent what the music is like, as for me this is what would have happened if Frank Zappa had moved more into the symphonic progressive field as opposed to the avant garde. There are times when the music becomes almost oriental, and I found myself thinking of Dennis Rea and his incredible 'Views From Chicheng Precipice', but again brought more into mainstream progressive music. Dan's keyboards are always at the very heart of this instrumental album, and here the music really does live up to the album title as when playing this I can envisage myself underwater following fish near the seabed.

Due to the variety of sounds and instruments, one doesn't always know what to expect around the next coral reef or valley in the sea floor, which makes the album consistently interesting and enjoyable. I did warn Dan that if he sent me the album he had to understand that it would be reviewed honestly, and I would say exactly what I thought, which may not be what he wanted. But, he accepted that, but from the moment I put this on I knew that it was never going to be an issue, as this is one that I have enjoyed throughout. Well worth further investigation.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is the second time I get a Deluge Grandeur CD, and I must admit that Dan Britton & co deliver a better CD than The Form Of The Good (2009). Problem is: their songwriting is still unfocused and without personality. It is obvious that Britton has the right influences and tries hard to deliver a 79 minute symphonic prog extravaganza: the musicians he chose are all brilliant ones, and he throws in just about every possible instrument on this album: trumpet, cello, violin, harmonica, clarinet, bass clarinet, saxophone, oboe, flute, trombone, even guitar! Not to mention his vast array of vintage sounding keyboards, plus bass and drums. All wrapped up with an adequate production (in this subject he seems fond of low tech recording facilities, like he was intending to sound exactly like it was made in a 70īs studio!). Still he canīt come up with songs.

Donīt get me wrong, there are several good melodies on this CD, but no cohesive whole whatsoever. In fact most tracks sound like a collection of ideas that sometimes work well together, but frequently donīt. His most obvious influence here is Mike Oldfield (around the time of his Hergest Ridge album, to be more precise), although there are several others too, like ELP, Gentle Giant, Yes, King Crimson and Pink Floyd. Britton does not seem to pick up a good melody and develop it into a song that has a beginning, a middle part and a conclusion. A real shame. The closer he gets to it is the last tune, Water To Glass - The Ultimate solution, which held my attention for most of its 12 minutes, but still is nothing that memorable.

Oceanarium has its moments, and it is definitely a step forward when compared to The Form Of The Good, but not much. Iīm still hoping that someday Grandeur Deluge will be able to write songs as good as their talents on playing their instruments.

Rating; 5 star performances, 2 star compositions: 3 stars overall. Barely.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Wow, this came as quite a surprise. I admit I wasn't terribly familiar with Deluge Grander prior to "Oceanarium", or Dan Britton's other projects, but that is now changing. First off, I love that this is all instrumental. More and more I'm gravitating to instrumental music, especially when it sounds ... (read more)

Report this review (#1841395) | Posted by snelling | Wednesday, December 13, 2017 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "Oceanarium" is a new release from a group - Deluge Grander, that I wasn't really familiar with up until this current offering. I have sort of grown away from instrumental progressive music, leaning more to vocal laced prog. Along with this, I also have really strayed away from lengthy albums. S ... (read more)

Report this review (#1838556) | Posted by tmay102436 | Sunday, December 3, 2017 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Silver Springs, MD Progressive Rock band, Deluge Grander has recently released a brilliant Prog instrumental LP, titled, 'Oceanarium' showcasing exceptional musicality with a special nod to band member Dan Britton for his outstanding compositional prowess throughout its eight tracks and stellar ... (read more)

Report this review (#1825623) | Posted by daFigz | Wednesday, November 22, 2017 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Oceanarium is the fourth installment by Deluge Grander from Maryland, a project lead by Dan Britton, also of Birds and Buildings and Cerebus Effect. This is the second in a trilogy, starting with Helotians, and ending with the as-yet-to-be-released Lunarians. Unlike Helotians, Oceanarium is an a ... (read more)

Report this review (#1824584) | Posted by Progfan97402 | Saturday, November 18, 2017 | Review Permanlink

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