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...And Oceans - Cypher (7,5/10) - Finland - 2002

Genre: Industrial Black Metal
Label: Metal Blade Records
Playing time: 48:12
Band homepage: ...And Oceans

Tracklist:

  1. Fragile: Pictures Of Silence: Melting The Skies
  2. Picturesque: Cataclysm Savour: And The Little Things That Make Us Smil
  3. Angelina: Chthonian Earth: Her Face Forms Worms
  4. Halcyon: The Heavy Silence: In Silent Rain
  5. Aphelion: Light Evanescence: Into Extinction
  6. Opaque: The Morning I Woke Up Dead: Today Is The Day
  7. Aphid: Devil Flower: Fruits Of Lunacy
  8. Voyage: Lost Between Horizons: Eaten By The Distance
  9. Catharsis: End Of Organisms: Absolute Purification Of Sins
  10. Shilouette: In White Rooms: Vacant Bodies
  11. Comatose: The World Amnesia: Planet Dead
  12. Debris: The Magenta Harvest: Liquid Flesh
  13. Nail: An Odyssey In Flesh: Celebrate The New Skin
...And Oceans - Cypher

...AND OCEANS have led a rather interesting career... they seem obsessed with throwing out the rule book and leaving fans confused. From their Black Metal debut, to 99's brilliant, electronica laced "A.M.G.O.D.", these guys have always been at the forefront of Scandinavia's avantgarde movement. "Cypher" is a completely new direction.... in fact it sounds nothing like their previous work and could easily pass for a different band entirely! Instead of melodic, Techno-Black Metal, "Cypher" is grinding, cold, and industrialized.

RAMMSTEIN, SKINNY PUPPY, and even FEAR FACTORY come to mind when I listen to this... a lot of bleeps and sparse keyboard lines are layered throughout, giving the mechanized, driving songs an ethereal quality. The recent directions of peers ARCTURUS and THE KOVENANT were most likely an influence. ...AND OCEANS seem more devoted to the Industrial cause, however, as songs like "Voyage, Lost Between The Horizons, Eaten By The Distance" (what a fucking mouthful!) are almost entirely electronic. There are shades of brutal Death Metal ("Absolute Purification of Sins") and their melodic past for good measure.

The vibe on "Cypher" is pretty much cold and bleak, perpetuated by vague keyboard washes and harsh vocals. I hear a lot of PRONG (!) in the straightforward tempo, but once again, RAMMSTEIN seems to be a chief reference point. My only complaint is the stupid fucking song titles... such as "Aphelion, Light Evanescence, Into Extinction", which serve only to irritate and interfere with track distinction. Talk about pretentious.

If you were a fan of …AND OCEANS' previous work, or are into industrial at all, you might find a lot in "Cypher". Only open minds need apply, cos this is pretty hard to swallow. (Online February 13, 2003)

Sean



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