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Old-school metal - 85%

PorcupineOfDoom, January 19th, 2015

I've made my views on doom and its sub-genres fairly clear in the past, but as with everything there are exceptions to everything. So here's one of them, a band named The Oath from Germany. Sadly they didn't make it past the two year mark and their only releases were one full-length album and one single. Nonetheless, this is some good stuff and I was fairly content to just sit and listen to it.

A warning for metal elitists: this is not pure doom metal. Not at all, as it features a large portion of heavy metal thrown into the mix as well as some rock. It's really not something I'd recommend for fans of slower music, especially sludge or stoner metal. For fans of a more classic sound though, this is a nice throwback to what music used to be like, in particular with Night Child.

Complexity is also not at its highest here either, with both songs sticking to the tried and tested method of creating something catchy rather than an impressive musical feat. It's not a bad thing because the songs are easily likable and they're not hard to get into. An easily accessible point for non-metalheads to jump in might not be everyone's cup of tea, but sometimes it's nice just to tone things down a little. The guitars don't do much other than switch between a few different chords and the drumming is simplistic too, consisting mostly of cymbal crashing and snares. That said there are some noticeable changes in pace mid-way through the songs, but nothing ever gets incredibly technical.

The vocals are worth mentioning because you don't hear clean female vocals all that often in an outfit like this one. In a way they're similar to Sophie Day from Alunah, not really anything particularly special and yet they still have a captivating quality about them. Johanna Sadonis isn't quite as nice to listen to as Sophie, but that's just my opinion. Even with lyrics concerning Satan (and not in a subtle way at all), the music seems quite relaxing thanks to Johanna's voice. Weird, but that's how it is.

All in all this is a nice piece for those interested in music from back when metal didn't have so many different sub-genres. Not the most original or technical songs, but catchy and definitely worth a listen.

The Oath - Night Child / Black Rainbow - 98%

Opus_Oculto, October 4th, 2013

The Oath is one of those bands that make you still believe that there may be good heavy metal hidden in this world after the glorious years of Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Candlemass, among others. There are only two tracks on this single and they show a band with a mature and well-made sound, bold lyrics and a lot of attitude.

Even not having a sound essentially new, Nightchild / Black Oath songs are extremely catchy holding the listener's attention by the hypnotic rhythm of the guitars and the voice of talented singer Johanna Sadonis. The riffs are pretty simple, but with an attractive and catchy melody, as were Tony Iommi riffs on classics like Paranoid. The big difference is that they are faster and diversified throughout the music. In some passages the songs slow down and go into a state of pure doom metal, with the sounds spreading from the deep beneath the echo of the voice of Sadonis to finally culminate in a fast pace again, reaching a mindblowing result for the listener.

The battery is not the highlight of the album, only effectively fulfilling its role of monitoring the brilliant work of the other instruments. The bass of Simon Bouteloup shows little creativity and most of the time follows exactly the pace imposed by guitarist Linnéa Olson. This gives the impression that both string instruments form a hypnotic chorus that sticks in the mind after you hear it the first time.

And, contrary to what one might think, the lyrics of The Oath is not subliminal, they are explicitly satanic. There are several references to the "father", to evil rituals and cemeteries. This is explained in part due to the musical past of some members of the band, as Johanna Sadonis, who was part of several black metal bands. Nevertheless, the lyrics are not bad, and treat Occultism and Satanism discreetly, however being raw and direct.

Night Child / Black Rainbow is one of the big surprises this year and The Oath tends to become a notable name in the heavy metal scene if they follow the strength and creativity of this single.

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