Formed in 1995 during the second wave of black metal, …AND OCEANS emerged from the scene with an exceptional and unique symphonic approach to the genre. Seventeen years after the release of “Cypher,” the band re-formed for a couple of shows and even started working on a new album, “Cosmic World Mother.” Read our interview with the band here.
“Cosmic World Mother” sees the band return to their original sound, which is immediately clear in the opener “The Dissolution of Mind and Matter,” a strong and aggressive black metal track. The industrial and electronic elements that the band had adopted in their two latest albums are gone and the sound reaches back to the nostalgic nineties, not only apparent in songwriting but also in its raw production.
“Vigilance and Atrophy” continues in the same manner and while in the choruses the clear sound of keyboards becomes apparent, these don’t overpower the rest of the music. The album therefore easily leans more towards bands like MARDUK, DARK FUNERAL, and EMPEROR. The symphonic moments are spread evenly across the album and often spice up the rawness of the music just a little bit; a clear example of that is the outstanding “As the After Becomes the Before,” one of my personal highlights on this album. Title track “Cosmic World Mother” starts off with a melancholic keyboard intro but evolves into a feast of blast beats, aggression, and intriguing sections tied up together.
“Oscillator Epitaph” sounds a little bit more like modern black metal, with groovier rhythm sections, creating a little bit more of a variety within the album. “In Abhorrence Upon Meadows” creates an eerily enchanting piano intermezzo that flows beautifully into the next track of the album, “Apokatastasis,” an extremely aggressive track. “Cosmic World Mother” ends with the slower “The Flickering Lights,” an atmospheric ending to a beautifully arranged album.
The long hiatus and new blood in the band have made sure that …AND OCEANS delivered a top-notch album with undeniable musicianship. While sculpting a sound that is both violent and atmospheric, the band showcases a lot of variety within the album. With soaring guitars, solid drumming that goes from blast beats to groovier drum sections, a stellar vocal performance, and the more subtle symphonic elements that don’t overshadow any of the other instruments, the band has managed to create an immersive journey as the tracks flow into each other smoothly, developing a very cinematic atmosphere. This resulted in a well-crafted release that’s an undeniably great asset to the band’s history and will surely score high on end of the year lists.
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
Vocals: Mathias Lillmåns
Guitar: Timo Kontio
Guitar: Teemu Saari
Bass: Petri Seikkula
Drums: Kauko Kuusisalo
Synth: Antti Simonen
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