Album Review :
Oh, Sleeper - When I Am God

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Artist: Oh, Sleeper
Album: When I Am God
Label: Solid State Records
Release Date: October 23, 2007
Review by: Eric Pettersson

Tracklist:
1. Vices like Vipers
2. I Will Welcome the Reaping
3. We Are the Archers
4. Charlatan’s Host
5. The Siren’s Song
6. The Color Theft
7. To Flagship
8. His Name Was Bishop
9. Building the Nations
10. Revelations in the Calm
11. The End of a Dark Campaign

Finally. A word that can be used in many ways to describe the release of this album. I say finally because everyone knew it was coming, this Solid State debut from the metalcore band featuring ex-members from Terminal, As Cities Burn, and Between the Buried and Me. But on an even deeper level, I say finally because this record is what the metalcore genre needed. Combining the best elements of the genre, going above and beyond, When I Am God perfectly breaks the monotony of the scene, and emerges as one of the greatest debuts on Solid State Records in years.

My first impression of this record is that it is melodic, but as I begin to listen a few more times, I realize that was a strange first impression, because this thing is brutal from start to finish. Fans of Norma Jean will be all over this release, soaking in each track with new ferocity. But it’s not just heavy for the sake of being heavy. In a fashion similar to Underoath’s Define the Great Line, the chaotic heaviness does somehow maintain a melodic feeling. The melody finds its peak in a song called “The Color Theft,” which could just as easily be a b-side from As Cities Burn’s Come Now Sleep. Overall, the delicate combination of melody and brutality create a sound that can only be described as urgent. Yet urgency only really matters if one has a message worthy of that urgency. And Oh, Sleeper most certainly does. Lyrical themes center around the struggle to put God first and the spiritual battle against the forces of the World. “Charlatan’s Host” is an extremely powerful and well-written song about God’s forgiveness and mercy. Even if you have no interest in Oh, Sleeper, go read the lyrics to this song. The portrayal of God’s love and the relatability to Micah’s lyrics just might make you cry. “Vices like Vipers” begs for God to remove the sin of lust and admits to how terrible the Church is when it tries to lead itself without God. A message that needs to be urgently heard, fitting with an urgent and powerful sound.

I can be almost completely sure that this band will not share Terminal’s fate. Perhaps God broke up Terminal so that Oh, Sleeper could form with three of their former members. I wouldn’t put it past Him, all things considered. The sound is incredible and the lyrics are just as good. While Solid State Records may have received criticism for a lot of their recent signings, this is one band whose worth cannot be argued. Solid State made a fantastic choice by picking them up.

9/10

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