Texas is probably best known for producing bands of the thrash and groove variety, but Oceans of Slumber completely buck that trend with their doomy, progressive sound. Their self titled release doesn’t mess about, everything is thrown into the melding pot, the seductive vocal chords of vocalist Cammie sit over a beautiful and ever changing landscape as the band collectively cut through from light and mellow to Opeth-esque destructiveness. Opening tracks ‘The Soundtrack to My Last Day’ and ‘Pray For Fire’ and the perfect way to showcase their prowess and abilities, both tracks crossing the 7 minute mark, they fill the with both calm and rest, and with equal measure, dread and woe, a perfect mark for everything to come. ‘The Adorned Fathomless Creation’ pushes to the more extreme side, a change to the previous tracks that have much more calming melodies that stay with you. The heaviness is not washing away any of the creativity of the band either, dark and broody throughout.
‘To the Sea’ delivers a calming of the storm with a soft, lose yourself delivery. The lull can throw you as the doom doubles over and crushes you with tracks ‘The Colours of Grace’ and ‘I Mourn These Yellowed Leaves’, the latter not for the feint hearted with it sitting in over 8 minutes, it sets itself up nicely for the final twenty minutes of music however, with ‘September (Those Who Come Before)’ being a very delicate and gentle piano piece from Mat V. Aleman, it is reminiscent of something from the instrumentalists, Mono. Closing out the album is ‘Wolf Moon (Including Zoanthrophic Paranoia), a little unexpected to find a cover considering the material and quality of it, nonetheless, their rendition of Type O Negatives track is worthy and a great way to polish off a fantastic release.
In all, it is a journey that takes a long and windy mountain road, you’ll get those beautiful views, but just the same, you’ll have those treacherous rocky roads challenging you on your way. It may have some negatives, namely the length, sitting in at 71 minutes from start to finish, not everyone can handle that in one bite, their style of music although suited to lengths of massive proportions, isn’t something for everyone either, but if like me, you are a fan of long songs, massive changes in the musical landscapes and absolutely drowned in doom, this is for you. The songs are written so well that it’s difficult to find words, the chemistry between the band bleeds through and they are more than capable. The fact they don’t stick to just long songs too, with several 4 minute mark tracks scattered in, they seem to be the epitome of the phrase “greater than the sum of their parts“. This is only amplified more by the stunning work with the production and mastering, the levels are just perfect…and I won’t even get started on the album cover…every single thing about this release is a magnificent piece of art.
Oceans of Slumbers self titled album is out now via Century Media.