...And Oceans - A.M.G.O.D. Century Media - 2001 By Rodrigo /covers/andoceans_amgod.jpg This is without question one of the best black metal albums to have come out recently. Allotropic/Metamorphic Genesis of Dimorphism or A.M.G.O.D. for short is the Century Media debut for And Oceans and they have come out with an extremely powerful and innovative album. This is not your ordinary black metal album. Think the typical aggressive aspects of this genre and unite it with futuristic keyboards and you will begin to understand what A.M.G.O.D offers. Killstar is the singer and his harsh, aggressive singing flows very nicely with the music. "Intelligence is Sexy" is the song that starts everything off. It is an extremely fast and furious song. Right away you are hit with the outstanding work of guitarists Tripster and 7even 11. They hit you with powerful, crushing and razor-sharp guitars. I became totally excited the first time I heard this song when I heard the keyboards by Plasmaar. I did not expect such a sound in a black metal album; it is a sound one would expect from an Ayreon album. The main guitar riff and keyboard melody is awesome. "White Synthetic Noise" is a little slower but the intro features powerful drumming by Martex and sweet bass playing by Atomica. One of the best songs of A.M.G.O.D is "Tears have no Name". A groovy synthesizer sound starts the song off and it totally hooks you. Right after this part, the rest of the band comes in furious and crushing power. The result is an intense head-banging trip. The next song is "Esprit de Corps" and I would consider this one to be the perfect live show opener. It is short, intense and features a chorus that one can help but scream along with. The best song of A.M.G.O.D is "Odious & Devious". This song features the best qualities of And Oceans: intense guitars and drumming, harsh singing and some of the most groovy and cool synthesizer sounds one will hear in a black metal album. A.M.G.O.D finishes up with two very surprising instrumental tracks. The first one is "TBA in a Silver Box", which is a haunting and captivating song. I could really see this song being used in a Science Fiction Horror film (like Event Horizon, Aliens, etc). The other instrumental "New Model World" was a complete surprise. In one of the many times that I was listening to the album and especially this song, my girlfriend happened to walk in and asked me, "Since when do you listen to techno music?" Yes, "New Model World" is a pure futuristic, techno piece that would fit perfectly in a dance club setting! The albums that I end up enjoying the most are those that feature new and innovative ideas, as well as featuring superb musicianship; A.M.G.O.D accomplishes these two aspects with a resounding fashion. Fans of black metal should enjoy this album immensely. To those of you who do not like this genre because you hate the singing or the music or whatever, you are missing out on one of the best releases of 2001. Get over your apprehensions and purchase this release!