Oceans of Slumber
The Banished Heart
Do not allow the very slow, very quiet opening of The Banished Heart lull you into complacency; Oceans of Slumber generate oceans of sound; a sound that, while not unique, is certainly unusual in the metal world. We've gotten past the point of women vocalists being unusual, and it's not overly obvious even that singer Cammie Gilbert is African-American. What makes Oceans of Slumber distinctive is the ability and even desire to whipsaw from the heaviest of heavy, pounding out death metal vocals and speed metal drumming to Gilbert's arena-quality vocals reminiscent of the ladies of Heart or Amy Lee of Evanescence backing her efforts with that same death and doom metal or quieter passages of reflective mood and lighter sound.
Some bands have a consistency of sound, it works for them, and they do it very well album after album, year after year (ZZ Top, Megadeth and others come to mind). Others wander all over various genres looking for a sound that pleases both themselves and their fans (Kiss, I reject your disco phase as some sort of aberration). Oceans of Slumber do neither, confidently using the best elements of metal and heavy rock to achieve whatever each song needs. Whether it's the 100% death metal in the middle of "At Dawn," the more lyrical and majestic "Fleeting Vigilance" or the much quieter "The Banished Heart" that more directly recalls Evanescence’s less anthemic tunes.
Hailing from Houston, Texas, bandmates Gilbert, Dobber Beverly (drums and piano), guitarists Sean Gary and Anthony Contreras and Keegan Kelly on bass (the last three being responsible for all non-Cammie vocals) create some extraordinarily tight tunes - engaging, melodic (mostly) and genre-expanding. It’s probably cheesy, but I gotta say it: don't sleep on Oceans of Slumber. Give them a listen. Preferably several.