Oracles - Miserycorde
release : 01/07/2016
lengh: 45 minutes
rating: 9,5 / 10
Facebook – the new way to create bands. And it’s not even a bad way as you can see with Oracles, a new band from Belgium with members of Aborted, Dimlight and System Divide.
Oracles was founded in 2014 by Sven De Caluwé from Aborted and he was searching for another vocalist, especially a female. Through common friends on Facebook he came together with Sanna Salou who went separate ways with her previous band Dimlight. This is how everything started.
Now, two years later Oracles are up to release their first full album “Miserycorde” which includes some special guest appearances by famous musicians like Jeff Loomis, well known from Arch Enemy; Ryan Knight, who is an Ex-member of Black Dahlia Murder; or Per Nilsson of Scar Symmetry.
Fans of Marilyn Manson should also be happy with the record because it includes a cover of “The Beautiful People”, which in my opinion is way better than the original version.
After the first listen you will notice that there are two singers: One is a male, using screams and grunts, and the other one is a female using her clear symphonic voice. You could compare that style to The Agonist or Lacuna Coil only by the fact that there are clear and scream vocals in it.
If I had to put them in one genre I would classify them as “Beauty-and-the-Beast-Metal” because this project is too unique to compare it to something existent and you can’t pigeonhole it.
Not only the music on a record is important but also the cover and artwork of the album. The artwork shows a person covered in bandages with a crown of thorns on her head who seems to be seriously injured. The artwork was done by Colin Marks from Rain Song Design. The letters of the Band and Album name are a mix between greek letters like the Ω in Oracles and other special signs.
Now let me speak about the most important stuff, the music.
Miserycorde starts with an 1:38 minute intro with the name “An Adagio for The Callous” in which
you can hear Sanna Salou in two different voices, starting with a whispering which reminds me of a horror movie. The second one suggests she is calling
someone from another dimension who is answering her at the end of the song in terms of Sven’s screaming voice.
If you are up to listen to Miserycorde in your car you should beware of the second song “The Tribulation of Man” feat. Scar Symmetry’s Per Nilsson. Put the volume down because it starts with really hardcore screams and loud drums which could shock you if you aren’t prepared. We want you to enjoy music and not to end up in hospital. Soon, after the first tunes of Sven’s screaming, you hear Sanna’s soft, calming voice.
With “Catabolic (I am)”, the heaviness goes on and is increased by a bitchy guitar riff in the middle of the song. Sven’s grunts and Sanna’s voice fit perfectly together in this song because they overlap which makes the sound perfect.
The song “Quandaries Obsolete” was the second sneak peek Oracles gave their fans. In the
beginning it reminds me of a soundtrack and giant gear-wheels and robots came to my mind instantly. Because of the commitment of Ryan Knight at the guitar you hear the old Black Dahlia Murder
which gives you the feeling you listen to very intensive death metal spiced with a pinch of melody of Sanna’s voice.
The riffs are fast but something similar to the other songs on the album, the fact that they are played by a guest guitarist makes them special.
The first release of Miserycorde is their first single named “Scorn”. They choose the song to introduce Oracles smoothly to the crowd and get very good responses so far. It represents what Oracles is about and what we have to expect in the future. You can hear all elements which the band has used so far in this song - 3:48 minutes pure ORACLES sound. As the name says it’s a very aggressive song which you can hear at the screaming parts. The elsewhere comforting female voice is a bit arrogant here. If I hear the text line “I am the light”, which she sings in the refrain, that’s what I expect from a Greek goddess.
Another guest appearance which is hard to miss because you hear this famous guitar riffs instantly in the first tunes of “Body of Ineptitude” is no one else than the talented Jeff Loomis of Arch Enemy and Nevermore. Of course they include unique guitar riffs you don’t expect from a new band. Salou’s voice sounds distorted and electronic in some parts but the screams remind of the old Aborted songs. The highlight is the long guitar solo in the end which shows Loomis skills perfectly. You feel like the guitar sings because in “Body of Ineptitude” they totally point the guitar out.
For fans of Lacuna Coil, the next song will be a delicacy. After a long instrumental intro which contains string instruments for the very first time on this record, Sanna starts with clear singing. Furthermore, it’s the only song without screams and growls. So Ms. Salou can finally prove she actually can sing. Accompanied by guitars and drums the song is totally special and for all the female fronted metal fans out there a real masterpiece. If you like Lacuna Coil’s new album you will love “Remnants Echo”. Personally it’s my favorite song even though I prefer heavy vocals, but I’m a huge fan of Sanna since I know she exists in the metal world.
Going on with “A Canvas of Me” where Sven got his microphone back, his screams embody a good contrast to Sanna and this contrast would be able to reach the highest riffs of Sepultura at their best times back in the days. Like the name of the song suggests, both singers try to present themselves as much as they can. Sven uses his aggressive voice and Sanna tries to convince the listener with a soft voice to draw the most attention to herself. It’s kind of a battle between both pepped up by the other instruments.
“S(k)in” isn’t only the longest track on the album, it’s also the second one which was released by the end of May this year to provide an insight into the CD. It’s a very energetic and progressive song which sounds very messy in some parts though.
An own interpretation of Marilyn Manson’s cover “The beautiful People” is a
big surprise. You can call it a special duet because you have Sanna & Sven singing a song together which normally doesn’t include a female voice. In general, it is considerably heavier and
harder than the original.
If you don’t know the song you won’t notice it’s a cover because they really found the best way to reinterpret a well-known song.
To complete Miserycorde they have chosen “We, the Indifferent”. The massive beginning makes you expect a male dominated screaming song but in fact it starts very gentle with an angelic but electronic distorted voice of the lady. After almost one and a half minute Sven shows that he’s back with a chaotic screaming part. It sounds like she wants to tell him to leave again but he stands there even if you could sometimes think that she has won the battle between them. It’s like the calm before the storm. In fact, the song is dominated by her because this time she has the bigger singing and Sven sounds more like he is in the background.
To sum up the album: You get 45
minutes’ pure awesomeness. It’s a perfect mix between death metal and melodic parts. Both singers fit perfectly together and the instrumental parts make the album whole. A new star on the metal
heaven is born and I predict a very good future for Oracles. Whatever they will touch, it will be at least as good as Miserycorde.