Review OCEANS OF SLUMBER ‘Starlight and Ash’

When Oceans Of Slumber presented their debut album “Aetherial” in 2013, it was evident that there was a lot of potential lurking in this band. The follow-up albums “Winter” and especially “The Banished Heart” confirmed this assumption and nowadays the band is one of the most respected acts in younger metal history.

The only remaining founding member is Dobber Beverly, responsible for drums and piano. A milestone in the development of Oceans Of Slumber was when vocalist Cammie Gilbert joined the band. Gilbert, with her tremendous vocal range and gift for expressing emotion with her singing became a game-changing moment for the Texas band and to this day, Gibert’s vocals make the difference.

After the band released a self-titled album in 2020, it is ‘Starlight and Ash’ that delights fans of soulful rock music two years later.

Studio album number five contains eleven songs that take the listener on a very emotional journey through the ups and downs of the human soul. ‘Starlight and Ash’ is a kind of concept album with a plot set in a fictional small town. The songs focus on different themes and destinies of the inhabitants living in this village, all with a reference to the reality in which we all find ourselves.

Musically, ‘Starlight and Ash’ is certainly the most mature album of the sextet. Southern influences are present on the album as well as progressive and intricate soundscapes, all of which are united by a unique perfection aimed at expressing emotions. Tunes like ‘The Lighthouse’ are masterpieces that immediately unfold all their class and at the same time have enough depth that guarantee a long listening delight.

Outstanding are not only the own songs, but also the cover version of ‘House of the Rising Sun’. Thematically and musically the song fits perfectly into the context of ‘Starlight and Ash’. Rarely has ‘House of the Rising Sun’ been presented in such an emotional and intense way as on this longplayer. This version causes goose bumps. The album closes with ‘The Shipbuilder’s Son’. Soundscapes describe the feeling of sons who see more in life than the fate of their ancestors and the inner struggles associated with it. What an emotional end to an album that is not short on feelings.

With ‘Starlight and Ash’, Oceans of Slumber have created a masterpiece. The band had already been able to impress with very good albums so far while it is their new album that takes it to the next level. Emotional depth, a dense sound, musical talent and an impressive feeling for brilliant songs is what this album reflects. This longplayer will bring additional attention to Oceans Of Slumber. ‘Starlight and Ash’ belongs to the highlights of the eventful 2022.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. The Waters Rising
  2. Hearts of Stone
  3. The Lighthouse
  4. Red Forest Roads
  5. The Hanging Tree
  6. Salvation
  7. Star Altar
  8. The Spring of ’21
  9. Just A Day
  10. House of the Rising Sun
  11. The Shipbuilder’s Son

Label: Century Media

Genre: Dark Progressive Metal

Release Date EU: July 22nd, 2022

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