Illinois Entertainer Review of HFTW

April 1, 2014 7:48 pm

Great review of our debut album from Kelley Simm over in the Illinois Entertainer on page 42!

Giving it your best shot in whatever you choose to do is what life’s all about. Local progressive rockers Oceanborn shoot for the moon with it’s conceptual debut release, Hidden From The World. From their cover art and packaging, to the concept and lyrics, to the production and musicianship, Oceanborn have created an impressive audio and visual experience. Comparisons to Dream Theater, Ayreon and Evergrey  are not off-base, while also taking a cue from ’70s prog rock masters such as Gentle Giant, Genesis and Yes. The 11 songs that grace the disc seamelessly segue into each other, creating one big orchestral suite. Following the cinematic instrumental opener, “Silence”, the first proper song, “Still With You,” spells out the plot of the story within the first verse.

Combined with the music, the album theme elicits some chilling emotions and feelings that will completely immerse you. There’s also an interactive comic book feature on the band’s website ( that further enhances their story. Vocalist Lance Ferrell puts in a spectacular performance, providing his vocal range is a perfect fit for this type of music. Guitarists Christopher Lee and Dominick Camillo execute some well-crafted solos while the whole band goes above and beyond the call. It’s an especially rewarding experience when a  relatively unknown and unsigned independent band, who also self-produced and self-released the album puts forth such a brilliant effort as they’ve done.


HFTW Review By Danger Dog Music Reviews!

December 31, 2013 4:00 am

Just found this review from Craig Hartranft over at Danger Dog Music Reviews! Digging it. Thanks Craft!

Talk about putting your best foot forward, pulling out all the stops, or creating your own manifest destiny. Chicago’s Oceanborn has certainly done so with their debut album Hidden From The World. From the lyrics and music to the production to the CD packaging to the online web comic book as a visual guide to the concept, Oceanborn is a first class act.

If Dream Theater has an heir apparent or possibly a modern rival, you might find it in Oceanborn. They certainly remind of that seminal prog outfit, maybe with a dash of Evergrey. They remind of early Dream Theater at times, perhaps Metropolis Part 2.

With that comparison made, the band offers a rich mixture of traditional melodic heavy metal, symphonic elements (from actual strings, including viola, violin, and cello), bits of classical and jazz, in a nice progressive wrapper. One thing Hidden From The World is not is progressive power metal. While heavy at times, there’s no real crazy galloping moments here. On the vocal side, singer Lance Ferrel’s voice and vocal arrangements remind of Michael Bellamy and Muse, but not causing Oceanborn to sound like the UK band. His intonations are subtle, going from lightness to more direct determination. However, in this mix, he often barely rises above the music; yes, you can hear him, but Ferrel seems to be fighting to stay above water. A good example is the song Of Despair, a heavier number.

Otherwise, the music of Hidden From The World is terrific: strong melodic progressive metal. Some songs are brisk, a bit heavy, but offering interesting interludes or segues within like The Descent and Lead Astray. The former has this kind of jazz rock fusion vibe that starts about half with drum, piano, and guitar. The latter, at the midpoint, drops down to classic piano segue with Ferrel’s vocals lilting above. That piano and vocal arrangement leads In Shadows, possibly displaying Ferrel best vocal performance.

Another excellent feature of the band and the album is the fine guitar work from Christopher Lee and Dominick Camillo. The leads are spry, creative, and well though out without being pretentious, captivating both the aspiring or seasoned player or simply delighting the non-playing listener, such as myself. Notable examples come at the conclusion of The Descent, These Darker Things, and A Part of Nothing, quite epic. Conversely, on the longest, most expansive track, Reprise, the lead is more subdued, at least at first listen. It sneaks up on you, seems to stay even with the rest of the goings on, until it strikes some high notes, then you take notice and play the song again to capture it’s nuances.

Like any good progressive music album, there should be lots more of those nuances, depths to explore, that keep you both interested and intrigued, and you’ll find it within Hidden From The World. So I’ll cease my average meanderings about this album and encourage you buy and explore it for yourself. Easily recommended.


New Hoodie Design “Watery Grave”!

December 12, 2013 9:16 pm

New front zip hoodie design! The illustration on the back was drawn by our guitarist, Christopher Lee. Pre-Order one for only $25 and stay warm this winter—Oceanborn style! *The sale price ends January 1st.

Visit the merch section to place your order or click the image below.