Back in 2010 Aborted’s Sven De Caluwe got with some of his Aborted cronies and his wife Miri Milman and formed System Divide. They released one album, The Conscious Sedation, a more melodic death metal/metalore release that was a little heavier than the usual female fronted/Naplam Records Gothic metal, but it was merely an OK record.

Well, System Divide broke up, but Svencho is giving it another go, again with more  Aborted/Abigail Williams and former System Divide buddies (and a few guests), but with Sanna Salou of Dimlight providing the female vocals. It  is much the same as System Divide, but it seems to focus a little more on better songs that highlight the beauty and the beast vocals and more seething, faster songs. This is probably more of what the group envisioned when they formed System Divide, of which Oracles  is basically a continuation of.

The downside of the band and release is that is sounds more or less like Aborted with heavy keyboards and female vocals.

The upside of the band and release is that it sounds like more or less like Aborted with heavy keyboards and female vocals.

While System Divide didn’t quite fulfill that potential, Oracles does a much better job. and while certainly not as brutal as Aborted, it seems much more aggressive than System Divide. Granted, Sannou has a typical Napalm Records gothic  metal croon, Sven and co seem much more honed in to blast beats and more fierce music although there is a decent chunk of more sugary, balladic songs to balance it out.

The Jacob Hansen (Amaranthe, Volbeat, Delain, Dawn of Demise, Mercenary) production is as you would expect with big beefy guitars and pounding rhythm section much akin to Aborted, and the cyber ish keys are plentiful and lush. The songs have a pretty solid formula of Sven growling over more brutal death metal, then more smooth, soaring choruses with Salou or Salou injecting a short little clean bit here and there. There’s  a bit of a The Project Hate vibe to the material as well. Early tracks like “The Tribulation of Man”( featuring Per Nilsson of Scar Symmetery), “Catabolic (I am)”, “Quandaries Obsolete” (featuring Ryan Knight of The Black Dahlia Murder), “Scorn” and “Body of Ineptitude” (featuring Jeff Loomis of Nevermore) are pretty robust, simialr bruisers with angelic slivers.

But around “Remnants Echo” thing get a bit more Napalm Records/Gothic metal with a more big lush lavish track more akin to Leaves Eyes or Delain, with Sannou providing all the vocals. Caluwe gets back into it again for “A Canvas of Me” and lengthy “Skin” (with a very nice melodic lead solo) , but it’s they are more commercial, , crunchy mid paced numbers, but they are catchy as hell..

Then album takes a tangent with a pretty cool and fitting cover of Marylin Manson’s “The Beautiful People” and gives it a nice brutal twist along with Salou’s  voice. It’s a good cover of a good song before closer “We, The Indifferent” closes the album with a nice mix of brutality and sugary beauty, ending the album with a pretty good encapsulation of the whole album.  And while its almost a two faced affair between early and late tracks, the whole thing is pretty cool and should appease Aborted fans but has something for more open minded Nightwish and their ilk fans.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
July 12th, 2016


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