"A.M.G.O.D." (Century Media; 2001)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Finland’s … And Oceans have produced yet another slab of warped black metal. For what it’s worth, the full title of this CD is “Allotropic/Metamorphic – Genesis Of Dimorphism.” “AMGOD” is black metal that has an occasional groove to it with some (dreaded) electronica elements.

The highlights include tracks that tone down the chaos such as “White Synthetic Noise” and “Odious & Devious.” Most of the tracks have the typical black metal density and unbridled aggression (“Intelligence Is Sexy” and “Esprit De Corps” come to mind although the latter song is to be commended for its superior riffing). The most surreal moment I had when listening to “AMGOD” was when I heard “Tears Have No Name” and I thought maybe I was listening to a Kovenant outtake. Actually, as a simple reference point (but somehow still ineffective) you may think of … And Oceans as similar to The Kovenant as if that band hadn’t lost so much of its black metal influence.

The vocals are done in a constant rasp – one year ago this would have turned me off completely. Now I only see it as fitting of the band’s modus operandi – to sledgehammer their way into your brain. 

The album’s ‘Kevorkian moment’ arrives when a suicidal descent into electronica on “New Model World” – this is the only track that deserves to be deleted and one can only hope that future pressings of “A.M.G.O.D.” do not contain “New Model World.” “New Model World” gets the full techno treatment from Valopinja who must be a DJ of some significance in Finland. This may be worthy of some fans, but I simply don’t understand the fascination with adding a purely techno track to a black metal CD.

Overall, it’s easy to appreciate … And Oceans’ particular approach even if it doesn’t stand out too much.

“Allotropic/Metamorphic – Genesis Of Dimorphism” was produced by … And Oceans. The CD has very cool artwork by Niklas Sundin (Dark Tranquillity).

… And Oceans: Killstar on vocals, Tripster and 7evenII on guitars, Atomica on bass, Plasmaar on keyboards, and Martex on drums. Yeah, they changed their names again, but it’s the same guys on the previous two … And Oceans CDs.

For more information visit http://on.to/andOceans

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Revised: 02 Oct 2023 21:56:12 -0400.