Oh, Sleeper - When I Am God (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Oh, Sleeper

When I Am God (2007)

Solid State

On Oh, Sleeper's debut, When I Am God, the band carry a sound that's at once both completely competent and familiar. Frankly, this is their greatest strength and weakness.

Solid State Records has been churning out this type of super melodic, spiritual metalcore sound for years now, with some of the bands even earning a bit of commercial success or cult following. However, after so many releases it's really hard to put any new spins on it, and Oh, Sleeper mostly fail to do such.

Oh, Sleeper have a promising alumni on hand: Three-fifths of the now-defunct Terminal (one of whom spent time in As Cities Burn and Sherwood) and an ex-Between the Buried and Me guitarist are present here. However, they stylistically fit all too well within their label's roster. One listen to Underoath's Define the Great Line and As Cities Burn's Son, I Loved You at Your Darkest and you've basically heard everything that goes on during When I Am God's course, even though vocalist Micah Kinard admittedly slides between cleaner and gravelly yells fairly well, if not in a completely similar fashion to Spencer Chamberlain.

While guitarist Shane Blay (the ex-BTBAM guy) sometimes offers some impressive, noodly riffs (notably, opener "Vices Like Vipers"), When I Am God just often treads the same waters we've all previously rafted. There's a cohesive structure to things, a nice attempt at a dark dynamic, good stop-starts and a particular atmosphere to the album, but that can't completely rescue it. Kinard at least explores some interesting ideas lyrically, namely a consistent recommendation to seek help from others when needed, and not necessarily in counseling.

When I Am God, while aurally pleasant and ably played, is simply way too "been there, done that."

Vices Like Vipers
I Will Welcome the Reaping
Charlatan's Host
The Siren's Song