Review Summary: Solid melodic heavy metal that is as underground as death.
Kill will literally *** his pants. Oracle is basically classified as a melodic heavy metal band who only released one LP in 1989 before they split up. Usually the term “melodic” is more commonly heard with death metal bands where most of the time you’ll find a bunch cheese and generic boringness. The “melodic” tag here is just the opposite. Oracle are awesome composers who use a fair amount of melody in their music. Don’t think Iron Maiden’s style, think more of a Fates Warning’s style coupled with Randy Rhoads and Tony Iommi licks. There’s even a nice touch of Dio in this as well but it’s really important to note that you may catch some fresh licks here you may have never heard before as well as some that are completely familiar. Regardless of differences and similarities Oracle still brings a fresh approach to their sound.
This 4 piece coalition from the UK covers a fair amount of ground with their self titled LP. We have Def Leppard rock love songs with ripping solos in “Fool For Your Love”. “Murder in the Streets” uses a riff very similar to Dio’s “We Rock” hit. The closer “Killer Queen” has Maiden feel to it with soaring vocals. We even have a little cheese metal with the opening tracks lyrics of “Don’t stop it, keep on movin’, we gotta let it out”. This intro track is fun, happy felt song that reeks of cheese but the riffs and vocals are honest and heartfelt. The second track “Goodtimes” gets Oracle
going a little better with stronger compositions and progressive flow. Guitarist Peter Montegriffo can be heard ripping some serious riffs that are both catchy and heartfelt at the same time. He definitely understands the need to get people off their seats and groove. One of Peter’s best moments can be found on “Never Want to Cry” where he can be heard disseminating one of the emotional solos I’ve ever heard. This same track shows his abilities over dynamics with his contrasting distorted and clean passages. This and “Dreaming” are my favorite tracks off Oracle
Vocalist Allan Alman is the heart and soul of Oracle. His style can liken to one that is a mixture of clean and raspy. Some of his raspier techniques sound like Danzig and his cleans are all Ray Adler. For someone who can show rasp and still utilize a range that can hit any old school Ray Adler note is just amazing. Allan prefers to linger within the riffs at mid range, then, as the riff is building he likes to match the rising feel with perfect falsettos. He’s got complete control over his vibrato and knows how to hold his notes so they ring throughout the riffs. Touching on lyrical themes of dreams, death, and life situations, Allan puts his heart and soul into his words and phrasings because it’s clear he’s passionate about what he’s talking about. Oracle really succeeds with a tight knit group where each person put forth their best with this effort.
isn’t a perfect release. It has its flaws mainly in the area of parts that are sometimes underwhelming and expected. The production could have been stronger because I find myself raising the volume to 100% potential and still wanting it to be louder, but clearly Oracle had a limited budget at the time since this was their first effort. It’s a shame they had to split as they could have created a solid discography that had potential to hold up to the genres strongest bands. With melodic undertones at every corner, this heavy metal makes for a pleasant listen. This is one of the most underground/overlooked bands I have come across in a while. I’m not sure why that’s the case since the albums flow is solid and anyone’s dad would dig hard. If you’re into heavy metal that is both melodic and at times progressive, Oracle’s self titled release should be sure to please.