Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Album: Oh, Sleeper - Son Of The Morning

Band: Oh, Sleeper
Album: Son Of The Morning
Label: Solid State Records
Year: 2009

01. Son Of The Morning
02. The New Breed
03. In All Honesty
04. Breathing Blood
05. Reveries Of Flight
06. World Without A Sun
07. The Fire Dawn
08. Banquet For Traitors
09. Commissioned By Kings
10. The Finisher

An empowering call-to-arms descends upon the weak-minded, the undecided, the superficially concerned with the arrival of Son Of The Morning, the new album from Oh, Sleeper. On the followup to their When I Am God debut, these Texan lads obliterate any notions of the "sophomore slump" with an alarming urgency sure to excite anyone with even a cursory interest in bands like Underoath, Slipknot or Dillinger Escape Plan. Oh, Sleeper has crafted a concept album detailing the final battle between the devil (with Micah Kinard screaming in character on the title track) and God (with Kinard answering on "The Finisher," which closes the record) from start to finish. Produced by Andreas Magnusson (Black Dahlia Murder), Oh, Sleeper's Son Of The Morning is poised to turn 2009 upside down.

Kinard and guitarist / vocalist Shane Blay (ex-Between The Buried And Me) offer a brilliant and somehow uncontrived vocal point / counterpoint with the ten catchiest heavy anthems of recent memory, delivering on the promise hinted at by the first album's breakout video / single, "Vices Like Vipers."

There is not a moment of filler on Son Of The Morning, with Kinard screaming his heart out while Blay and guitarist James Erwin add just enough shred and complexity to their blazingly memorable riffs. New drummer Matt Davis is full of dynamics and power without ever sounding needlessly busy, laying down a foundation sure to elevate him to the upper ranks of heavy music drummers. Bass player Lucas Starr, who started out in Tooth & Nail rockers Terminal alongside Erwin, injects the proceedings with power and groove which anchors everything heard on Son Of The Morning. Kinard weaves a literary and intellectual yet relatable tale of good, evil and humankind's spiritual struggle.

If "The New Breed" and "Commissioned By Kings" (with its "Bring out the dead! Bring out the dead!" chorus) don't get your fists pumping, nothing will. "A Banquet For Traitors," "In All Honesty" -- Epic moments, driving moments, pummeling and punishing moments -- all are to be found in abundance throughout the record. A few tasteful doses of electronics can be found on the record which combined with Blay's soaring vocal melodies lend balance to the otherwise ultra-heavy assault.

The broken pentagram adorning the cover of Son Of The Morning represents evil vanquished, both inside and out. Oh, Sleeper has brought their music to stages across the world touring with bands like Underoath, Finch, Bring Me The Horizon, Every Time I Die and more, sharing their musical and spiritual point of view.

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