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Oceans Of Slumber - Self Titled 2LP
Century Media Records
As history methodically records mankind’s 21st century follies, the power of music to inspire, uplift and heal has never seemed more vital. Oceans Of Slumber have long been purveyors of a uniquely human(e) and emotionally fertile strain of heavy music; hewn from the bedrocks of arcane doom metal, visceral extremity and gothic grandeur. But as the Texan ensemble have moved forward, building an ever more formidable reputation for both live and studio work along the way, their collective desire to reach beyond the known and embrace the unfathomable has been clear to see.
Considering the widespread acclaim afforded to Oceans Of Slumber’s last album, The Banished Heart (2018), it should come as no surprise that Oceans Of Slumber is bigger, bolder and better still. From the oppressive grandiloquence of epic opener Soundtrack To My Last Day onwards, it’s obvious that the band have tapped a new, rich vein of creativity, as Dobber and Cammie’s songwriting partnership erupts into three glittering dimensions. Listen to the ornate and instantly memorable but dark and ominous likes of Pray For Fire and The Colours Of Grace and the renewed brilliance of the Texans’ idiosyncratic, instinctively progressive hybrid is obvious. Death and black metal still blaze away at the heart of the OOS sound, but Oceans Of Slumber showcases how majestically their music has bloomed, and how much these songs will inevitably resonate.
Although forever shrouded in darkness, Oceans Of Slumber have constructed an endlessly fascinating and musically adventurous world on their fourth full-length. Their anticipated metallic onslaught is more refined and unpredictable than ever when it does appear, but it’s the new songs’ frequent detours into lush atmospherics, near-theatrical opulence and artful, askance songcraft that seal the deal. A riot of dynamics and instinctive side-steps, songs like the wickedly schizophrenic The Adorned Fathomless Creation and a closing, crushing cover of Type O Negative’s Wolf Moon are also blessed with a monumentally grand and immersive production. With all drums and Cammie’s vocals recorded at Southwing Audio in Houston, TX – with engineers Chris Kritkos and Mark Lopez respectively - and guitars, bass, keyboards and heavy vocals captured at Dobber’s home studio, Oceans Of Slumber grew from a passionate and purposeful team effort, and the impossibly vivid and vibrant results speak for themselves. A final mix by Edge Of Sanity mastermind and esteemed Swedish production guru Dan Swanö is simply the black icing on an extraordinary, grandiloquent cake.
- Side 1 -
1 Soundtrack to My Last Day
2 Pray for Fire
3 A Return to the Earth Below
- Side 2 -
1 Imperfect Divinity
2 The Adorned Fathomless Creation
3 To the Sea
- Side 3 -
1 The Colors of Grace
2 I Mourn These Yellow Leaves
3 September (Those Who Come Before)
- Side 4 -
1 Total Failure Apparatus
2 The Red Flower
3 Wolf Moon