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…and Oceans was a band that was really special to me when I was in high school a decade ago. I discovered the band shortly after the release of The Symmetry of… and was captivated by their sound. The band was somewhat avant-garde in their themes, style, and sound, but without being pretensions and missing the mark like a lot of avant-garde metal bands are. There were luscious keyboards, but not in the silly Dimmu style, and plenty of black beats, but not overdone like many others.
I loved the band so much I painted their (old) logo onto my leather jacket, and carved the logo onto my acoustic guitar, both of which I still have an use, a decade on. All of their releases were routinely listened to, and I couldn’t find any fault with the band. Even with the release of AMGOD it quickly became a favorite of mine. They were moving in another direction, as was the case with each new release. It was an excellent mixture of electronic and third wave black metal, which was still at its root, metal.
Flashback to 2002 and the release of this catastrophic failure. I bought it upon its release and forced myself so hard to enjoy the album. I couldn’t come to terms with the fact that I was let down by one of my favourite bands. That lasted only for a day or two, and then I came to terms with how much I hated it.
The sound is very cohesive, but it just sounds like so many other boring industrial outfits. The run on song titles feel thrown together, and the band just sounds burnt-out. There were a couple decent songs here and there, but I haven’t listened to it in so long that I don’t remember what they are. …and the artwork, come on. That was one of the great things about their albums, this looks like some crappy EBM band, and it’s not far off.
All good things must come to an end, and I still respect them for trying something new, which is why I'm not giving them a 0.
I can understand why some people enjoy this album, but to me it still remains to be the single most disappointing album I have ever purchased. They should have changed their name with the release of this, it’s not …aO, and it’s not metal. They changed their name from Festerday when they stopped playing death metal, and this could very well been the first Havoc Unit album.