Symphonic black metal formation …AND OCEANS are now unleashing a brand new music video and track; ‘The Collector and His Construct’! The song is taken from the band’s upcoming album “As in Gardens, so in Tombs”, which will be released on January 27, 2023 via SeasonofMist.
Listen to ‘The Collector and His Construct’ via the official SeasonofMist YouTube channel HERE! The link may be freely spread throughout your channels. The album can be pre-ordered HERE, and pre-saved HERE.
…AND OCEANS comment on the track: “The Collector comes in many forms and faces. Some are whispers inthe wind and water, some come with threats of eternal fire, others just have a craving for remains as a propellant for rebirth and some even claim that it will split you up one picture frame atthe time.
This album also has many faces. Our second single from the upcoming album is a bit more inthe style of our last album. Straight forward andin your face without too many twists and turns. Fits just about right forthe pre-sales to start etc. before we can dive deeper into weirder stuff again inthe material to follow.”
…AND OCEANS are furthermore revealing the cover artwork, which is created by Adrien Bousson, and can now be viewed below, together withthe track list and further album details.
1. As in Gardens, so in Tombs (4:17)
2. The Collector and His Construct (4:36) [WATCH]
3. Within Fire and Crystal (5:52)
4. Carried on Lead Wings (5:14)
5. Likt Törnen Genom Kött (5:10)
6. Cloud Heads (4:19) [WATCH]
7. Wine into Water (3:57)
8. Inverse Magnification Matrix (4:50)
9. The Earth Canvas (4:11)
10. Ambivalent God (7:44)
11. Samlarens Valv (3:49)
12. Third Eye Catalyst (4:28) Total: 58:27
Genre: Symphonic Black Metal
It’s rare for a band to commandingly return with their best effort to date, but Finland’s …And Oceans are here to prove that 2020’s Cosmic World Mother was the sound of creative floodgates bursting through into a new body of water, an ocean if you will. Well, that was their pinnacle up until their new album, As In Gardens, So In Tombs, is let out into the world. Everything that …And Oceans’ first full-length in 18 years did well – blistering symphonic black metal, heady themes that dealt withthe connection between philosophy and psychics, and …And Oceans’ trademark adventurous songwriting – As In Gardens, So In Tombs manages to eclipse and recontextualize. It’s the sound of a band seizing every ounce of momentum and upping the ante in every way. While …And Oceans has never written the same album twice, in many ways, their latest sounds like an opportunity forthe Finnish group to pick up and improve upon what they started. Symphonic black metal is never this fun, free, and fantastic.
Lead single “Cloud Heads” is a great introduction into the magic and serves as a statement of intent. Swirling melodies, blastbeats that sound like the rumbles after The Big Bang, and ethereal symphonic touches result in a song that’s equally fierce and pleasant to take in. A kinder, gentler (but not gentle) version of …And Oceans.
“’Cloud Heads’ is certainly one of my favorites!” vocalist Mathias Lillmåns shares. “It was sort of an icebreaker song. It was one ofthe first songs we wrote straight after Cosmic World Mother was finished, andthe first lyrics I wrote forthe album. It was the song that paved way (or broke the ice) forthe rest ofthe album.”
Part ofthe reason the band even needed to “break the ice” with this record is the pace at which their last was written, as guitarist Timo Kontio acknowledges:
“Well for me starting to do Cosmic World Mother was more nerve wrecking and even in doubt whether we should make new music or not. Inthe end it was quite an easy project to do, to our relief. So when we started to make this album, it was more relaxed and more or less go withthe flow mentality. We had the first ‘difficult comeback album’ done, and everything came quite easily! It was really refreshing to make this kind of music after so long.”
“I was only supposed to produce guitars for Cosmic World Mother,” Lillmåns adds, “but a month before the recordings were supposed to start, my phone suddenly rang. I could sense that this phone call was going to be important when I saw it was Timo calling. I was asked to join the band and also to write lyrics forthe whole thing. Immediately when I saw the first version ofthe [album] cover, I got this vision of what the concept ofthe album would be, and I wrote most ofthe album in sort of a frenzy withthe next few weeks.”
“It’s strange withthe new album,” he continues, “because I have always been forced to use tight deadlines for myself when writing music or lyrics. It seems I need the pressure to create something I’m happy with. Also, for some reason I get most done when traveling, I used to take trains to nowhere just write sometimes back inthe day! This time there were no pressure, no traveling, and I was not on the edge of a burn out, and it went smoother than ever before! The lyrics just kept on coming, not as fast and not in such a trancelike frenzy as the last album, but good stuff on a steady basis.”
So while Cosmic World Mother was the sort of ravishing fever dream of an album that poured out of …And Oceans in fits and starts, As In Gardens, So In Tombs was the result ofthe band taking the time to sweat the small stuff. The result can be found everywhere – melodies are brighter, the orchestral elements feel more essential, and Lillmåns’ vocals have swallowed a mushroom (in a garden or tomb?) as done a Mario-like levelling up. Even inthe way the album sounds, As In Gardens, So In Tombs sounds warmer, the kind of record meant to be played while walking alone in nature. That sense of measured purpose was very intentional as Lillmåns notes:
“[The record] definitely feels grander and more melodic. I think stepping up the production also was something that helped in this sense! Having Juho Räihä at SoundSpiral Audio taking a bigger role inthe recording and having it sent over to Tore Stjerna at NBS Production definitely made it sound more massive and took a load off our shoulders to focus on the music itself!”
Who could’ve guessed that leaving the musicians to focus on the music would have good results?
As noted earlier, musically and thematically, everything about Cosmic World Mother was rapidly birthed from its creators. The themes of that record weighed heavily on the band and carried over into this record. Cosmic World Mother was about how energy is eternal and how only changes form. This record doubles down on that notion by focusing on how humanity’s energies toward enlightenment are often the same path, even if we have different languages, religions, customs, etc. I have this vision of us all playing different levels of a video game but ending up atthe same ending. Energy is the most efficient recycler inthe universe. So where and how did Lillmåns find inspiration to write the lyrics for this album? Did he end up walking gardens and pacing graveyards?
“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 ofthe 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.”
Drums & Bass at D-studio
Guitars & Vocals at SoundSpiral Audio
Keyboards & electronics at Ryijy’s cave.
Producer/Sound engineer: Juho Räihä Mix/Master: Necromorbus Studio / Tore Stjerna
Timo Kontio – Guitar
Mathias Lillmåns – Vocals
Teemu Saari – Guitar
Pyry Hanski – Bass
Kauko Kuusisalo – Drums
Antti Simonen – Keyboards
Cover artwork: Adrien Bousson Bio: Nick Senior Pictures: M.Laakso