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The Oath - Consequences

The Oath
Consequences
by Tim Bolitho-Jones at 07 June 2015, 9:56 PM

Something has really got into the wine ever since GOJIRA put the French metal scene on the global map. There’s been a treasure trove of great bands emerging from La Belle France these past few years and if there’s one thing that defines the country’s output, its variety. KLONE sound nothing like TREPALIUM, who in turn have very little in common with CHECKMATE who couldn’t be further removed from CARNIVAL IN COAL.

Lyon based five piece, THE OATH, can proudly add their name to that already impressive roster. Having been active since 1999, they’re probably an established act in their native country but hopefully “Consequences” will see them break out to an international audience. It’s ten tracks worth of Melodic Death Metal from the Gothenburg School and harks back to an age before American Metalcore stole all the Swedes best moves.

This is an album that recalls the glory days of “Clayman” or “Natural Born Chaos”. There’s gruff vocals and bruising drums aplenty, but there’s also keyboards, sweetly soothing guitar solos and a few sparse but well executed clean vocals. Despite evoking the genre’s past victories though, these guys are no mere copycats and have enough character to stand on their own feet.

They’re far less radio friendly than IN FLAMES for example and there’s no catchy “Only For The Weak” style bouncing to be found. Instead, there’s the snarling intensity of “Deconstruction”, a dark little thrasher with some Gothic keyboards interlaced throughout, or the blood-vomiting grandeur of “Today I Die”. The soaring chorus of “Silent Dreams” meanwhile is the closest they get to a potential single, but it’s offset by the growling malevolence of Pierre Leone’s lion roar.

There’s a few orchestral Black Metal touches at work in “Create The Infinite” as well and no matter how melodic they get, THE OATH are still consistently heavy. Anyone that’s been dispirited by Bjorn Strid’s increasing use of clean vocals will find consolation here and while it’s not a game changer, “Consequences” could be one of 2015’s small triumphs.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Never To Be Seen Again
2. Crimson Flesh
3. Consequences
4. Silent Dreams
5. Deconstruction
6. Today I Die
7. Create The Infinite
8. Unchanged
9. The Final Sleep
10. Endless Fallacies
Lineup:
Alexandre Boutellier - Bass
Christophe Bardon - Drums
Manu Da Silva - Lead Guitars
Romain Devaux - Keyboards, Clean Vocals
Pierre Leone - Guitars, Vocals
Record Label: Sliptrick Records
     


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