…and Oceans – As in Gardens, so in Tombs

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Three years after their comeback album 'Cosmic World Mother' symphonic black metal outfit …And Oceans returns with their most inspiring sixth album 'As in Gardens, So in Tombs'. Featuring original members Timo Kontio (guitars) and Teemu Saari (guitars), the band's line-up also includes Kauko Kuusisalo (drums), Antti Simonen (keyboards), Mathias Lillmåns (vocals), and Pyry Hanski (bass guitar) and unfolds a grand symphonic approach in the vein of 90s Scandinavian black metal.

Despite continuing in the same direction as their 2020 album, ‘As in Gardens, So in Tombs’ expands with dramatic force with the most spellbinding hypnotic synths, steeped in the timeless classics of bands like Dimmu Borgir, Odium and Old Man’s Child. The captivating tremolo-picked guitars in the opening title track deliver a profuse range of melodic guitars and furious blast beats, building on majestic tremolos, subtle synth and bone-chilling aggression. From its exquisite symphonic arrangement exploding in reverb, the riffing is quite dynamic and wrought with semi-technical clarity, mainly focusing on fast-picked tremolos and power chords.

The Collector and His Construct’ begins with haunting synth lines colliding with the grim vocals of Mathias Lillmåns who delivers an extraordinary performance. …And Oceans in their newest endeavor combines a compelling and bombastic twist. The music floats and swells to a thrilling apex as furious blast beats drive rhythm and lead guitar work. There are plenty of moments when the pacing slows down where Timo Kontio and Teemu Saari showcase a tight grip on the guitars pouring every fragment of emotion into the song composition. The drumming is powerful and acts as a backbone for the guitars and the sweeping symphonies, thus fitting the music perfectly.

Within Fire and Crystal’ exhibits the wonderful guitar arrangement and the gorgeous keyboards set up to create a bewitching atmosphere. The songs are achieved with an organic sense of tempo, revealed through the catchy phrasing in the rhythm guitars. Each instrument explodes powerfully and the key elements of the album remain in the shrieking vocals and the beautiful synths, capturing everyone’s attention.

…And Oceans conjures up alluring melodies and the insightful songwriting is catchy and flawlessly crafted. ‘Carried on Lead Wings’ is reminiscent of the early Finnish black metal scene. The shrieking vocals and the tremolos remind me of bands like Arthemesia. ‘As in Gardens, So in Tombs’ has a unique attribute for drawing the essence of 90s symphonic black metal, but what …And Oceans has achieved on the new album is beyond expectations. Each of the ten tracks infuses sharp and piercing tremolos, fashioning out the timeless beauty of traditional black metal, which reflects the majesty and the essence that makes it incomparable.

Likt törnen genom kött’ finely engraves a beautiful interplay between the harsh grim vocals and the soft gliding synth. At the same time ‘Cloud Heads’ explodes into a symphonic crescendo with a pounding force of percussion and rhythm soaring to majestic heights. Musically, ‘As in Gardens, So in Tombs’ exceeds the comeback album, …And Oceans has found an outstanding balance of layering the symphonic elements and infectiously bombastic performances, although the most intriguing aspect lies within the flawless vocal delivery of Mathias Lillmåns.

Albeit, the electronic samples still add some variety to songs like ‘Wine into Water’ which contains a somber choir. The dark, melodic elements here attain modern effects resulting in a groundbreaking experience. ‘Inverse Magnification Matrix’ manifest beautiful, textural symphonies and the clarity of the thundering drums resonates like a war machine, expertly melding these symphonic effects which resulted in a deep exploration of their visceral experience.

Although the track bears some resemblance to Dimmu Borgir, the keyboards echo in a sonic bombast, with the remaining songs like “The Earth Canvas” where the guitar beautifully crafts some of the best melodies you’ll hear in a long time. The strumming tremolos are on constant display throughout the album as the keyboards binding and weave into everything. The composition in the final track “Ambivalent God” is filled with sorrowful melodies and fast tremolo-picked guitars skillfully interweaving into a coherent track, with the subtle synth gliding through the elegant guitar melodies, making a perfect closure for the album.



  • Music / Songwriting 9/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 9/10
  • Mix / Production 10/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 9/10
  • Originality 10/10

‘As in Gardens, So in Tombs’ is certainly a crowning jewel in the realm of melodic and symphonic black metal. This is one of the best albums and comes highly recommended for fans of Old Man’s Child, Odium and Dimmu Borgir.



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