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OCEANS OF SLUMBER Starlight and Ash

By Wendy Jasper, Black Metal Aficionado
Tuesday, August 30, 2022 @ 10:53 AM


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OCEANS OF SLUMBER
Starlight and Ash

Century Media Records




The summer months proved to be a hotbed of talent based on the releases that have dropped. However, there was really only a handful of summer releases I looked forward to and OCEANS OF SLUMBER’s Starlight And Ash was at the top of the list. Since the Houston area is home for the band I have a particular interest and this record did not disappoint.

The band burst onto the scene in 2013 and have released one haunting record after another. 2018’s The Banished Heart made Metal Hammer’s 50 Best albums of 2018 as well as Metal Insider’s list of the “Best Metal Albums of the Decade”. It was also in my top list for the year right here on KNAC.COM. High profile tours and accolades for Cammie Beverly’s vocal dexterity have all led to this latest masterpiece.

Starlight And Ash is not a particularly heavy album; in fact, it strays from the band’s metal roots and a shining performance by vocalist Cammie is one of the most touching things about the record. She is a standout talent who digs soul deep and it shows in her vocals. The album is a concept album that closely aligns itself with personal and traumatic childhood experiences and the videos for “The Hanging Tree” and “The Lighthouse” are historically intertwined.

The band consists of Cammie Beverly on vocals, drummer Dobber Beverly, Guitarist Xan Fernandez, guitarist Jesse Santos, keyboardist Mathew Aleman, and bassist Samir Ozerkan. This is a stellar lineup and their musical prowess is witnessed with this release.

The album kicks off with “The Waters Rising” and leads us to “Hearts of Stone” and “The Lighthouse”. The music transitions well from song to song and it seems to me that the music swells and the vocals increase in magnitude. The more emotionally taxing the lyrical content the stronger Cammie emotes and it is brilliant.

“Red Forest Roads” segues to “The Hanging Tree” and I must say the transition is smooth. While the band has been known for their slow burn, this new pathway is intensified with heat.

“Salvation”, “Star Altar”, and “The Spring of 21” carry us blissfully through the latter portion of the record and it ends in flames with “Just a Day”, a cover of “House of The Rising Sun” and “The Shipbuilder’s Son”.

It is evocative, painful and desperate all at the same time. It makes you feel, cry, rage and scream as the emotions are pulled from you. It is everything I would expect from this band and more. I loved their 2020 self titled release, I adored The Banished Heart and I remember being amazed when Winter came out in 2016.

The band kicked off their The Lighthouse East Tour this past Saturday in Houston and it will have them on the road until September 11, 2022 and ending in Austin, Texas. If you have never seen them, please do. It is well worth it.

5.0 Out Of 5.0


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