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Oceans of Slumber – The Banishing Heart Review

Label: Century Media

Released: Out Now

Genre: Progressive Metal 

Members:

Cammie Gilbert: Vocals
Dobber Beverly: Drums & Piano
Sean Gary: Guitar & Vocals
Anthony Contreras: Guitar & Vocals
Keegan Kelly: Bass & Vocals

Tracklisting:

The Decay of Disregard
Fleeting Vigilance
At Dawn
The Banished Heart
The Watcher
Etiolation
A Path to Broken Stars
Howl of the Rougarou
Her in the Distance
No Color, No Light
Wayfaring Stranger

If you appreciate great singers and you don’t know the name Cammie Gilbert you are truly missing out. She has one of the best voices in music today. Notice I said music and not narrowing it down to metal (or even saying female metal singer.) She has one of the most haunting and beautiful voices in the business today, period. I was introduced to her voice (and band Oceans of Slumber) a few years ago while they were touring with Evergrey. Sadly, I only got to catch one song live (I was having supper with Evergrey and interviewing them) and it was a cover of one of my least favorite Zeppelin songs “Kashmir,” but I’ve never forgotten how entrancing it was. Never have I been so moved by a performance of a song I don’t like than I was that evening. Oceans of Slumber have released a brand new album, and it is stunning.

Entitled The Banishing Heart, this is their third full length album, second with Gilbert fronting the band (lest we forget the EP Blue, which would be a tragic loss as it is brilliant, which would make three recordings with her.) The music is epic, dark, and foreboding. Tracks like “The Banishing Heart,” “The Decay of Disregard,” and “No Color No Light” (featuring a guest vocal spot from Tom England of Evergrey) are merely the spotlights of an overall incredible album. The way her voice flows effortlessly through these complex and looming riffs (with some growl accompaniment) lays out one of the most gorgeous metal albums to come out in years. Gary and Anthony Contreras’ guitar riffs create such heavy tension to the songs, when their not laying out intricate licks, along with the brilliant drums and piano of Dobber Beverly, and the powerful bass of Keegan Kelly, making this a collaborative effort despite the focus drawn to Cammie’s voice.

In a short span of time Cammie Gilbert is one of the few singers in recent time to make me consider re-shuffling my top favorite singers list. And without a doubt Oceans of Slumber have become one of my favorite bands. With The Banishing Heart, they’ve pretty much zoomed their way into the top spot of the year for me, at the very least. This is the one to beat folks. As the last song played for the I don’t know how many times since getting the album, I’m already wanting to play it again. That, my friends, is how an album should make you feel. So powerful, and so beautiful, get this album NOW!

SCORE 10 / 10

Reviewed by: Chris Martin

 

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