Review by Tomek on September 14, 2014.
Last album of Oceans Of Night kept me under its spell for a long time and once I stopped listening to it I felt like I was going through some kind of withdrawal. Domain was one of those albums that go right to your head and stay there for a while. In my case it was a long while and then some. And yet when Scott Mosher contacted me about possible review of his newest album Midnight Rising and knowing what it most likely would do to me, I grinned like a drunk getting a free-drinks pass to a local bar.
I had this album spinning in my player for some time now and I think it’s safe to say that for someone that knows and likes Oceans Of Night their newest album might to be like a wet dream, but for me it falls short of the mark. Now, before you decide to start looking for a rope to make a comfy noose for me let me explain myself. I consider Midnight Rising to be a good album. It’s Oceans Of Night album and if you look for music that only they can create - you’ll find it on here. There is plenty of everything that we know and love; there are plenty of subtle keyboards, spacious guitars, beautiful vocals, dynamic drums, screaming solos and yet I believe there is something missing on it. I've listened to the album numerous times and I tried it with all kinds of settings and moods, so my opinion is based on many hours of listening to it and it just isn't what I expected and even though I like it, to some point I feel underwhelmed. Me expecting something could very well be one of the problems here (expecting something from a band rarely works out) but the new album for me is missing the vibe, the energy and the atmosphere that Domain had. It feels like this are the ideas that were put on the back burner during the previous session and since they were not good enough they didn't end up on the album. After reworking some things and adjusting some others we have new album but it is with b-sides material. Just like on the previous release Scott composed all music, Scott Oliva took care of vocals and Alan Smithee was the guy that hits things with sticks, so all creators are the same but this material doesn't feel new and it doesn’t sound fresh. It feels dated and sounds much less interesting than Domain was. There are a couple of guest appearances on the album to spice things up but only the vocals of Stephanie Warren stand out enough to be remembered. Extra keys and a guitar solo disappear somewhere in the mix.
There is plenty of good stuff going on here so it is not all that bad and I probably shouldn't compare it to any previous material anyway, but after hearing Domain how can I not? I feel Oceans Of Night needs to step up their game and come up with some butt kicking material for the next release. I want to suggest more guitars and more diversity in a drum department. It’s something that I've waited for and it’s something that I hope Scott will address on let’s say next album maybe - if he decides to do another.