OH, SLEEPER stands armed and ready for domination. Children of Fire, their third album for Solid State Records, is a career-defining mission statement further establishing them in the heavy music pantheon.
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5/5| Posted December 18, 2011
Oh, Sleeper's previous album Son of the Morning was a concept album that depicted a fictional battle between God and Satan. Children of Fire is a continuation of that concept as it revolves around the aftermath of said battle in which both God and Satan suddenly disappear. The album portrays a world that can now exist without laws and judgement. We see this horror from the point of view of two characters. A religious man who now questions his faith and his athiest daughter who also begins questioning her beliefs.
Oh, Sleeper have always had the knack for creating really intricate lyrics and this album is no exception to that. We get some truly brutal imagry as they describe this lawless world and use two real life incidents to further draw us into this world. The sound compliments the story. It's just as brutal and at some points very disturbing, (the track "The Family Ruin" is probably the most disturbingly impressive track I've heard in years,) but also at certain points in the story can be beautiful and anthmatic.
Children of Fire improves on everything. The concept is fantastic, the sound is equally fantastic and showcases some originality, and the overall message gives us a real warning as to what our world is eventually coming too. This is one of the best albums of the year.
WE ARE THE CHILDREN OF FIRE!| Posted September 08, 2011
Oh Sleeper's third album, Children of Fire, tells a chilling story about a world that believes God and Satan are dead. The main characters are a Christian father and an atheist daughter who are both questioning their beliefs. The music is just as heavy, technical, and epic if not more than Son of the Morning, the band's sophomore album.
The first track, "Endseekers" opens the album perfectly with blistering drums courtesy of new drummer Zac Mayfield, as well as technical riffs and melodies from Shane Blay. The chaos begins on "Shed Your Soul" when Micah Kinard ferociously belts out even more gutteral screams than ever before as he says, "I saw God die!" The next song, "The Marriage of Steel and Skin" is the father, believing God is dead, avenges his daughter's rape by brutally decapitating the rapist ("Cut until the head comes off"). The song will give you chills. "Hush Yael" shows some of the evil in the real world by talking about an Israeli family who is torn apart by terrorism. The father and older daughter are murdered, while the mother hides and covers the mouth of two year old Yael in an attempt to keep her quiet, suffocating her.
"The Conscience Speaks" is a brief acoustic song that seems to be the father's conscience, convicting him of killing ("You shed his blood in my name"). Next up is the intense "Dealers of Fame", which follows a verse-chorus-verse pattern that you will remember for a while. "Means to Believe" is another acoustic ballad about the girl who is questioning God and asking for proof of His existence. "In the Wake of Pigs", which has possibly the most memorable chorus on the album, God assures the characters that "You are not alone, in the eye of the darkest storm."
While short, "Claws of a God" is one of the more technical songs, as well as the biggest breakdown in my opinion. "The Family Ruin" is a haunting song about the daughter killing her father, with Kinard playing the role of her conscience ("It's ironic that you're contemplating murder while I'm educating you in mercy"). The next song, "Chewing the Stitch" has a catchy intro riff and is about the daughter finding God and forgiveness from murder in Jesus and feeling alive in Him. The epic closer title track, "Children of Fire" is a flat-out battle cry that makes you want to join the battle ("We are the children of fire, we are the lions/We stand when all else deserted, we were born to fight").
The only downfall to this album is the length of 36 minutes and songs below or around 3 minutes, leaving you wanting more. Fans will be glad they didn't compromise sound, rather beefed it up and refined it. The only conclusion I can come to about Oh Sleeper is they can only get better with each release. 9/10