Review …AND OCEANS ‘As in Gardens, So in Tombs’

…And Oceans isn’t exactly what you call a new band. The Finns premiered already in 1998 with ‘The Dynamic Gallery of Thoughts’ and started to establish their interpretations of symphonic black metal. The band went to work with enthusiasm and added three additional longplayers to the books before they changed into Havoc Unit. This was kore than just a change of names but also included a slightly different style compared to the mothership.

After that radio silence took over and neither of the formations has been active for a couple of years. …And Oceans found some common ground again in 2017 which led to the 2020 release of ‘Cosmic World Mother’ which was the first release of the band in almost twenty years. The waiting time for the newest strike from the north was a bit longer since ‘As in Gardens, So in Tombs’ is in the starting blocks for a deadly musical adventure.

The sextet recorded eleven new songs, leading to a total playing time of 50 minutes. What one gets to hear is excellently done symphonic black metal. Heavily pounding and equipped with blistering riffs, the band unveils their entire musical savvy.

‘Cloud Heads’ was the song that paved the way for the album. Written directly after having finished ‘Cosmic World Mother’ the furious song was the initial spark for the new record. ‘Cloud Head’ includes all the trademarks of …And Oceans. Raging moments, bombastic sounds and an enormous density is what the song entails and therefor acts as a great representative of the entire album.

Basically, you can drop the needle wherever you want when it comes to ‘As in Gardens, So in Tombs’; you will never be disappointed of what you get offered. There is the massive title track, opening the album with hooks, that stuck in your mind for a while.

And there is the little epos called ‘Ambivalent God’. With nearly eight minutes, this song is the masterpiece of the album and shows the song-writing skills of …And Oceans. Although having this rather extended length there is no single moment of annoying repetition. Also being created on a blasting sound ‘Ambivalent God’ has enough breaks and melodic moments that together with the underlaying harshness create a dark and fascinating vibe.

…And Oceans has a new album on the shelves that might not reinvent blackened music. Still the sextet from Finland filled these eleven new songs with a lot of passion and musical savvy, allowing them to create an atmosphere that puts a spell on the listener. Great stuff for the blackened soul.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. As in Gardens, so in Tombs
  2. The Collector and His Construct
  3. Within Fire and Crystal
  4. Carried on Lead Wings)
  5. Likt Törnen Genom Kött
  6. Cloud Heads
  7. Wine into Water
  8. Inverse Magnification Matrix
  9. The Earth Canvas
  10. Ambivalent God
  11. Samlarens Valv (Bonus)
  12. Third Eye Catalyst (Bonus)

Label: Season Of Mist

Genre: Symphonic Black Metal

Release Date EU: January 27th, 2023

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