|Orakle - Tourments & Perdition
26 May 2008
02. Les Mots De La Perte
03. Celui Qui Erre
04. Dépossédés (Le Miroir Sans Tain)
05. Vengeance Esthétique
06. La Splendeur De Nos Pas
07. L'Imminence Du Terrible
When I reviewed Orakle's 2005 debut "Uni Aux Cimes", I noted how much their music sounded like Emperor and Arcturus. That at least hasn't changed, they still sound quite like these Norwegian bands, but as almost every other review of "Tourments & Perdition" that you will find over the net focuses on this point, I won't mention that again. It would be too simplistic an analyse considering the quality of this album.
From the moment you hold this album in your hands and consider the beautiful artwork - whose resemblance with a blurred painting by Monet is uncanny - you know this is going to be a special experience, in a devastatingly bleak way. Orakle know no bounds and make the most of the whole range of black, avantgarde and alternative metal to create real soundscapes which, while seemingly welcoming at first, retain a veil of mystery that gives its appeal to the album. Indeed, "Tourments & Perdition", through its ability to dip skilfully into a melting pot of genres, is not an easy album to get into and needs repeated listens to fully appreciate every twist and turn. But above all, this is an album that requires a certain effort from the listener to enter a world of dreary emotions and psychedelic flights.
In other words, Orakle's music is the auditory counterpart of the album cover: only after much concentration will one distinguish the outlines of something poetic, something that makes sense. It would be much easier, though much less rewarding, to stop on a couple of superficial points like the similarities of the vocals with other, more famous bands, but it is actually this voice, alternately screaming and chanting the brilliant lyrics written in French, that contributes a lot to the definition of the band's identity.
"Tourments & Perdition" speaks of inner struggles, of morose feelings, of the dregs of humanity, and the music itself is totally aimed at breathing life into these concepts. Every black metal acceleration, every break, every arpeggio, every incisive melody, every struture progression helps develop the themes of the album, and all is done with such technique that it can only fall into place. The intricacy of the songrwiting echoes the complexity of the feelings that animate this release. And the most impressive of all is that there is nothing pompous, corny or overdone. Between tranquil beauty and chaotic brutality, "Tourments & Perdition" flows in a natural way.
I had already been favourably impressed with "Uni Aux Cimes", but now I must admit that this new album just tears the debut to pieces. I can't say that the band evolved very much between both albums in terms of sound, but they gained a maturity that I thought was already acquired. Those who still have doubts must ask themselves a very simple question: how often do you hear a new avantgarde black metal album that is awesome from the first to the last second? "Tourments & Perdition" is on of these albums, so do yourselves a favour and don't let it slip unnoticed!