Sound — 9
Oh sleeper has absolutely shattered the world of metalcore music with this album, taking their innovative concept album approach and applying it to their sound the album opens as a brutal and punishing machine with songs like "End Seekers" and "Shed Your Soul." By the way she'd your soul is in my opinion their heaviest number to date and one of the heaviest and darkest songs I've ever heard. By the end of the album it has progressed to a much more melodic sound comparable to the "Son Of The Morning" album with songs like the title track, guitar wise the album is incredible the technicality of lead guitarist Shane Blay is unmatched in any of their previous albums and James Erwin ( rhythm guitar ) has upped his skills for this as well, looking at the album as a whole, with the inclusion of two acoustic tracks it is huge growth in musical variety for the band, Shane and Micah both have stepped up to make monstrous leaps in their abilities as vocalists, Shane's singing on the two acoustic tracks is marvelous. The one critique that could be said about Micah's monster of a screaming voice is that he loses some clarity with his speed on songs like "Dealers Of Fame" this however does fit the sound of the album and in the context works very well.
Lyrics — 10
Lyrical ability has always been Oh Sleepers high point and it continues with Children Of Fire. The album is a complex story picking up where "Son Of The Morning" left off, it begins with (End Seekers) God defeating Satan at the end of their epic battle and a man of God is calling for God's people to rally around their captain ( God )'s feet following this God and Satan both vanish and ( she'd Your Soul ) the Man is left to question his fate, one of my favorite lines comes in on this track."If all that remains is our avaricious wit / an eye for an eye's the only law that can exist so don't use your romance to soften defeat /or your trophies of war to boast of your feat / if you failed then you failed cause your body is weak / and you'll never be as strong as you dreamed to achieve." the next few songs document the mans decent into a murderous tyrant and at the same time his daughter ( once an atheist ) begins to find christ, the climax of the album comes in the song "The Family Ruin" when despite God's voice pleading with her to stop the daughter murders her father to prevent him from killing anyone else, the song ends with God telling her that he won't let her slip away, the albums ending numbers document the building of a new kingdom that stands for their newfound faith in God in a world in which they once believed they'd been left behind, the final track "Children Of Fire" is an outright battle cry for Christians to stand up for their faith and fight for what they believe in.
Overall Impression — 9
This album is a true concept album, lyrically it can be misleading for someone who only hears one song ( Ex. she'd Your Soul's breakdown " I SAW GOD DIE" ) but this is something Oh Sleeper has never been afraid of dating back to the "When I am God" album, Oh Sleeper has a knack for taking blashpemic statements and symbols and turning them into rallying cries trophies for their faith. The album is a powerhouse, it destroys any metalcore band out there right now, I don't think a metalcore band has ever dared to go as heavy or as soft as Oh Sleeper goes I while thn this album. The first few songs return to the chaos of "When I am God" while song's after "Means to Believe" will remind fans of "Son Of the Morning" its a solid mix and since the entire album is a few steps higher on the power scale it should be a refreshing album for longtime fans as well new comers, one thing is for sure Oh Sleeper doesn't seem like they're slowing down at all and this is if nothing else a powerful warning of what has come and will come in the future from this amazing band