OCEANS OF SLUMBER – “The Banished Heart” (2018)

Written by Jadranka Balaš

“The Banished Heart”
Progressive Metal
Century Media (2018)

“The Banished Heart” is a beautifully painful album able to tear you to pieces with powerful emotions and leave you bleeding with a smile on your lips.

I came across OCEANS OF SLUMBER a few years ago, just before the release of their second album “Winter”. One time hearing only one song was enough to mark them in large red letters on my list of bands to pay attention to. I couldn’t wait for the new album among other things and to write few lines about it hoping that somebody, sometimes, somewhere actually will listen to what this fantastic band has to say. Somewhere in the middle of this listening and writing I unconditionally fell in love with the band because they are all that I expect from music. They are full of passion, emotion, dedication, and love for what they do. And you can feel that. It’s impossible not to be touched by it. “Winter” came and passed and I did not stop listening to it. And of course, it was on the list of best albums in 2016. And not just on my list. And then “The Banished Heart” arrived.

“The Banished Heart” is a beautifully painful album, and the truth is that you will need few listening to get to grasp and embrace its gloomy melancholy and get up with the torn emotions that it evokes. Or even recognize in them. It came to me at the right moment. A heartbroken mix of dark themes, progressive, melodic, doom and even death elements and of course incredible vocals. When Cammie sings blood in your veins turns into ice, time stops and there is only a voice that you blindly follow and you do not ask where it will take you. Whether it taps into those darkest depths of your soul or the brighter ones, it depends on you, it is able to tear you to pieces with such powerful emotions and leave you bleeding with a smile on your lips.

The album opens with “The Decay of Disregard” which sets a dark, melancholy mood that just blazes as the album moves. Cammie is the centerpiece of this song as well as the entire album. In whatever way she wants to take you, she will do it and with such a natural ease that you will not even try to resist. The beauty of progressive music lies in endless possibilities, playing with genres, but not so rarely happens that bands lose in it. The philosophy that less is sometimes more Oceans Of Slumber understood in the right way, especially in the beautiful title track and song that closes the album “Wayfaring Stranger” where the instrumentality is reduced to a minimum. Piano, synths and enchanting vocals are more than enough to show true emotions.

Oceans Of Slumber have somehow managed to turn personal tragedies in a beautiful musical odyssey that can’t leave you indifferent. Because that is what we people do, that is how we defend ourselves. Some defeats are turned into notes, we who do not know how to that turn them into words in which we leave parts of ourselves hoping that maybe someone finds them and put them together. Maybe to just ease our burden. And perhaps in the hope that someone will recognize them. A complete stranger or that special one, in the end, is less important. It’s important that we win. And “The Banished Heart” and Oceans Of Slumber are without a doubt the winners.

Written by Jadranka Balaš

Track list:

01. The Decay of Disregard
02. Fleeting Vigilance
03. At Dawn
04. The Banished Heart
05. The Watcher
06. Etiolation
07. A Path to Broken Stars
08. Howl of the Rougarou
09. Her in the Distance
10. No Color, No Light
11. Wayfaring Stranger


“The Banished Heart” is a beautifully painful album able to tear you to pieces with powerful emotions and leave you bleeding with a smile on your lips.