Oh, Sleeper is extremely underrated amongst the metal community; getting the most attention from kids who primarily listen to screamo, metalcore, and some deathcore. Although the amount of metalheads that listen to them is gradually increasing. This was another band that I was introduced to when I saw Bring me the Horizon in September of 2009; they were the second band to come on after the British metalcore band Architects. I’ll tell you that I was blown away by their professionalism and performance when they were on stage. The instant I got home I downloaded (which at the time was) their new album, Son of the Morning, and was attacked by the same opening riffs that I first heard them play at the show. And just so you know, I have bought their CDs after I decided that they were amazing and deserved my money. Every one of their albums is great, but their sound gets more professional, more creative, and more mature with each album to the point to where they aren’t what some of you people call “crappy scene kids”. This album was just released and it’s called Children of Fire.
The record is filled with emotion, color, and technicality from the first opening line to the ambient guitar feedback at the end. One thing that I should mention is that Oh, Sleeper is one of the most technical metalcore bands out there; having more complex song structures and guitar lines than bands like The Devil Wears Prada and August Burns Red. Most of their technicality lies within the minds and hands of the guitarists. One of the best examples of this technicality would be the title song from Son of the Morning. And even though their technicality is their most prominent and well-known feature, it’s not the only quality they hold.
Children of the Fire uses Son of the Morning as a blueprint; and instead of just creating a whole new sound, they just build off of their 2009 album, making it into something bigger. One of the new sounds that the band has added to their music is the ultra-soft melodic parts with blissful singing and exceptional vocal harmonization. This is even added onto the technical sound of the guitars in Hush Yael, which is immediately followed by the one minute acoustic track to add a touch of melodic beauty and diversity to the record; perfect for those of you that like to hear more than one sound on an album.
And of course what would metalcore be without breakdowns? This album is filled with perfect breakdowns that aren’t that brutal, but still can conduct the heaviest headbanging. My favorite examples from this album would be The Marriage of Steel and Skin, Hush Yael, Endseeker, and the heaviest track on the album, Dealers of Fame; which is where the heaviest breakdowns are released. In other words, the breakdowns are purely amazing.
I remember Son of the Morning not having quite enough bass, making it kind of difficult to listen to on my earbuds at high volumes. The production work on this album is much better. All of the sound levels are perfectly balanced out with a little boost of the vocals. None of the instruments drown out the rest of the band (another sign of professionalism).
My favorite songs off this record are Endseeker, The Marriage of Steel and Skin, Dealers of Fame, and the title track. Let me tell you what I like about the last song on the album, which is also the title track. The part that really spoke out to me is a part that contains my absolute favorite kind of breakdown that always gives me chills and creates a smile on my face; and that is the slow breakdown that is accompanied by the lead guitarist hammering high-pitched technical guitar lines. One of the best breakdowns like that is in The Human Condition from Desolation of Eden by Chelsea Grin. But even though that’s the best one on the album, there are a couple of breakdowns like that in songs like Endseeker and The Marriage of Steel and Skin. Oh, Sleeper couldn’t have chosen a better opening track than Endseeker. Until you hear that song, you have no idea what you’re up against; Endseeker takes all of the different sounds of this album and compresses them into a three minute song. I highly suggest you listen to the other songs I listed above and the rest of the album
This album is definitely the best metalcore release of 2011; showing mind-blowing creativity, maturity, and technicality. Even though I highly recommend you look up this album, I also would suggest that you look up their other two albums because they’re awesome too! I would, though, like to see this band do a little more progression and change on their next album than what they did on this record. This album earns a highly deserved score from me of 18/20.