ALBUM REVIEW: Miserycorde – Oracles

These days it is fairly common that band members are usually associated with a degree of musical projects. Sven De Caluwé, Mendel Bij de Leij and Ken Bedene of ABORTED have been working hard this year, already we have seen releases of their latest EP, Termination Redux, and their ninth studio record, Retrogore. Now, their attention has switched to a new musical endeavour. Teaming up with Sanna Salou (ex-DIMLIGHT), Steve Miller and Andrei Aframov (ex-SYSTEM DIVIDE), a new project has emerged. Enter Oracles, a death metal supergroup if you will whose first offering, Miserycorde, aim to inject a fresh angle to the death metal formula.

The record opens with An Adagio for the Callous, an introductory track that eases the listener into the atmosphere ORACLES are building to create. Quiet atmospheric elements build up before exploding into life with Sanna Salou‘s clean orchestral vocal deliveries. It’s epic and sets the record off at an explosive pace. From there, things go into overdrive. The Tribulation of Man is destructive in it’s delivery with the vocal shrieks of Sven De Caluwé laced with venom and fury, backed with intricate riffwork and blistering drumming. In ways, it sounds like trademark ABORTED however, the cutting edge to the track is Salou‘s vocals which add that extra level of depth. It’s hugely captivating and will capture your attention through a soaring chorus backed with emphatic orchestral elements that draw you in.

The vocal exchanges between De Caluwé and Salou really is the record’s standout quality. From the absolutely levelling screams from De Caluwé to the haunting cleans of Salou, the balance of harsh and clean vocals is what makes Miserycorde stand out in the death metal genre and it’s balance is nothing but impressive. There are so many moments across the record where each vocalist’s performances take centre stage, from Sanna Salou‘s stunning chorus in Catabolic (I am) to Sven De Caluwé‘s absolutely monstrous exchanges on Scorn, the balance allows each vocalist to shine in their duty. A hard trait to accomplish and ORACLES have mastered the art instantly.

Here’s not forgetting the other member’s contributions though, as there is quality laced across the entirety of Miserycorde‘s duration. Ken Bedene‘s machine gun-fire drumming and Andrei Aframov‘s bass tones are nothing but solid, Mendel Bij de Leij‘s lead play is breathtaking, with the solo on Remnants Echo being a particular highlight and Steve Miller‘s rhythm playing is consistent throughout. The addition of guest personnel only adds to the quality of the record. With Per Nilsson (SCAR SYMMETRY), Jeff Loomis (NEVERMORE) and Ryan Knight (ex-THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER) all lending their talents to Miserycorde, it expands the album’s quality to new horizons, with their playing being some of the best lead work on the record.

In fact, there’s rarely a dull moment on Miserycorde. From the intoxicatingly catchy riff on A Canvas of Me to the emphatic S(k)in, ORACLES have a record stacked with moments that raise the hairs on the back of your neck. Even the band’s cover of The Beautiful People (MARILYN MANSON), an odd choice in itself, is executed with fury and precision, creating a cover that sits well alongside the rest of the record. By the time finale, We, The Different, concludes you will ache for more. ORACLES have crafted a record of sheer class with Miserycorde, a record that is both utterly destructive and hauntingly beautiful in its delivery.

Rating: 9/10

Oracles - Miserycorde

Miserycorde is set for release on July 1st via Deadlight Entertainment.

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