Review: …And Oceans

…And Oceans
(Century Media)

I don’t know what it is, but my heart always opens wide to Scandinavian metal bands like the flower of my fragile womanhood before a Norse God.  …And Oceans come from the Finnish portion of Scandinavia currently ruled by benevolent nice lady president, Tarja Halosen, and play scorching hot black metal ala early Dimmu Borgir and Old Man’s Child in a cold and often inhospitable land.

One difference between …And Oceans and other black metal outfits is the clear and easy accessibility of their music over others of the black metal ilk.  …And Oceans play fast, sometimes blasting black metal, but also temper it with clear influences drawn from early Voivod.  This adds some very mechanized sounding passages contrasted against the hard heavy evil and melodies of their more standardized footprints along the black metal path.  The album is pleasantly moderated by never keeping the pace and fury unrelenting.  I get pretty damn sick of albums that feel like they’re assaulting me from beginning to end with no good reason other than the possibility that the song writers in the band are incapable of switching and mixing things up a bit in their songs.

…And Oceans has no problem with this and have created a diverse, multi-layered album that rewards the listener for sticking with it and never panders to the lowest common denominator.