Alabama fine

With a sound that is positively Dan Swano-esque, Oracle's second album blasts the band well beyond its Alabama roots.

Into the Unknown

Back in the day (say, 25 years ago), hearing this sort of epic, melodic death metal from an American band would have been unusual, to say the least. The electronic cape that swirls around the mayhem is suitably melodic, and the execution is tight and expressive.

And the songs. Like a lot of today's extreme metal acts, there are elements of black metal (particularly in the drums), but the shifts in tone feel organic and not forced. This is a lot more than simply "Let's stitch together these four ideas and call it a song."

I think that's what impresses me most here. Oracle takes the time to write good songs. The technical virtuosity is impressive, but arpeggios don't stir the soul. These boys understand how to craft a song so that the music says more than the words. The way these pieces are built is first-rate. This one soars immediately, and it never comes back to Earth.

Jon Worley

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