Take an immersive journey through a village oracle's demise in this thrilling album, Oracle, by Greybeard. This concept album is reminiscent of a Dungeons and Dragons arc, with its unique theme and sound. Greybeard does an excellent job of going deep in the saga, and truly allows listeners to feel like they're living the journey themselves. It's the perfect aesthetic for any fan of black or progressive metal.
Every song picks up where the last ended, making for an exhilarating listening experience. Throughout this album, the listener clearly understands the cowardly betrayal of the oracle, and fear the vengeance that reap him. Much like reading a favorite story, you won't want to stop until the last note.
Oracle begins with "Vision," setting the tone and fate of the overall album. This is much like the preface to a book, and it works well for this particular album. Not only does it set the storyline of the album, but it also prefaces the artistic ability for Oracle. Right off the bat, the listener gets a sense of how ever-changing the technique is. In addition to that, it showcases vocalists Ross Andersen and Amanda Bourdon well. With Andersen's varying vocal techniques and Bourdon's harmonious style on backing, both add to the eeriness and various themes of this album. These two vocalists accurately display true balance between multiple vocalists within tracks on Oracle.
As mentioned previously, the versatility of the band shines. The vocalists within this album also contribute instrumentally, with Bourdon on bass and Andersen on guitar. In combination with musicians Guy Onreat (guitarist) and Casey Rogers (drummist), they all do a great job of showcasing a unique and whimsical experience for the listener. The members' styles help in captivating the storyline. These instrumentals mix with various sound effects that transport listeners to a unvisited location, comparable to Viking metal band Amon Amarth for fans who dig deep.
Stand out tracks include "Vision," "Craven," and "Solitude." These songs perfectly showcase varying aspects of this album, and are my favorite overall. Reasons for enjoyment of "Vision" have already been listed, but "Craven" allows for a pinnacle moment in the story. This is where the village oracle has made a mistake and flees from the village -- this making him the antagonist of the storyline, instead of the supernatural force. It hits hard, and is the height of the story.
"Solitude" is a simple instrumental track blended with sound effects. Even though it is without vocals, the song exudes the despair and guilt of the oracle. That said, every song shines bright. It is definitely an exciting and thrilling listening experience. If you're into concept albums, I would definitely check out Oracle by Greybeard.