... And Oceans
Cosmic World Mother

I know this review is a month or so late but it’s been 18 years since the last actual…And Oceans album so, I think I’m good

So, after 18 years, … And Oceans are back and not just back, but back to their symphonic black metal roots that they abandoned when they became more industrial and post-modern with albums like Cypher and AMGOD, before flat out dropping the ...And Oceans moniker and switching names to Havoc Unit.

I hold the first 2 …And Oceans  albums (1998s The Dynamic Gallery of Thoughts and 1999s  The Symmetry of I, the Circle of O) in high regard being outstanding examples of second wave/symphonic black metal that was up there with Emperor and Dimmu Borgir, but with more unique keyboards and a little quirkiness thrown in. But like Thyrane, the band just switched styles in the 2000s and also like Thyrane, have switched back with fantastic results, as Cosmic World Mother is a throwback to the band’s first two classic records.

The line up comprises of 2 original members from the first two albums (guitarist Teemu Saari and ‘T’), Syphon from the Cyper album and three new guys, notably Finntroll’s Mathias Lillmåns on vocals and keyboardist Antti Simonen, who does a great job of recreating the synths from the band’s early days (the guitar tone and production also is a spot on recreation) . This mix of old and new results in a sound that balances both, sounding unmistakeably like …And Oceans, but having some fresh new blood and vigor.

Speaking of vigor, Cosmic World Mother is a surprisingly vicious album. Starting with the immediate assault of “The Dissolution of Mind and Matter”, the album rarely lets its foot off the gas. Through standout tracks like  “Five of Swords”, “As the After Becomes the Before”, “Oscillator Epitaph”, personal favorite “Apokatastasis” and “One of Light, One of Soil”, the tracks are largely melodic but blistering, symphonic affairs with little slow down or respite. “In Abhorrence Upon Meadows” is a short interlude that breaks things up for a short moment and closer “The Flickering Lights” ends things on a bit more of a tempered atmospheric mood.

Like Naglfar’s Cerekloth, Cosmic World Mother is a brilliant reunion/comeback from a 90s black metal act that has recovered from a bit of a drop-off, some time off,  then delivered a killer album late in their career.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
June 22nd, 2020

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