Oh, Sleeper – Son of the Morning
Release Date: August 25, 2009
Record Label: Solid State
No matter who you are, what you do, or what you believe, the battle of good vs. evil is always present. It’s present in the people we associate with, the things we say, and the things we do. It’s basically the prevailing theme of life, as we know it. Oh, Sleeper realizes this, and with their second album on Solid State, they’ve taken this theme and conceptualized it into Son of the Morning. The ten tracks tell the story of the final battle between God and Satan.
Regardless of what you think towards religion, the topic of God vs. the devil will always grab people’s attention. Combine that with the punishing music Oh, Sleeper produces, and you have another winner on the Solid State roster. The opening title track begins the brouhaha with vocalist Micah Kinard’s howl as guitarists Shane Blay and James Erwin use dueling riffs to pace the track.
Musically, the band has taken their game to the next level, adding more layering and bringing in some mid-tempo stuff a la Thrice. They’re just not beating you over the head with straight up metalcore the whole time. “The New Breed” is carried by the call and return of clean and screamed vocals, while “In All Honesty” begins with the beautiful voice of former As Cities Burn vocalst Cody Bonnette. The most obvious culprit is “Reveries of Flight,” as it clearly channels Thrice (Air specifically). Paced by sparse key notes and a distant drum beat from Matt Davis, the song is displays the change of pace from Oh, Sleeper.
What really makes the concept come to life is the composition of each track. You can really hear the conflict and clashing within, thanks to how the tracks are structured. “Breathing Blood” and “World Without A Sun” are probably two of the heaviest tracks, as “World Without A Sun” features the best riffing as well as some nice double bass kick action.
Son of the Morning stalls towards the middle as a few tracks blend together, as it’s difficult for the album to keep the same kind of pace and dynamic that first four or five tracks offer. But the final number, “The Finisher,” delivers big time, giving the album a dramatic finish, leaving the listener with a worthwhile final impression.
So while Oh, Sleeper isn’t re-inventing the wheel when it comes to this genre, Son of the Morning is still a solid effort. If you dig bands like August Burns Red and Norma Jean, then you’ll definitely enjoy this album. Son of the Morning features an intriguing topic and has the music to keep your attention as well.