Review: Oceans Of Slumber – Winter

Kicks off with a very melodic title song, that immediately introduces the warm sensual vocals of singer Cammie Gilbert. Oceans of Slumber is not simply a ‘femalefronted metalband’, though. Three male musicians contribute with their grunts and screams and produce a mingled harsh-melodic sound.
Combined with technical guitarwork and the broad style range of Cammie, the album stands for a diverse dive into metal. A bit slick, but with an edge to it.
Interestingly enough, the band chooses to make a cover version of the Moody Blues’ Nights in White Satin. The song itself is very well suited to be made into a heavy version. Rock Goddess made a great raw version of it, keeping the bluesy character in shape. Oceans of Slumber chooses a more romantic approach. The mesmerising voice fits perfectly, with the danger that it turns into a ‘rock ballad’. Halfway, however, the band wants to make clear that they are still a metalband and kick in the distortion and fast drums. In my opinion killing the song with it, because basically, the part has nothing to do in this song. The song was great by itself with a little heavy guitars, which is luckily picked up after the distorted part.

As a sort of interlude, short song Lullaby is put right after this cover version. Again portraying the beautiful voice of the singer, but especially when after this song the instrumental Laid to Rest is played I am starting to miss the metal content.

Suffer the Last Bridge brings some sort of heavy metal/hard rock mix reminding me of loads of bands, changing from Guns n’Roses to Skunk Anansie.
Halfway through the album we find Good Life, which makes me think of Nightwish’s Creek Mary’s Blood from the Once album. A panflute song on a metal album. Hmm. Then again, it does make clearer and clearer that this album is about everything. In an interview, drummer Dobber Beverly says “We want to be in everybody’s ears, heads, and hearts” If you want to be in everybody’s heart, you will have to make music that everybody kind of likes. And I think there could be hardly anyone who does not like any of the songs. It does, however, make it very hard to make out where the band would like to be. They say they have a death and doom background, but unless American death and doom standards differ very much from European it is only very hard to find.

Tenth song Apologue does have it though! One of the longest, most complex songs on the album gives a good mix of doom and death and has a main stage for different male vocal capacities.

After another instrumental song +they seem to be the cement of the longer song+ …This Road is a strong song with a perfect balance of melancholy, anger, softness and heaviness. An emotional song that is the penultimate one of the album. The Grace…well that one came unexpected! A classical pianopiece! Being a lover of (neo)classical music too, it came as quite a nice surprise.

And basically, that last song was the final chapter to saying that Oceans of Slumber’s album Winter is an album with many sides to it. One can say that makes an album strong, because it feeds many different lovers. One can also say it makes the band indecisive. Maybe it is silly to say you belong in one genre, but to basically say you belong in every genre is another thing. So what do we learn from this all: the album is nice. The singer is great. The music is slumbering but indecisive in where the music belongs. So yes, we have an interesting album, that in my opinion, is too diverse to be just reviewed on a metal basis. But are you openminded…give it a try!

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