Band: Oceans of Slumber
Release Date: March 4th, 2016
Label: Century Media
The amazing voice of Cammie Gilbert welcomes you to this disc and it is one hell of a welcome, that is for sure. The next thing you will notice in all its beauty will probably be the drumming. You may also notice the brutal / guttural / scream vocals but not as these two. Well, maybe the Dani Filth like screams as well. All of these will happen in the first two minutes or so. A soft, soothing female voice, lots of extreme metal elements with a sense of doom coating the general sound. Dictating it even.
Winter is a conceptual piece and as the name suggests, the feeling is cold. I don’t know if the band likes Cradle of Filth or Dimmu Borgir but the influences are there to hear, executed in beauty. Devout is such a track, for example, where you will hear extreme blast beats and the calming voice of Gilbert intertwine. Then welcomes you the cover of Night in White Satin, the lovely classic of The Moody Blues, beautifully performed and crafted. Hats off. Though I was like “wait, what?” when the blast beats kicked in but still, it was fitting to the band’s identity.
It is not every day you bump into a band from Texas that sounds as if the members saw the dark and cold mountains of Viking-land and it brought them suffering, pain and then some. Winter is a true musical journey that can very much stand on its own near to established names like Cradle of Filth, Emperor or Empyrium or – put any doom – black metal band you like here. Songs of different feelings carry you through the journey. While there are songs like the title track (and first single) Winter or Devout where the band goes full force with instrumentation, showcasing everything metal they have, there are soothing pieces like Turpentine, …This Road or Suffer the Last Bridge.
There is still some room to improve the blending of Cammie’s vocals, the band’s soft side and the extreme metal roots (like the rather weird passages of Apopologue) but things are looking real good from here. Winter’s promo came out of the blue to my desk from my editors in chief and man, it was a surprise. I really enjoyed the album. Black metal, heavy metal, jazzy moody passages, acoustic soft spots; it’s all here. Heck, there are even grind parts and I seriously thought I was listening to Suffocation at one point.
All in all, a brilliant work. Just needs a bit more polishing for future works.
8.5 / 10
Cammie Gilbert – Vocals
Dobber Beverly – Drums
Anthony Contreras – Guitar & Vocals
Sean Gary – Guitar & Vocals
Keegan Kelly – Bass & Vocals
Uaeb Yelsaeb – Synthesizers