… And Oceans are back with a cosmic vengeance. There is a certain measure of romanticism of a comeback album of an underdog band which most of us forgot about and … And Oceans fits under that category like a glove.
This Finnish metal band was formed back in 1995, started as a symphonic black metal with their first two albums ”The Dynamic Gallery of Thoughts” and ”The Symmetry of I”, the ”Circle of O” but like everyone in the northern regions after the millennium jump on the „lets be experimental“ bandwagon with their next albums ”A.M.G.O.D.” and ”Cypher”. Which had various results. But those days are over. Gone is the dancing blue head in the white dress with strange allusions of its own sexuality, this is a band back to its old sound in its most furious form.
How furious is this album you ask?
Imagine if Infernal Wars ”Terrofront” album had a steamy one night stand in 9th circle of hell with Abigors ”Nachthymnen (From the Twilight Kingdom)”, 9 months later you get ”Cosmic World Mother”. I swear to the Dark Lord, there were some parts of the album where guitars are so fiendishly evil where I thought that Herr Warcrimer is gonna pop up and take over the vocal parts.
Nevertheless, although on paper having Mathias Lillmåns from Finntroll as a new vocalist for … And Oceans sounds awfully odd to be charitable, it fucking works. The guy can scream and it fits in the album with no problem. If I can find any complain about him, it is that his vocals can be a bit uneven at times; almost like in the first songs he was warming up his vocal chords and gradually his screams are getting higher and higher as the album progresses. And then in some he sounds quite buried under instruments.
On the instrumental part is god damn near flawless, the symbiosis between guitars and keyboards is a thin line to catch but the album very much excels at it. It almost reminds me of the Emperors glory days. Production here (having in mind that vocals and instruments were recorded in four separate studios and mixed in a fifth one) is top notch, everything is very much clear, the keyboards here are just out worldly and when they appear it puts the song on another level.
Some electronic influences still linger in this record, but are used in the right places. As much I glorify the album, there are negative sides and it’s a lack a variety. There are 11 songs in this cosmic monster and from the first song ”The Dissolution of Mind” and ”Matter till the Cosmic World Mother” I did not lifted my smile on the aggression and atmosphere of the songs.
… And after those songs you have that impression of repetition, which kinda kills the mood if you go from first track to the last. You have that feeling that album is running out of tricks by the end, fast.
Despite this, …And Oceans have released a surprise hitter and a very solid nomination for a comeback album of the year. And defiantly one of mine favorite records for this insane year.
1. The Dissolution of Mind and Matter
2. Vigilance and Atrophy
3. Five of Swords
4. As the After Becomes the Before
5. Cosmic World Mother
7. Oscillator Epitaph
8. In Abhorrence Upon Meadows
10. One of Light, One of Soil
11. The Flickering Lights
Album rating: 8/10
Release date: May 8th
Label: Season of Mist