...And Oceans - The Symmetry Of I - The Circle Of O
Season Of Mist
Symphonic Black Metal (disc 1) / Dark Ambient (disc 2)
Disc 1: 8 songs (40:41) Disc 2: 8 songs (32:45)
Release year: 1999
...And Oceans, Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Khelek
Archive review

Some may remember when ...And Oceans first hit the black metal scene back in the late 90s. They were an underground act for the most part and later changed their sound to a more electronic/industrial one that turned many former fans away. They even went so far as to change their name to Havoc Unit in 2005. Having been a fan of their atmospheric black metal, I have not heard any of the Havoc Unit releases. This particular release is the band's second album and saw them moving steadily towards their more electronic future, but still creating some masterful black metal tunes. The first disc of the album is all symphonic black metal, and the second (available in the digipack edition) is a collection of dark ambient music that can be downright creepy.

The first song is the epic Mechanical Hippie. This is a song that creates a big atmosphere through the use of symphonic elements, huge drums, and a sheer wall of guitar that comes together in a very accessible melody. The song is broken up into sections, each with a different set of riffs, yet all coming back to a common chorus. The vocals are also very raw and cold, fitting this music very well. Aquarium Of Children comes in next and starts very powerfully with big riffs and an almost folk melody. This gives way to blast-beat driven black metal, for a while, but switches back to more atmospheric parts occasionally throughout the song. Overall another solid track that keeps the album moving. SÃ¥lipsism soon came to be another one of my favorite tracks because of its driving melody and the fact that it does not rely on symphonic elements as much as some other songs, though there is some great keyboard work. Sometimes the symphonic elements can be a little much, and I think that's what will turn some listeners away, especially those who are black metal purists. This album does remind me a lot of some work on Spiritual Black Dimensions or Enthrone Darkness Triumphant by Dimmu Borgir, both albums I really like Baby Blue Doll definitely has some creepy parts due to the use of synthesizers, and the evil laughs that sometimes burst out. The song has good energy though and keeps me interested. The vocals really help here as well, they are raw and angry, yet fit the atmospheric and sometimes eerie elements of the music I Wish I Was Pregnant finishes off the black metal part of the album nicely, throwing in some interesting guitar work and weird melodies that would sometimes sound more at home at a carnival. Stained is the final track on the first disc and introduces us to a sort of symphonic, dark electronica that can be found on the second disc. Injected With Silence is a very calm, serene piece of music that creates a beautiful soundscape, though it's not even remotely related to metal. The next seven tracks continue crafting these dark, atmospheric soundscapes for the rest of the album with very little vocal work of any kind. Once again this is not metal but good dark ambient that any fan of that genre will enjoy.

Wow. There's really no other word I can use to describe the experience of listening to this entire album. I really admire thus band for just doing whatever they want and not caring how others will see it. Basically art for art’s sake. But in this case it's a very listenable piece of art that more people should listen to. Comparisons can be drawn to Dimmu Borgir, Maldoror, or even the mighty Ram-Zet. Ultimately if you're in the mood for some dark, atmospheric black metal, you really can't go wrong with this album. And if you happen to be a fan of dark ambient you'll definitely want to check out the second disc in the digipack edition.

Killing Songs :
Mechanic Hippie, Aquarium Of Children, SÃ¥lipsism, I Wish I Was Pregnant
Khelek quoted 89 / 100
Other albums by ...And Oceans that we have reviewed:
...And Oceans - Cosmic World Mother reviewed by Goat and quoted 70 / 100
...And Oceans - Cypher reviewed by Jack and quoted 70 / 100
...And Oceans - A.M.G.O.D. reviewed by Danny and quoted 78 / 100
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