The Finnish symphonic melodic black metal band And Oceans released their sixth full-length album, “As in Gardens, so in Tombs”, nearly three years after their previous work “Cosmic World Mother”. This is their second studio album since their return from the 17-year hiatus in 2020.
The band picks up where they left off with their comeback album “Cosmic World Mother”. Their symphonic black metal is still brutal and melodic, and it has been embellished with various EBM elements here and there. The use of atmospheric keys on several tracks is really effective. I’d want to see them experiment with these sounds more on their next release, as well as include more mellow parts, but that’s a different story. All the performances are great, but especially the stunning drumming will amaze you the most. Moreover, the production is heavy, powerful and crisp, with each instrument clearly audible in the mix. Tore Stjerna (Mayhem, Black Anvil, Valkyrja, etc.) is responsible for the mixing and the mastering and Juho Räihä (Before the Dawn, Swallow the Sun, Wolfheart, etc.) for the recordings, the engineering and the production.
They set the pace of what’s to follow, right away from the self-titled opener. The atmospheric and EBM passages do make the final outcome more intriguing… yet, as I already stated, I would prefer more of that. After all, there is no way to distinguish yourself from your musical competitors if you do not experiment more. Tracks such as “Within Fire and Crystal”, “Carried on Lead Wings”, “Cloud Heads”, “Wine into Water”, “Inverse Magnification Matrix”, and “Ambivalent God”, will undoubtedly gratify even the most demanding melodic black metal fans. I’m not referring to the traditional black metal devotees, but rather to those who enjoy experimental, melodic, and symphonic black metal music.
“As in Gardens, so in Tombs” is an intense, mysterious, and dark journey to otherworldly realms that will captivate and mesmerize you from start to finish, especially if you fancy this kind of music. And Oceans seem to be more determined than ever to go all the way and not let this second chance pass them by.