Since recruiting singer Cammie Gilbert in 2014, Oceans Of Slumber have been writing progressive metal that flips between death, black and gothic markers. What ties their sound together are Gilbert’s extraordinary vocals, which are clear, soulful, and show strength through vulnerability.
Half the band left before this record, yet it still shows an impressive unity of vision. Here, they synthesise their disparate subgenres in their most coherent way yet, adding a layer of drama that’s usually the preserve of symphonic metal bands. It says something about their fearlessness that the most epic song, the seven-minute Pray For Fire, is track number two. It evolves into a storm of anger, drummer Dobber Beverley’s harsh vocals rising up, until Gilbert breaks into a vengeful spoken-word monologue that sounds like something uttered from the mouth of Game Of Thrones’ Daenerys Targaryen.
There’s a lot of rage and asserting of self on this record but it’s balanced out by goosebump-inducing moments of reflection on piano interlude September and the gratitude of The Colors Of Grace. Four albums in, it feels like they’ve assumed their final form.