Scott Mosher is a very talented American composer and above all, a musician who handles the guitars, basses and keyboards as if he is a natural talent. It seems as if his parents gave them to him when his was lying in his cradle as a baby. I noticed this when he contacted me and sent the three albums he had made with his band Oceans Of Night. But before he formatted this group he already released five solo albums which contain music which is a mix of metal, progressive rock and ambient music. Also, on those releases he managed to create very enjoyable music that I heared on his website.
Oceans Of Night released The Shadowheart Mirror in 2009 and Domain in 2011-albums on which the metal side-in my opinion-was a little bit more to the forefront than the progressive rock side of the band. In a way you can describe the music displayed on those releases as progressive metal. But I will not go deeper into the content of those releases because this review is mainly focused on Oceans Of Night's latest album Midnight Rising which was released in 2014-an album on which he, like on all other releases, mainly was responsible for the instruments that you hear. This means playing on the keyboards, guitars and basses. His partner in crime in Oceans Of Night is lead singer Scott Oliva. However we must not forget drummer and percussionist Alan Smithee who is the third steady member in the band. For the recording of their third studio album more musicians were invited to bring more variety to the table. Therefore, you can hear Vivien Lalu doing some keyboard solos throughout the entire album. Moreover, Chris Rifkin was asked to play a guitar solo on The Burning Sky and Stephanie Warren to do vocals on Reach Me.
The whole hour of music on Midnight Rising is of a rather high level. The ten tracks are all very enjoyable and move this time towards the progressive rock side. Sure the metal connection is still evident, but less to the forefront as on their predecessors. This is of course good news to those who call themselves progheads. Most of all, the instrumental parts are a must to hear. Atmospheric openings and great interludes on the keyboards and furthermore- fast synthesizer solos, make sure this album can be labelled as progressive rock and recommended. Interestingly, when you hear the vocals, you can't deny there is a link to Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson. Well I guess that's not so strange when you do know that Scott Olivia sings in tribute bands that copy this band all the way. Another strong thing on this release is the strong craftsmanship of the musicians on their instruments throughout the entire album. The incredible keyboard and electric guitar parts are so cleverly done that you can only say hats off to that. Moreover, the drums are sounding very powerful and fit the music perfectly.
The progmetal that you hear on this release is most of all recommended to those who enjoy the music made by bands such as Threshold, Magnum or Dream Theater. Hopefully Scott Mosher will continue the musical direction which he started on this album on his next release because I certainly would love to hear more of this kind of strong music!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Robert James Pashman)
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