Wednesday, April 09, 2014

The Oath-The Oath

Rise Above Records

Further proving that there is no shortage of top tier female fronted heavy metal bands out there these days (not that there was any doubt whatsoever in my mind!) let me introduce you to Berlin, Germany's The Oath. Although relatively new to the scene (having "just" formed back in 2012) the group has already released a well-received single (2013's "Night Child/Black Rainbow"-both of which appear on "The Oath") and now have delivered this impressive full-length debut. Already released in Europe, with an April 15th due date schedule for those of us on the other side of the pond, "The Oath" finds core members Johanna Sadonis (vocals, formerly a member of Dies Ater, Cryogenic, Ferox, Informer and Vinterkrig) and Linnéa Olsson (guitars, formerly of Slingblade and currently with Sonic Ritual) exploring all the various sub genres of "heavy metal" (doom, traditional heavy metal, 70's hard rock/heavy metal and N.W.O.B.H.M.) while drawing from their vast array of influences (listed sources include Danzig, Black Sabbath, The Runaways, Dio, Celtic Frost and Motörhead) in order to craft a strong and downright enjoyable platter of "loud & proud" goodness! Linnéa Olsson, reportedly a "punk guitarist at heart" whose influences range from "Slash to Fast Eddie Clarke to Steve Jones to Rick Wartell and Bruce Franklin" (I'd throw in Tony Iommi as well) often times provides the album with early N.W.O.B.H.M. riffs (think Angle Witch, Iron Maiden, Satan and Hammer) while elements of Black Sabbath, Pentagram and Trouble creep into the picture at just the right moment to give "The Oath" a delightfully dark vibe! Meanwhile Johanna Sadonis voice has a haunting quality to it which, at various moments when the mood is just right, reminds this reviewer of the band Coven!  With bassist Simon Bouteloup (Kadavar, ex- Aqua Nebula Oscillator) and drummer Andrew Prestidge (Angel Witch, Winters) serving as the formidable rhythm section The Oath, which channels all manor of darkness and despair with their occult-themed music, also banked on the services of  In Solitude's Henke Palm (also of Sonic Ritual with guitarist Linnéa Olsson). Henke provides a guest solo on "The Oath" and his time spent playing with In Solitude seems to have rubbed of on the members of The Oath as that is also one source of comparison. With a warm production thanks to one Martin "Konie" Ehrencron (Sister) and an epic number such as the seven minute plus "Psalm 7" closing this one out in grand fashion "The Oath" is a must-have for fans of female fronted heavy metal as well as those that simply adore dark and brooding doom metal and/or late 70's/early 80's-infused traditional heavy metal!

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