Oh, Sleeper

The Titan EP

Written by: BL on 02/09/2013 23:11:03

Oh, Sleeper are a band who have been growing from release to release, hitting an impeccable stride on their fiery 2011 conceptual release "Children of Fire" - a rapturous blend of harrowing intensity with haunting melody so intoxicating it's bewildering it didn't get more critical recognition. Alas, things have moved on and Oh, Sleeper have ended their contractual agreement with record label Solid State and decided to make a new EP supported entirely from their fanbase. Despite clocking in at under twenty minutes, "The Titan" is worthy of the name and emanates a huge presence and may certainly scathe some of the unprepared.

"Naofumi Mitsuhashi" initially appears not too dissimilar from the apocalyptic material of "Children of Fire", which is hardly a bad thing. Vocalist Michah Kinnard's sharp screams provides a familiar welcome alongside manic guitars which run a fine line between dissonance and classical melody. Guitarist Shane Blay's technical prowess comes to the forefront with some blistering dischorded harmonies which is becoming a trademark. "The Pitch" and "Death From Above" on the otherhand, provide hints of progression since their last record with far more prominent doses of melody amongst the usual chaos (Shane's great clean vocals being one of the main contributors). Both songs also have guest spots: the former graced by an ex-Periphery vocalist Casey Sabol whose appearance is brief, whilst the latter featuring Jacky Vincent of Falling In Reverse who adds an unexpected guitar solo. Unexpected in the sense that it's not a bewildering performance but it stands out because of how contrasting to the regular Oh, Sleeper sound it is.

"Heavy Hands" may surprise regular fans - delicate piano flourishes is ambience to somber campfire-type classical guitar style melodies and Shane, who yet again gives a stand out vocal performance. The quiet reflectiveness builds up into a massive chorus which can be best described as almost Linkin Park, and in a very good way - it's catchy, memorable and most definitely emotive. "The Rise" following on is almost equally amitious but goes back to their recognised territory of heavier instrumentation. There's a suitable sense of an uprising cleverly offset by some genuinely eerie vibes, ultimately culminating into a superb sweeping guitar harmony (something not too far from Darkest Hour perhaps) before a powerful climatic end.

If nothing else, "The Titan" offers an exciting prospect of further endeavours from Oh, Sleeper. Production-wise the cut is clean and not much is left to be desired aside from maybe a more meatier bottom end. There's also an interesting and rather specific story behind "The Titan". A 1984 type world where people are forced to serve a campaign (known as Titan) in exchange for synthetic enhancements may not exactly be a groundbreaking concept, however it does add an extra dimension and gives attentive listeners a reward for appreciating the passion and imagination Oh, Sleeper bring to their music. Let's just hope they they keep it coming.


Download: The Pitch, Heavy Hands, The Rise
For the fans of: This Or The Apocalypse, August Burns Red, Architects

Release date 02.07.2013

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