Oceans of Slumber Album Review

We were recently given the opportunity to preview the latest album from Texas based, Progressive Metal Band Oceans of Slumber. The new album is set to release on September 4th of this year via Century Media Records.  This is Oceans of Slumber’s  fourth album to be released under the Century Media Records label, and it has been worth the wait since their last album The Banished Heart was released in 2018.

The opening song, “The Soundtrack to My Last Day,” starts out with some low guitar riffs, but quickly opens to some heavier guitar, followed by some heavy-hitting drums with a very doom metal sound, before vocalist Cammie Gilbert comes in with an amazing, angelic voice that grooves so fluently with it all. A little over three minutes into the song, it starts to slow with just her voice and some guitar and quieter instruments in the background. It goes that way for a short time and then it abruptly gets heavier with some fast hitting drums and guitars joined with some  deep guttural vocals and  growls from one of  their guitar players that hits you hard with some of the deep lower end vocals that stirs your soul followed up again with her softer voice although it has a dark and dramatic feeling to it. The end of the song goes back to just Cammie and the guitar and some other light instruments behind her with her soft voice fading out at the end.

The second song on the album is titled “Pray for Fire” and it starts out with some guitar strumming and drum strikes that it almost has a 90’s vibe to them as they build up the song until Cammie comes in with her strong yet soft vocals that really grab your attention and make you hold onto every word that she is singing. This song is very emotionally-charged, and you can tell that she means every word as if she is telling you a story. It does get a little heavier a couple minutes in but is still very easy to listen to. It has a great combination of heavier and easygoing parts with the whole band playing that makes you feel like you are there watching them play live. Towards the last few minutes it gets a little heavier with more of the low backing death metal vocals that leads into an almost angelic sounds quickly following more heavy and fast drums and some guitar that takes you on an emotional roller coaster listening to the song.

The Third song on the album is “A Return to the Earth Below” that is quickly becoming a fan favorite and has an amazing video that you can watch now on their YouTube Channel. It starts out with some very haunting sounds the first few seconds followed by the bass player Semir Ozerkan and their incredible drummer Dobber Beverly with some solid drum assault and crashing of the cymbals to set the mood of the song. As Cammie begins the song so soulfully you can tell that she is putting her raw emotions into it which makes it so easy to connect to when you are listening to the lyrics. Following that the songs starts to turn to a little more intense sound when the guitar players Jessie Santos and Alexander Lucian come in and give it some serious crunch. As the song continues and Cammie draws you in even closer with her heartfelt sentiments you see why this song gives everyone something to relate to with what they are going through or may have gone through in their lives. A little over halfway through the song it drops back to just the keyboard and synthesizers played by Mat Aleman that is accompanying Cammie’s commanding voice hitting every note perfectly as she sings. It starts to fade away as though the song will end then you hear Cammie start to sing again then all at once the band joins in with such a driving force of sound that makes you fall right back into the songs emotional message that you not only hear but you feel in your body as she continues the song to the end as it slowly fades out.

The fourth song on the album is called “Imperfect Divinity” which is a change from the other songs as this one is an instrumental only song. It starts off with some somber bells ringing followed by crashing cymbals and heavy hitting drums and solid-hitting bass drums along with some keys mixed in occasionally. It has a very haunting and suspenseful sense to it like you would experience in a movie when something is about to happen that continued to fade in and out of those tones for a few minutes and the faded off into the soothing silence.

The song that followed up the instrumental one was titled “The Adorned Fathomless Creation” that really surprised me when it kicked off because it starts off with the music and words backwards. It was certainly extremely heavy like some great Texas Death Metal that can also be heard in some of the other songs of theirs. When the song shifts the music and lyrics back to going forward Cammie comes in with a little bit of a lower tone than she usually has been singing in so far and it goes right along with everything else the band is performing at the time. This song has a great build up and then they slow it down a little and suddenly she belts out with her commanding voice, and they all follow along with that tempo, but only for a short time. Suddenly it goes quiet as though the song might be over then all at once they come back with a vengeance of loud and fast music with the low unfathomable and profound tone that hits you deep. They switch back and forth several times throughout that song which lets you really see the diverse range they all have working together for your listening pleasure.

They follow that song up with “To the Sea (A Tolling of the Bells)” that starts off with bells ringing trailed by some incredible bluesy guitar riffs and cymbals resounding together that grabs your attention in anticipation of what is about to happen. It swiftly turns to a haunting sound with Cammie coming in with more haunting voice that generates a suspenseful feeling and draws you to the lyrics that she is singing. This song is an example of the band and some of the softer side that they can play just as easily as any other style that gives you a bit of a slow down for a minute. She really amplifies her sounds in many parts of this song that make you stop and pay attention to the moment she is describing in her words.

The seventh song on the album is “The Colors of Grace” that seems to be a little bit more of a slow down similar to a slow and mournful love song that is a duet featuring Mike Moss of Antimatter. It starts out very powerful with both Cammie and Mike taking turns going back and forth to each other with their remarkably powerful voices. It was a little bit of a slower song than some of the others so far however it gives you an insight to the softer side of their music and a different range that they can perform and possess your attention. You seem to just hang onto every word and anticipate how it will play out before you as you are listening and connecting with each moment of the song. It is a very beautiful song that tells a story that I believe many people will be able to relate to.

Next on the lineup of the album is “I Mourn These Yellowed Leaves” that begins with piano keys and is quickly joined by the band and Cammie kicking off the song very fast and they begin pushing the tempo of the song with cymbals crashing and ceaseless drumming. The song builds great and then slowly starts to fade and gives way to more of her extraordinary voice. The song then takes a slight turn and starts getting heavier, then the throaty growling vocals start and draw you in to hear every word that he is singing then Cammie joins in and they sing at two different levels yet still harmonize with each other. This song goes from soft and easy to brutal and heavy several times and sort takes you on a roller coaster of emotions as you are listening until the very last of the song as she eases you and your emotions back down to allow you to try and catch your breath between songs.

They follow up that song with another great instrumental “September (Momentaria)” and I believe they did this to give you a second to relax and catch your breath to give your senses a chance to recover from the thrashing that they have been receiving from the immense pleasure you’ve been having on this roller coaster of songs that they have given you this far on the new album. This song starts out with the piano being played and little sounds along the way as though you are listening to a symphony. They then add in some beautiful sounding strings throughout the song as well. This song is very soothing and calming to your soul and lets you listen and just relax for a few minutes forgetting about everything that you have going on in your life now.

They follow up the instrumental song with “Total Failure Apparatus” that begins with very symphonic sounds then unexpectedly kick it up a notch with the dark and low growling lyrics to awaken your senses again. Cammie then comes in and sets you back down just a little bit while the band keeps you driving forward with the music accompanying her. They continually switch back and forth between the low unforgiving growls alongside her angelic voice taking you back and forth between the two. They continue driving you forward and suddenly you get some super low growling in your ears with a constant driving force from the drums pounding like crazy in the background that leads you to where you simply cannot sit still any longer while listening to this song and you just want to move with the rhythms.

The next to last song is “Red Flower” that starts out with some keys, synthesizers and then suddenly a collision of drumsticks against the cymbals that leads you into her vocals in a very ambient dark tone with a slower driving force behind her. This is a very slow song that lets you feel the emotion as she is singing the words to you and pouring her heart out into your ears as you hang onto every word that Cammie is narrating to you. Towards the end of the song she slowly lets you down even though they are fixing to bring you right back up with her soulful voice hammering out her emotions to you some more as the songs starts to end and fade away.

The last song on the album is “Wolf Moon” which is a cover of the Type O Negative song. This song starts out very similar to the original, however they do change it up some to make it their own sound. Cammie comes in with such an amazing and heartfelt performance on this song that makes it seem that the words she is singing are hers. She has such an impassioned and powerful voice that just makes you want to sit there and listen to her every word as she sings. The music that is accompanying her voice makes you feel like you are right there with them watching them perform every note and sound that comes into your ear. I would have to say that after listening to their new album all week that I never got tired of it and I truly enjoyed listening to it. Every song that is on this album to me is just pure gold. I truest that they are just going to continue growing their fan base for quite some time. They have a truly great vibe when you listen to them and there are so many outstanding elements in every song of theirs that you hear on this album. You can hear that all of them are playing with their genuine raw emotions pouring out into every song that they perform and have such a great connection to the lyrics that they are performing for you. I am truly a fan of theirs and can’t wait to see them perform live. I also think that if you love music you will love them and this new album when it is released. Oceans of Slumber truly has something for everyone that listens to them.

Words by Craig Youngblood

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