Oracle - Tales Of Pythia,
Apparently this 5-track 22-minute-long EP was released in June, but it appears this Belfast-based quintet have just started working with a PR company who decided that it would be an idea to have another go with it, so it has just been reissued. Now, I’m really glad they did, as I’ve actually been waiting to hear this for a while and have been expecting to hear from the singer, but he never contacted me. After reviewing many thousands of releases over some 30 years, I finally have to mention a possible conflict of interest which is bound to affect my review, namely that Jason Kerr’s mum and I are cousins, so he’s family! Needless to say I was actually really worried that either a) I didn’t like the band or b) Jason can’t sing or c) the songs are awful, so I am glad to report that none of the above is the case.
I don’t know a great deal about the Belfast metal scene (okay, nothing), but if a band like this is coming out then it must be very healthy indeed. Initial reaction is that they have been heavily influenced by Lamb of God and Whitechapel, with possibly some Slayer and Trivium thrown in for good measure. There is a great deal of focus on the vocals, as Jason obviously has a huge impact on the overall sound, but this self-release does suffer a little from the production which isn’t as raw and in your face as the music seems to warrant. Very heavy and powerful this is still a great introduction to the band.