...And Oceans - _Cypher_
(Century Media, 2002)
by: Aaron McKay (5.5 out of 10)
This band is as far from straight metal as a Northeastern U.S. politician's moral tendencies. This sensory infused outfit defies classification with their strangely tormenting soundscapes of haunting conundrum. The track listing on _Cypher_ reads like an offering for a depraved E.E. Cummings' poem. Strong harmonies and inflicted vocals comprise the most valuable elements on this release. No stagnation on this band's offerings, but there is something to be said for having a goal in mind and shooting for it, too. Hearing _Cypher_, I now think ...And Oceans could have had better aim. "Aphelion: Light Evanescence: Into Extinction" and "Silhouette: In White Rooms: Vacant Bodies" (see what I mean about the names of the songs?) hold the fairest of blossoms on _Cypher_. The verifiable aroma of exploration intoxicating this effort is inventive and disturbing at the same time. My guess is that is how these musical explorationists intended it. Hard hitting in a KMFDM-kinda way, ...And Oceans slice culture into categories of the wildly harsh fanatics and everyone else. Thirteen cuts of bottomless retribution are scarcely contained within the confines of the _Cypher_ offering. Regrettably, I've heard far better. If more on this effort would have sprouted from the inspiration (barely) contained on the dynamic "Comatose: The World Amnesia: Planet Dead", I might have been more taken with _Cypher_. As things are now, I'd seek the unusual in an X-Files episode before looking here for anything more than the cautious path self-proclaimed intrepid folk traverse. This CD was far too tame for me personally and not at all what I was hoping for.

(article published 16/3/2003)

8/12/2000 A Wasylyk ...And Oceans: Scandinavian Domination
12/9/1999 A McKay 8 ...And Oceans - The Symmetry of I, the Circle of O
9/1/1998 P Azevedo 7 ...And Oceans - The Dynamic Gallery of Thoughts
5/13/2001 M Noll Marduk / Mortician / Vader / God Dethroned / Amon Amarth / Mystic Circle / Sinister / ...And Oceans / Bal Sagoth Baptized by Fire and Beer
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