Roundtable Album Review: The Oath – Consequences

The_Oath_ConsequencesLabel: Sliptrick records

Release Date: 20 April 2015

Songs: 10

Length: 48 minutes

Genre: Blackened experimental death metal

Studio Albums: The End of Times (2006), 4 (2008), Self-Destructed (2010)

Location: Lyon, France

 


WarpRider – I was embracing the first track quite a bit. “Never to be Seen Again” started energetically like any lead-off track should. I felt like I wanted to throw something, which is a good thing. But when the clean singing weaseled its way into the song, it took that brutal blackened death and weakened it way too much. It seemed to lack enough balance to make that transition to clean vocals a welcome addition. Instead it was a mild annoyance. “Crimson Flesh” and “Endless Fallacies” are great songs that anchor “Consequences”, but its overall lack of steady pacing keeps the album from being a visceral experience. Experimentation is good too, like with the proggy stuff, but it felt out of place. 3.0

 

RiffRaff – When this album punches it really punches hard. Grinding, machine-like guitars hack away, snappy drumming pops, Dimmu Borgir-ish keys, and thundering vocals berate eardrums.  There’s also some deviation from the blackened norm, with touches of electronica, clean vocals, and some prog tendencies. When all of these elements blend together they do so masterfully. However, this happens too little. Going from a beast like “Crimson Flesh” to a pair of snoozefest standard tracks murders the pacing of this record. Sure, the “standard” songs are well performed and can’t be considered objectively bad, but in this modern metal scene I need something to grab me; I want to hear something I haven’t heard before. Which really pains me about talking bad about The Oath. When they travel off the beaten path like on “Silent Dreams” and add more layers and experimentation to their music it’s delightful to listen to. But it feels they are just restraining themselves from going batshit crazy and actually creating a work of beautiful insanity. Removing inhibitions would change this from a standard release to something masterful. 2.5

 

Irmelinis – A somewhat uneven album is presented here by The Oath, one that really shines and impresses during certain parts (such as “Silent Dreams”, “Today I Die”, “Endless Fallacies”). The blackened element is the most enjoyable for me personally and the music is best when varied, fast-paced and energetic. The vocals and atmosphere are reminiscent of old Crematory; echoing and slightly Gothic-tinged. Pretty good! 2.5

 

ChristopherMammal – Excellent. I have taken The Oath and I am a disciple. I felt a great deal of pleasant anticipation before I put the album on because the concept of deathy, blackened and experimental in one package was intriguing. The Oath hooked me with the portentous intro to the opening track. Some might say the intro is ominous, like the soundtrack of a horror movie. To me it was a promise of good things to come, and they did.  They pop up all the way through the album. I love bands that use both dark and clean vocals effectively, bands such as Wintersun, Thurisaz and Xerath. The Oath is in that league. Their dark vocals come with good enunciation from a fine baritone, and the clean singing is as musical as one of my favourite lyrical death metal bands, Scar Symmetry. The death parts of “Consequences” are – dare I say this? – to die for, darling. The blackened parts gleam like polished obsidian. The riffs and rhythm pulsate deliciously, the guitar solos are sharp and never overdone, and the keys add a cinematic depth that injects super, metalised prog. The album is a delight from beginning to end. Now go and buy it. Buy an extra copy for a friend. While you do that, I’ll grab The Oath’s earlier albums. 4.5

A Metal State of Mind Average Score – 3.1 out of 5

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About ChristopherMammal

I've made it to Mammal. I still hope to be classified as Human one day. Meanwhile I have evolved enough to recognise different types of music as well as the shrieks of certain vervet monkeys who are known for their scurrilous behaviour in the proximity of unguarded bananas.

Posted on June 10, 2015, in Album Reviews, Roundtable Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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