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Oceans of Slumber: The Banished Heart

This band's name sounds like a tag line for one of those white noise apps that helps people fall sleep. Come rest with the ocean of slumber! Teasing aside, there's also something potentially sinister about the name. Any ocean, no matter how calming it seems, has the power to sweep us away to certain death. This album has both of those qualities. There are some definite moments of calm and other moments of serious unrest. The album art also captures that tension. There's nothing peaceful about a heart ripped from a body but the person holding it is utterly at peace. It's the perfect image for this album given that the music runs the gamut of human emotions, including love and loss, suffering and shame, joy and redemption.

For those unfamiliar with Oceans of Slumber, they are probably best described in terms of progressive metal. On this album, the band's third, the music is darker, heavier, and more ambitious than ever before. The nice thing about this album is how consistently strong the performances are. Tracks like "Etiolation" capture the band's overall energy—and its experimental side—really well. I also liked "A Path to Broken Stars" and "The Decay of Disregard."

Like other female-fronted bands, Oceans of Slumber will probably get a little more press for Cammie Gilbert's vocals than anything else. I think I understand why that happens, but listeners should definitely listen closely to what this band is doing overall. The drumming here is solid and engaging and the guitars balance complex leads alongside some terrific rhythms. As for Gilbert's vocals, they're simultaneously beautiful and strong. She has a nice range that suits the band's overall style.

Overall, this is a solid new release from a band that deserves more attention.

Track Listing:
1. The Decay of Disregard
2. Fleeting Vigilance
3. At Dawn
4. The Banished Heart
5. The Watcher
6. Etiolation
7. A Path to Broken Stars
8. Howl of the Rougarou
9. Her in the Distance
10. No Color, No Light
11. Wayfaring Stranger

Added: May 1st 2018
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 658
Language: english

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