:AJNA:

ORACULUM

'Sorcery of the Damned' CD

Review taken in part from Angry Metal Guy:

"This year we’ve seen Dead Congregation, Teitanblood, and Incantation themselves take the scene to school in this regard, and Chilean newcomers Oraculum stepped up and aced the exam in 21 minutes with their absolute ripper of an EP, Sorcery of the Damned.

“The Vessel of Orichalcum” begins the EP with a riff that mixes vintage Incantationwith a dollop of Bolt Thrower for good measure, and is pretty indicative of the ass-kicking to come. From there, Oraculum moves on with leads that recall Incantation, Bolt ThrowerMorgoth, and Asphyx, merging the best parts of each artist together to make their own slightly differentiated sound in a genre built on the shoulders of death metal giants. This leads to a major case of substance over style, as the murk has all but been eschewed from the Incantation mold, seeing Oraculum focus instead on the heaviest riffs and the dynamic songwriting of the Pennsylvanian death dealers. Asphyx and Bolt Thrower are similarly well represented: about six minutes through closing track “Endarkenment,” Oraculum busts out a crushing half-time part with a riff and lead melody straight out of Eric Daniels’ playbook, and simplistic death-thrash riffs (especially in “The Vessel of Orichalcum”) that could have held their own on The Rack. Conqueror of Fear’s drumming keeps the steady, punishing bludgeoning that Andrew Whale all but perfected in the early Bolt Thrower years, but also throws in some blasts reminiscent of Realm of Chaosspeedier moments when they’re called for.

Vocally, Scourge of God’s closest comparison would be Morgoth’s Marc Grewe circa Cursed, with the van Drunen-isms of Grewe’s voice taken up a couple of notches. Though they don’t possess much (if any) variety throughout the EP, Scourge’s vocals more than make up for this minor shortcoming by oozing a live, authentic feel that suits the old school nature of the music perfectly. This carries over to every part of Sorcery of the Damned, and becomes a major asset; Oraculum brings back the feeling of hearing the old greats for the first time, but not through pandering to metalhead nostalgia. Rather, they’ve composed old school death metal songs that aim for nothing more than being great old school death metal songs; there’s no technical wizardry, no progressive elements, and no atmosphere other than “fuck yeah, more riffs!” This could have easily been released in the early 90’s, and it would have fit right in. It may not be the most original thing in the world, but it’s still plenty effective."