Oracles – Miserycorde
Label: Deadlight Entertainment
Release Date: July 1st, 2016
When hearing the term “supergroup”, I can’t help but find myself thinking of a bunch of old rocker guys creating a band that sounds subpar compared to everything else that they have ever done with their main projects (I’m looking at you Adrenaline Mob). I do know that there are some great supergroups out there as well, especially if you have the time to dig deeper into the rock and metal spectrums, but not many that make it out to the mainstream spotlight and live up to it. Well, until recently, when a new little project sprung out of the inbox and into my headphones.
Enter Oracles. Oracles is a supergroup consisting of members of Aborted (ALREADY INTERESTED), System Divide, Abigail Williams, and Dimlight. Right from the get go, I can already picture what kind of sound this project will have. Being familiar with three of the four listed, melodic death metal is a definite call.
Miserycorde is just that, a melodic death metal album that brings about a modern metal touch, which is heavily provided by Sanna Salou (ex-Dimlight) who sings in a clean and crisp approach. I strongly urge you to go check out this project if you’re interested in a dark/gothic metal sound. Sanna is only one half of the vocal presence, with Sven de Caluwé (Aborted, ex-System Divide) generating his ever familiar growls and snarls. Steve Miller (ex-System Divide, Loculus) and Mendel bij de Leij (Aborted, ex-System Divide) steer most of the melodic direction of the album with their guitar prowess. Andrei Aframov (ex-System Divide) and Ken Bedene (Aborted, ex-System Divide, ex-Abigail Williams) ground the rest of the venture with bass and drums respectively. There is so much experience and talent present that it’s surprising the album doesn’t explode when you first start spinning it.
With introductions out of the way, Miserycorde starts off with what seems like the traditional album opener. “An Adagio For The Callous” slowly builds up, with the accompaniment of Sanna’s angelic vocals, and suddenly erupts with heavy hitting guitar riffs and haunting backing vocals and symphonic instrumentation. This leads into “The Tribulation Of Man”, which picks up the pace and also showcases Per Nilsson (Scar Symmetry) on guitar, and noticeably so as the guitar solo kicks in to knock you on your ass.
Miserycorde has a few more guests present throughout, including Jeff Loomis (Nevermore, Arch Enemy) and Ryan Knight (ex-Black Dahlia Murder), each bestowing their gifts with aplomb and grandeur.
Interestingly enough, Oracles decided to cover a Marilyn Manson song, “Beautiful People”, and I honestly think it came out great. The band puts their own sound on an already catchy tune and manages to make it heavy too.
Miserycorde contains many positive moments with very few drawbacks. The only thing I could possibly complain about is some of the pacing and structure. A lot of the material here feels like it has been used before in previous projects (mostly in regards to System Divide) and feels somewhat repetitive when listening to the record in one go. One can find little nuances and details with multiple listens, which redeems the project a little in the long run. It really depends on the listener and their approach.
The amount of detail put into Miserycorde is commendable, especially when expanded by the mixing and mastering of Jacob Hansen (Epica, Volbeat). His influence is very apparent here. This debut is a solid foundation for Oracles and hopefully they are able to construct an amazing follow-up. This is a must have for fans of the associated acts, as well as fans of the heavier side of melodic death metal.