…and Oceans - As in Gardens, So in Tombs (2023)


We are extremely glad that the band that got us into Symphonic Black Metal in the 90’s is back in full form and has stayed away from their weird Techno/Industrial phase. …and Oceans delivered two brilliant releases in the late 90’s, then dropped two super weird and ahead of their time releases only to mostly disappear for almost a decade. With “As in Gardens, So in Tombs” the band showcases a lush and evolved sound filled with epic melodies and crafty atmospherics.

Opening with the album title track, the band’s retro approach to the genre perfectly balances furious guitar work over playful keyboards. While most bands these days make the keyboards overbearing, this Finnish outfit uses them to complement their core sound as they never feel over the top. Tracks like “The Collector and His Construct”, “Within Fire and Crystal”, and “Carried on Lead Wings” have that old Tartaros and Limbonic Art vibe adorned with ‘new’ vocalist Mathias Lillmåns of Finntroll harsh scream onslaughts.

The band’s guitar work is quite solid and melodic, unleashing songs like “Likt törnen genom kött” with its calmer and highly emotional side. There are still some playful industrial/electro elements thrown into the mix, like on “Wine into Water”, but they neve fully take over the songs. Our favorite tracks have to be the epic “Inverse Magnification Matrix” and “The Earth Canvas”, which have an early Emperor-esque nature to them.

Saving the longest and moodiest track for last, “Ambivalent God” brilliantly closes this excellent release. We love that ..and Oceans is back in full force and that continues to craft more music in their earlier style. The band has great skills in creating engaging and epic songs, while not all sounding the same, giving them an edge in the genre. This album is a must have for any fan of Symphonic Black Metal.

Bands: …and Oceans Album: As in Gardens, So in Tombs

Label: Season of Mist

Release: January 27th, 2023

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Genre: Symphonic Black Metal

Country: Finland

Rating: 95/100

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