Awake, Oh Sleeper

Oh, Sleeper came out with a brand new album this past Tuesday. They are a homegrown Texas band straight out of Fort Worth and I have been a fan of them since before their first album was ever released. As a preface, I am all for everyone who reads this to go out and buy their music and become huge fans, but they are a very heavy rock band with lots and screaming. So be warned. Their first album was called “When I Am God” and it was phenomenal. However, this new one is on a whole new level and I wanted to write this entry for two reasons:

1) To plug Oh, Sleeper

2) To try and explain why I listen to the music that I do because most people don’t understand my reasoning

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The picture above is a shot of the cover of the album which is called “Son of the Morning.” The album itself is a story led journey through a spiritual war. The opening song is the title track and it is a battle cry from Satan towards the heavens in which he verbally jaunts God for wasting his grace on the cowards of the world who will belong to him in the end anyway. Amid the cries, God responds saying:

If you could see like me you’d see you haven’t won anything
If you could see like me you’d see it’s by my grace you’re breathing

As the album progresses into the second track and forward, it plunges into the troublesome road of humanity after conversion. The electric feeling of realizing your immortality in God’s hands, misguided hopes we place in the idolized leaders of the world, the hopelessness we find in the works of our hands…it climbs up the hill and plunges into the valley. It’s a desperate journey of humanity leaning on its own abilities only to find that they cannot sustain unless they are surrendered to the Lord. However, the album reaches its conclusion with a song called, “The Finisher.” This entire song is devoted to being a response from God to Satan’s claims in “Son of the Morning.” I think the lyrics are too complete to simply allude so here they are to read:

THE FINISHER
Do you mean to challenge me?
Because your speech is threatening to the writer of your history,
Through a future perverted by envy.
Your whisper may sway the weak, but when I speak it roars the sea.
Your challenge has been met, because with a breath I could snap your neck.
This won’t be like the first time you tried,
Because my patience and mercy for you has run dry.
You’ve watered among my bride and started seeds to feed your throning flight.
I will sing to the world your storm is capturing
And the angles will join me…
We will sing to a world reborn from suffering.
But mark my words,
Because if that tree keeps them from seeing me
I will burn off your limbs and you will never shade again.
You will bow at my feet or I’ll rip out your knees
And make of your face all the carnage you crave.
I am the Finisher and I am Forever.
I will sing to the world your storm is capturing
And the angels will join me…
We will sing to a world reborn from suffering.
From the armories the angels sing. You will see them end this suffering.
From the armories the angels sing. You will fear them when they lift their wings.
They will sing to a world reborn.
They will sing as I cut off your horns.
I’ll cut off your horns.

The album begins with a torrent of anger from Satan himself, plunges through the chaos of the human struggle, and ends with God standing tall and holding all of creation, both the heavens and the earth, in His hand with control and authority. The last lines are so powerful to me. As Christians, we are a part of a spiritual war that is being waged and to know that in the end, despite all of Satan’s deception and all of his lies…knowing that he will have his horns cut off is a deeply encouraging thought for me. Because it is not up to us. Our duty is to follow God’s plan for us and to let Him do the rest. These final lines are also indicative of the album cover. If your powers of observation serve you well, you may have noticed that the cover art resembles a portion of an inverted pentagram. It has many religious connections in its upright position from Mormonism to Judaism to Christians originally using this symbol as a representation of the five wounds of Christ in his crucifixion. But pagan cults and satanic sects have since flipped the symbol in order to convert it into something that would represent a rebellion to authority and the opposite of God – Satan.

Pentagram_with_one_point_down_(de_Guaita)This is an image of a satanic pentagram. As you can see, inside the triangles is a picture of a goat which is often used as an animalistic representation of the devil. Oh, Sleeper chose to use the particular image that you see on their album cover in order to illustrate a new symbol of hope that echoes the final lines of their album – Satan with his horns cut off. The top two triangles, which represent the horns are absent. I love this idea because it also illustrates something else – Satan is not the opposite of God. He is the enemy, but not the opposite. Because to be the opposite of God, you have to equal God. But when you are a part of His creation, you are at the mercy of His hands. For all of his rebellion and defiance and treachery, Satan will not win. Because God will sing to the world his storm is capturing. He will break through the shade of his deception. And He will cut off his horns.

I am astounded by this album. It will not be appealing to everyone’s ears, but that is what I love so much about music. Now I will freely admit that I consider myself somewhat of a music snob. I have listened to a lot of music in my nearly twenty-one years and I have found nothing that speaks to me quite as deeply as the artists some would term, for a lack of a better title, “Christian rock.” There is nothing for me in rap, pop, country or whatever else is out there right now. The bands that truly captivate me, and there are only a handful, belong to this genre. Oh, Sleeper is one of these bands. Everything fits with them. The vocals, the melody, the lyrics, the beat – it all becomes a cohesive movement that rings so true in my heart. But it is the honesty which I prize above all. I am very critical of most mainstream rock bands because they are in it for the fame, the fortune, and the girls. They exploit rebellion, selfishness, pride, anger, and lust for their own momentary pleasure and they push further and deeper to gain that new high. Oh, Sleeper does not do that and this new album affirms this. They are living on mission proclaiming the finished work of Christ and the victory of the Lord over everything. Their music dives deeply into the lessons of the Gospel and they offer that to all who are willing to hear. Sure, they scream and fans mosh and slam dance (Youtube it) at their shows. But those fans also hear the Gospel preached boldly (and loudly) through an amazing use of the art of music.

I get so turned off by mainstream music because it has become so incredibly shallow. Nobody considers the idea of a conceptual album from beginning to end anymore. It’s all about that one hit. That one moment that will land you a big tour that will set you atop the industry for your moment of fame before you fade into the forgotten. Forget all of that. Give me something with depth. Give me something with meaning. Give me something with hope.

Son of the Morning by Oh, Sleeper: Check it out here.

Our bodies yearn to live life endlessly, so now we rise. We rise in mutiny.
We make our stand here between the angels and animals.
We fear nothing here, where we can beat any feat set to keep us crawling.
………
So grip your fist and swing until your knuckles bleed.
If you are the new breed scream, “I am immortal!”
We can’t sit quietly because there’s more to life than we see.
So if you are the new breed scream, “I am immortal in You!”

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3 thoughts on “Awake, Oh Sleeper”

  1. Hey CC! Love the blog! Even though I’m not a big fan of “Christian Rock” (can’t understand the words while listening, but love them after reading them!), I have been known to attend more than my fare share of events. I have been amazed at the dedication that many of these bands have, not only to thier crft, but to thier mission as well. These young men and women may not look like “the boy next door”, but thier fire for Jesus is amazing. May we all have the heart of a martyr!

    In His Shadow,
    Larry (aka “Mr. Rose”)

  2. Yeah I’m a big follower of Jesus, and a real fan of Oh Sleeper! Fabulous music, and the lyrics cut right to the heart of the compromise that abounds in this world that Satan seeks to claim as his. Nice blog…God bless you!
    (oh and also, the symbol of the broken horns on their album has also become a lamb…the ultimate symbol of Christ’s sacrifice and victory!)

  3. Wow, this is a great explanation of the band and their album. I was listening to Oh, Sleeper, and I heard that they were Christian because they’re signed to Solid State Records, but their album cover resembled a pentagram and that seemed a bit suspicious. So I googled it and this came up. I’m glad I read it, I will definitely listen to the band more now lol.

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