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…And Oceans – As in Gardens, So in Tombs

…And Oceans
As in Gardens, So in Tombs
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 29 January 2023, 12:17 AM

From their EPK, Vocalist Mathias Lillmans talks about some of the lyrical inspiration of the album, stating “I went back to gardens, moved away from the city into the nature. I always felt like I needed to be in a dark place to create lyrics that came from the heart, ‘when the body suffers, the mind flowers,’ kind of state. This time I was at ease, and it was surprisingly efficient. I usually don’t want to spoil too much and having people to think for themselves, but yes, I had the time to sit down and read during the pandemic and came to some conclusions (as in nature, so in books). I think it’s a very calming thought, that whatever happens, whenever it happens, makes no difference. We have always and always will be a part of the circle of eternal energy; we have always existed and will always exist in some form. A notion that became ever so clear when reading up on different religions, worldviews, customs, and philosophies.”

The album has ten songs. The title track is the first. It’s Black Metal, heavily influenced by the early days. The symphonic elements stay in the background but are harrowing enough to make a mark. There is even some piano and subtle melodies present. “The Collector and His Construct” is another song jam packed with sound, especially from the guitars. Their work is intricate and complex, yet the song flows easily on the ears, although quite aggressive. “Within Fire and Crystal” hears the pace slow a bit, so the harrowing sound and symphonic elements can soak in better. Besides that, however, the song doesn’t present a lot of diversity in sound.

“Carried on Lead Wings” is a more chaotic offering. One thing is a constant on the album…the rolling drums. They keep the sound steeped in the early traditions of the genre. There are some sadder, more desperate tones in this song. “Cloud Heads” seems to solidify the fact that what you are hearing is what you are going to get on the album. Although there are some electronic elements in this song, the band really hasn’t done a lot to present a different sound. Still, the songs are performed with confidence. “Wine Into Water” however is the first song with a slightly different sound. Tones of melancholy, rain, and grey clouds intermingle with the aggressive Black Metal blueprint, and the vocals are also less intense.

“Inverse Magnification Matrix” mixes the two styles again. It slows close to the half-way mark, with a fright in the air, before re-grouping to the early sound. “The Earth Canvas” takes in more of the landscape, with expansive elements. I need more of this style from the album because it’s very impactful and emotional. Let the sadness seep in until you feel no more. “Ambivalent God” closes the album. It has an ascending quality to it, like you are climbing the stairs to Heaven…or Hell. The regal sound has thunderheads rumbling in the distance, and bright flashes of light. Something ominous comes your way. Overall, this was a good album from an obviously talented band, but could have been made better with more diverse songs. Too many sounded alike.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. As in Gardens, So in Tombs
2. The Collector and His Construct
3. Within Fire and Crystal
4. Carried on Lead Wings
5. Likt Törnen Genom Kött
6. Cloud Heads
7. Wine into Water
8. Inverse Magnification Matrix
9. The Earth Canvas
10. Ambivalent God
Timo Kontio – Guitar
Mathias Lillmåns – Vocals
Teemu Saari – Guitar
Pyry Hanski – Bass
Kauko Kuusisalo – Drums
Antti Simonen – Keyboards
Record Label: Season of Mist Records


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Edited 25 March 2023

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