Press - Reviews

PROGRESSIVE ROCK BRAZIL (2014)

Oceans of Night are back to PR&PM! Oceans of Night is a Progressive Metal project led by New Yorker independent musician and multi-instrumentalist Scott Mosher and singer Scott Oliva (“Wind Wraith”, “Iron Maiden” tribute band “Live After Death”, “The Nightmare Stage”). Mosher had already released 4 solo albums before initiating the Oceans of Night project in 2009, guided by a new musical vision. Based on his tastes and experiences, Mosher created a style called “Ambient Progressive Metal” – one that combines the energy and aggressiveness of Prog-Metal with the softness of Electronic, Ambient, and New Age music, creating a deep sonic contrast. The music was also supplemented with elements of Space Rock, Symphonic Prog, Classic Rock, Hard Rock and Melodic Metal, combining influences and sonorities of diverse bands such as: “Fates Warning” (“Ray Alder” era), “Queensreÿch” (post “Operation Mindcrime”), early “Dream Theater“, “Vicious Rumors”, “Redemption”, “OSI”, “Ayreon”, “Star One”, “Evergrey”, “Porcupine Tree”, “Sieges Even”, “Everon”, “Jupiter Society”, “Iron Maiden”, “Rush”, “Journey”, “Asia”, “Tangerine Dream”, “Eloy”, “Kitaro”, “Alan Parsons“, “Mike Oldfield”, “Jean Michel Jarre”, “U2”, “Depeche Mode”, “Steve Vai”, “Tony MacAlpine”, and “Greg Howe”.

Oceans of Night released two independent albums: “The Shadowheart Mirror” (2009) and “Domain” (2011), both reviewed at PR&PM in 2009 and 2012, respectively. Oceans of Night have just released their third independent album: “Midnight Rising” (2014, Allaroundniceguy Music). Once again mixed & mastered by Joey Vera (“Armored Saint”, “Fates Warning”, “Engine”), the new CD features Scott Mosher (guitar, bass, keyboards), Scott Oliva (vocals), Alan Smithee (drums), and guest appearances by keyboardist Vivien Lalu (“Lalu”, “Shadrane”, “Hubi Meisel”), guitarist Chris Rifkin (“EF5/F5”, “Eye of the Storm”), and singer Stephanie Warren. “Midnight Rising” contains 10 tracks (9 + 1 bonus). A number of them are straightforward Rock & Metal songs that contain fewer elements of Progressive or Electronic music. “The Haunted Mind” (4:50) is an impacting Prog-Metal that opens the album, being decorated with amazing solos of guitar and synths, recalling “Queensrÿche” and “Redemption”. “Crashing Down” (3:48) is an 80’s Metal song guided by galloping instrumentation and aggressive vocals, formatted as “Armored Saint” and “Judas Priest”. And “Is This Who We Are” (3:45) swings on a Melodic Rock pace that resembles “Journey”, “Saga”, and “Asia”, featuring a tuneful guitar solo. But “Midnight Rising” also represents the continuation of the Ambient Metal style defined on Oceans of Night’s previous albums, and this statement is clearly confirmed on tracks “Midnight Rising” (6:22), “The Burning Sky” (8:59), and “Gone Forever” (10:02). All these songs are highlighted by the confrontation of a powerful and aggressive Prog-Metal attitude against a series of Progressive, Ambient, & Electronic moments. “Midnight …” balances Ambient sounds and cosmic amplitudes (like “Tangerine Dream”, “Michel Jarre”, “Star One”) with Classic Hard Rock drives and malignant vocals (like “Dio”, “Halford”) strategically interspersed with soaring Progressive moments, abundant guitars and beautiful synths; “The Burning Sky” mixes elements of Melodic Rock and Progressive Rock with sensitive vocal tunes (recalling “Asia”, “Iron Maiden”, “Sieges Even”, “Redemption”), having a climax on the final instrumental sequence, dominated by shredding guitars and synths in combat, changing to Ambient style in the last minutes before being smothered by an avalanche of heavy riffs; and “Gone Forever” (10:02) brings moments of Synth-Pop, Space Rock, Art-Rock, Progressive Rock, and Electronic Music, pervaded by melancholic moods that alternate with solid Hard Rock & Metal instrumentation, going from “Depeche Mode” and “Parsons” to “Journey” and “Oldfield”, also bringing the customary epic guitar solo. Yet, “Wherever You Are” (7:54) leans to the Neo-Prog style, combines emotional vocals, interlocked solos of soaring guitar and waving synths, and will amaze fans of “RPWL”, “Marillion”, “Rush”, and “Sieges Even”.

The album still brings two amazing instrumental tracks: “Critical Mass/The Breathless Sleep” (4:58) is a typical Ambient Prog-Metal piece conveyed on tense guitar riffs, thunderous drumming, and dramatic arrangements that dissolve into electronic soundscapes like “Tangerine Dream”; while “A World Born of Fire” (5:25) is an odd-metric Prog-Metal that recalls “Dream Theater” and “Symphony X”, differing only on the Hard-Rock twist of the guitar solos, and a change for brief Electronic-Ambient modes that are pinpointed by powerful guitar chords and slicing synths that keep on soloing. The album ends with the bonus track “Reach Me” (3:24) - a Neo-Prog ballad driven by Stephanie Warren’s sweet voice. Oceans of Night remain dedicated to exploring the potential of their Ambient Progressive Metal style, as shown on this great third album, which is highly recommended to Prog-Metal fans who like “Fates Warning”, “Queensreÿch”, “Redemption”, “OSI”, “Sieges Even”, “Ayreon”, “Star One”, “Rush”, “Journey”, “Asia”, “RPWL”, but also like “Alan Parsons”, “Mike Oldfield”, and “Tangerine Dream”. Band members and collaborators involved in Oceans of Night are: Scott Mosher - Guitars, Bass, Keyboards and Programming; Scott Oliva – Lead and Harmony Vocals; Alan Smithee – Drums, Percussion. Special Guests: Vivien Lalu - Surgically-placed keyboard solos; Chris Rifkin - Strategically-placed guitar solos; Stephanie Warren - Conveniently-placed vocals. Guitar, Bass & Keyboards recorded by Scott Mosher at Nice Guy Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Vocals recorded by Scott Oliva at Vice Studios, Farmingville, NY; Drums recorded by Alan Smithee in Los Angeles, CA; Stephanie’s vocals recorded by Jim Rothis in Hollywood, CA. Mixed & Mastered by Joey Vera at The Bridge, Woodland Hills, CA... (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)

 




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