...And Oceans

Cypher

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Despite the loftiness of Cypher's extremely long (and, some would say, pretentious) song titles, the album does rock. And Oceans' Scandinavian cyber-metal incorporates ethereal, gothic keyboard washes and cold, machine-driven textures into its hurtling aggro-fied crunch to evoke a bleak, apocalyptic atmosphere; the lyrics, similarly, are preoccupied with death, decay, and emptiness. At their most harrowing, And Oceans approach grindcore (as on "Catharsis: End of Organisms: Absolute Purification of Sins"), sounding as if Skinny Puppy and Cannibal Corpse have spawned some kind of terrible, shrieking cyborg baby. Of course, all the unrelenting bleakness will not be for everyone; while some will simply find it overwhelming, other, more jaded listeners will argue that this formula has already been done to death by dozens of similar groups.

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