Sound — 10
To start off this review I'd like to tell everyone who is reading a few things, I may repeat or ramble on about simple things that may seem all the same in context, but all have significant meaning. Second, I was just recently introduced to this band, shortly after their sophomore album "Son Of The Morning" was released. Enjoy! Upon the first song on the album, entitled "Endseekers" I was already aware of what to hear (Oh, Sleeper released two songs via Youtube). Their new sound was fantastic to hear, personally I always thought that Micah was missing some type of emotional drive in his vocals, but this time he really out did himself. Track to Track the album is amazing, whether you're listening to Oh, Sleeper absolutely SHRED in songs like "Shed Your Soul" or "The Marriage Of Steel And Skin", or you want to listen to Shane out do himself and others in the music industry with "The Conscience Speaks" and "Means To Believe" I promise you this album is worth the buy. The addition to the new drummer Zac Mayfield (whom surprisingly, I personally know) and the new Bassist Nate Grady have given them a new sound. Zac brings the new Oh, Sleeper sound very technical, yet fast and powerful drum breakdowns. While Nate creates a very strong bass sound, it is surprisingly played very simple, yet moving. Shane Blay and James Erwin have really differed from "Son Of The Morning", in case you weren't already aware, they have changed their tuning back to Drop C, which was the tuning for their first album "When I Am God". Shane and James have mixed together every concept of their guitar work from Oh, Sleeper's first two albums, and so came "Children Of Fire".
Lyrics — 10
Lyrically Oh, Sleeper has always been so powerful, in their previous albums the lyrics have been emotional, yet moving and the softer songs give you a state of mind that you could almost relate to. Children of Fire does not disappoint either, Micah comes into this with very powerful and "deadly" words. I could sit here and quote lyrics to relate to what I just said, but there are so many to choose from I'll leave it up to you to decide which I'm talking about. Micah also, as I said in the segments above, has really stepped it up. In an interview the band members actually stated that Micah will do the much more difficult portions of songs in one take, which tells me that he has only gotten better from the albums progressing. Micah brings out almost everything you can think of in this album, he will do his deep screams that were all so used to, but he has started to really bring out that high pitched scream that sounds fantastic from him. Micah will most likely remain my favorite vocalist because unlike most metal bands out there, you for one can understand what he is saying, and two he doesn't sound like your everyday metal band. To show off one example of this, in the song "In the Wake of Pigs" it starts off with Micah, almost giving a speech or lecture. Shane Blay, The lead guitarist, and clean vocalist for Oh, Sleeper. In the previous albums Shane has had a few short timed portions of songs where he could show off his fantastic voice, but personally I have been waiting for him to finally get his own solo song. Finally with Children of Fire, Shane not only gets one solo song, but two. Shane has always written his lyrics to fit the song that was being played, but now he has two songs that he originally written. One of the songs, titled "Means to Believe" was actually going to be in Shane's solo album that he released, but with Children of Fire being a concept album, that song fit so perfectly with they concept Oh, Sleeper was trying to create that Shane changed a few words around in the song, and it was added to Children of Fire. Shane displays who high his voice can actually go, he will go Falsetto a few times in both of his songs, especially near the end of "The Conscience Speaks".
Overall Impression — 10
To completely sum everything up, "Children Of Fire" is a concept album, which leads off from Oh, Sleeper's second album "Son Of The Morning", which is also a concept album. At the end of "Son Of The Morning", God and Satan are battling, and it pretty much ends there. Then as "Children Of Fire" starts, It would seem as though God has defeated Satan, and then people believe that God and Satan have killed one another in battle. Now to explain the concept Oh, Sleepe wanted to create. As people started to believe that God and Satan were both dead, they began to think that now there was no consequence for their actions, and they could do as they will. The album follows a Father and daughter, The father had always been so religious and followed whatever god had told him, but his daughter has never believed in any of it, and is an atheist. As the album progresses, The father begins to lose track of his life and where he is to go because God was presumably killed. But, the daughter has begun to read things out of the bible and other things that explain God, Jesus, Satan, etc. She now begins to notice that if these things are true, then what she believed could not make sense, and vice versa. In the song "The Family Ruin" you will hear Shane singing in a 3rd person perspective, speaking of the daughter and how she plans to kill her father, then Micah comes into the song screaming as her conscience, or as Micah put it in an interview, God screaming at her not to do it. This album has completely blown me away. Personally I thought that "When I Am God" & "Son Of The Morning" were both equally as good as the other, I say this because in "When I Am God", Oh, Sleeper was just debuting and the album really consisted of very very heavy melodies and spastic breakdowns. Although don't get me wrong, I love that they did that in their first album, but in "Son Of The Morning", they had brought an album that was synchronized and very melodic to fit the concept they were trying to create. In all, "Son Of The Morning" was a concept album, but at times it seemed to astray from the concept that they were creating. In "Children Of Fire", Oh, Sleeper has stuck to the concept aspect, and they did a fantastic job. This album is in my eyes, or ears, pretty much perfect. My only real complaint is that the album is short, but all of their albums have been short. I would 100% recommend this album to anyone who has an interest in Christian Metal, or just metal in general. And if you don't like this genre, then just give this album a chance, these guys are not very "big time" and they still give it 110% every time. The album was released hard copy as of yesterday (September 27, 2011) so if you have not already, pick up a copy. Again, I apologize if I seemed as though I rambled on half the time but I just wanted to get every point I personally had across in this review. Thanks for reading, and enjoy.