Monday, September 12, 2011

Oh, Sleeper - Children Of Fire - Formal Review

I’ve been listening to Metalcore for a while, Mainstays for me being the likes of August Burns Red and As I Lay Dying. I’ll have to admit that I never really listened much to Oh, Sleeper. Son Of The Morning is a good album, but I have to admit I thought of them more as another Inhale Exhale, with Haste The Day inspiration. Then out of nowhere comes Children Of Fire. I’ve listened to this album about 4 times now, and each time it gets better. To use a word I use a little too often, It’s Awesome.

Children Of Fire starts with an intense snare smash and a hauntingly unsettling guitar part. For a good minute we are barraged with screams, heavy riffs, gang vocals, and epic drums, only breaking for a few seconds, until we are back into the onslaught. A great start to an album in my opinion.

Without rest we start the second track, 'Shed Your Soul'. It slowly changes, taking inspiration from faster Underoath songs, and eventually the vocals break into a Josh Scogin-esque ‘rant’ of sorts, which is fantastic and we get to see a few times throughout the album.

'Hush Yael' breaks the pattern by starting out acoustic with clean vocals, it’s a nice bit that gets interrupted by another welcomed barrage that then leads into an epic chorus. It keeps up the intensity throughout breaking for another well placed acoustic/clean vocals section before finishing with another wall of riffs, drums, and vocals.

'The Conscience Speaks', also starts out calm, but retains the albums haunting atmosphere. It’s short lived and clean throughout, but it’s somewhat of a highlight for me on this album, it’s well placed and gives the album added depth.

'Dealers Of Fame' is also on the shorter end of things, it’s a similar feel to the heavy tracks on this album, but it’s not particularly a standout track. But it’s also not a ‘skip’ track.

Means To Believe is in the same vein as 'The Conscience Speaks', although it’s a full track. The song feels like it’s leading up to something, which in a way it is seeing as the next song starts out with a snare slam and a vocal bombardment.

The album as a whole has this awesome atmosphere largely in part from the powerful combination of intensely fast guitar work, drums, and almost scathing (in the best possible way, similar to The Chariot) vocals juxtaposed to the nicely placed clean songs.

'The Family Ruin' is a pretty standout track, it carries over the atmosphere, but then amplifies it by adding a sense of epicness through the drums slow heavy arena sound and the somewhat compressed vocals. There’s also a small electric piano playing constantly throughout which gives it a creepy feel as well.

The album leaves us with an tremendous wall of sound, and the lyric Ignite the World will definitely be stuck in your head. This song ends with a long note that wraps up the overall atmosphere and leaves room to let the album restart and keep you listening. It’s fantastic.

If you enjoyed Son Of The Morning, or When I Am God you’ll thoroughly enjoy this album. Oh, Sleeper has easily released their best work with this album, and this is likely to be on top of many best metalcore albums lists for this year. It’s definitely giving Dead Throne and Leveler a run for it’s money.

Go buy it now! Or listen to it on Spotify! 

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