ORACLE – TALES OF PYTHIA
When a band chooses such a lofty subject as an ancient Greek seer as the title of their debut release, you know you won’t be listening to simple ditties about lost loves and hanging at the mall on the weekend. Such is the case with Oracle’s new EP Tales of Pythia, a five track attack on the complacency and blissful ignorance of today’s society as we hurtle towards the destruction of humanity.
The groove metallers, founded in 2015, are damned angry and they’re not afraid to tell us; righteous fury and indignation permeate every song. Intro track ‘Deny’ manages to pack a punch and a hell of a thick, chunky groove into its minute-long duration, neatly providing a perfect introduction to both the band’s sound and the theme of the EP. Lead single ‘No God Waits For You’ follows, with lyrics such as “Mankind’s falling to its knees”, a heavily atmospheric feel and a shuddering, jagged beat in parts, not to mention some excellent guitar work in the outro.
‘The High Priestess’ describes the slave-like life of the Pythia in the EP title; the ponderously heavy first minute or so gives way to a brisk-paced classic groove metal sound, all sawing riffs and fearsome growls, before fading into a menacing and gloomy outro. Then ‘Burn the Nameless’ commences the attack on humanity again, with some rather timely lyrics (“F**k the tyrants that lead us to breathe hate and to live in fear”). With its blistering drums, tenacious bass riff and raging “f**k you all” bridge, it’s most definitely a song for the times we live in, and the sense of foreboding many people these days feel is perfectly captured.
It’s final number ‘Prisons’ that edges out the competition for the best track on the EP, though. Its furiously scornful indictment of the wilful blindness of today’s society, galloping pace and pummelling drums (not to mention another meaty guitar solo) place it at the top of the pile and leave the listener wanting more.
Tales of Pythia is an extremely promising debut from a band that have spent the last three years gigging often and writing busily; it certainly bodes well for their future. There are some small niggles - at times the lyrics fit rather awkwardly within the lines of the songs, resulting in some words being rushed or even omitted – but such things are usually ironed out with practice and barely detract from the might and message of the EP. If you like groove metal bands that have something to say, Oracle are the ones for you.
Review by Melanie Brehaut