Ruben : Publishing an album under your own, personal, management. Is that a positive thing to do? Does the result thrive without the help of an external producer? I've been asking these questions quite a lot whenever there is an independent release to review. Until now I've had quite a lot of these albums and they made me look positively at the independence of a band. And then came Oceans Of Night with their new album 'Midnight Rising'. My view on the independent management? Time to adjust that again.
Oceans Of Night is a band that emerged from the solo albums of guitarist Scott Mosher. If you have a name like that, Metal has to be your type of music. Besides making music Scott Mosher is a graphic designer and a photographer. He clearly never sits still. That's probably the reason he is also the producer of the release. And that's the biggest problem of this new album right there. Mr. Mosher thinks very highly of himself. He plays the guitars, the keyboards and the bass on the album, which is impressive. Mister also calls himself a “Musical Genius”. If someone with a mindset like that takes on the production of the album, it's bound to have a lack of balance in the final production. That's the exact case here, actually. The vocals are, without any shame, turned down to the background if a nice riff comes on or a bit of awesome keyboard is presented. It's a clear sign that the vocals aren't highly regarded.
The vocals are not the best in the world either, to be honest. The reverberant voice of Scott Oliva even gets out of tune here and there. It just doesn't sound right at times. Most songs have a lot of long lasting tones that do not work. Vocally the last song on the album 'Reach Me', with a female singer, is the best. Of course there is an instrumental song on the album 'A World Born Of Fire', to show the skills of Mr. Mosher. Unfortunately he won't set any high standards for other musicians. Especially when compared to co-guitarists like Marty Friedmann or Joe Satriani.
I won't say the music is really bad, it's all right. We've heard it all before, that's the biggest problem. We know most riffs and solo's nowadays. Add the other criticism about the production and the disappointing vocals and you have yourself a mediocre album. Scott Mosher clearly seems to be a busy person, that part is clear, but maybe an external producer could have been an important factor on this new release. Which may result in a much more stable record and a better result than they created now.