Oracle – Into The Unknown

Rating: 2.5/5
Distributor/label: Naturmacht Productions
Distributor/label URL: https://www.naturmacht.com/
Released: 2017
Buy Album [URL]: https://oracleextrememetal.bandcamp.com/album/into-the-unknown
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/oraclemetalband/

Band line-up:

Ray Ozinga Bass
BG Watson Drums
Trey Ozinga Guitars
Jason Long Vocals

Tracklisting:

01. Carressed By The Hands Of Fate
02. The Liquid Answer
03. Into The Unknown
04. From Blue To Black
05. 1012
06. One By One
07. Drafted
08. Behind Closed Eyes
09. Why
10. A Breathless October
11. Becoming Nemesis
12. As The Worm Turns

Review:

Oracle are a band who want to be unique but end up failing in this regard. Their first album ‘Beyond Omega’ did have some great moments in it but there was just this now near generic style of the band which didn’t capture the imagination much. They have come back with their second full release in ‘Into The Unknown’ a twelve track bundle of semi-blah but semi-decent metal. Oracle seems to be a popular name in the metal world as are a lot of the styles that the band incorporates into their music. Again, there’s not all too much wrong here but there’s not an awful lot that stimulates the senses.

The opening track ‘Caressed By The Hands Of Fate’ serves as one of the best tracks on the album and serves as a good opening. With nice clean passages intermingled between some powerful blasts of rhythm and accented melody, the song also stands as the longest track of the album and does well to start things off. The best moments come in drips and drabs with songs like the title track providing some ultra potent riffery at a supersonic pace but sadly the decent parts aren’t capitalised on enough and things fall a little flat.

I think that the band’s assumed need to be progressive actually hampers the direction of a lot of the album’s content. The almost abrupt shifts aren’t as fluid or translatable to the preceding or proceeding actions of the songs. Again, there are many qualities and the band have again been able to utilize some high quality production to capture their sound, with some good use of synths and keyboards in songs like ‘1012’ and ‘Why’ to add atmospheric layers to the music. The drumming is pretty intense with no modesty involved when using blasts. The triggered double bass is pretty rapid to say the least and helps sell tracks like ‘Behind Closed Eyes’ which is another highlight of the album.

Again, one of my main detractions from this piece of music is its overuse of styles which have helped saturate the progressive death metal scene. ’One By One’ is a little too close to Gojira’s sound for my liking but it is a decent effort. It has all the driving notes and tapping parts that their French contemporaries use as key components in their discography and Oracle implement these elements with great attention to detail. But if you wish to stand out and be unique then should you to try something a bit different?

Overall not bad but not great and not too far removed from their first release. The quartet from Alabama have showed flashes of potential but there doesn’t appear to be any unique flavour to their music. An all too common problem nowadays. I am fairly certain that they would deliver great live performances as their music can be rather anthemic at times and some tracks have been designed with this in mind. So so with a little bit of yeehaw and some meh thrown in for good measure, Oracle have journeyed into the well known.

Review by:

PETE MUTANT

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