These Frenchmen have been toiling away since 2000 and up until now they’ve only had two demos to their name. The first demo, “The Oath” in 2000 and the second, “Présages...et Ténèbres” in 2002, I’ve never heard these two demos so I have nothing to compare THE OATH’s current work “The End Of Times” to. Anyway, let’s move on to the music shall we?
First things first, I’m just going to say that I enjoyed this album, “The End Of Times” is a great combination of keyboard symphonies, Black Metal, and Heavy Metal. There is a good amount of variety in the songs, and the riffs throughout the whole album are pretty solid, this culminates to a fully capable album that shows a lot of potential.
THE OATH sounds a lot like ACCEPT, DIMMU BORGIR, and ENFORSAKEN (“Forever Endeavor” in particular) combined into one band. I realize that may sound like the worst band ever on paper, but trust me THE OATH makes this Symphonic Heavy/Black/Death work really well. Perhaps I could throw in later era ROTTING CHRIST as well, because the symphonies used are much more toned down a la “Genesis” or “Sanctus Diavolos” and less of “Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropy”. That’s the best I can give explaining the sound, as “The End Of Times” is an odd one that takes a little bit of time to fully appreciate it.
The songs themselves are divided up from mid paced Rock infused songs (“The Circle”, “The Awakening”) to heavy and tremolo picked songs like “Holy Terror” which sounds a lot like it classic ROTTING CHRIST mixed in with let’s say early career BEHEMOTH. I’m digging it, perhaps I could call it “Grom Servium”* yeah, that works. SAMAEL could easily be a reference point as well, as the fast Black Metal riffs quickly turn into crushing passages, I dig it a lot.
The production is great, I love the sound that THE OATH has achieved, it’s clear and professional but it sounds all very live and personal. The drum sound on this album has to be commented on because the drums are so thick and deep and it really pleases me to listen to them. The vocals are very well done, with screaming, growling and even clean vocals all making appearances and never being that bad. The symphonic elements as mentioned earlier are not over the top or complex but they do add a layer of atmosphere to “The End Of Times” which adds a bit more depth.
So in the end, if you like Melodic Death (with more balls) and squeaky clean modern Black Metal you owe it to yourself to check out THE OATH’s “The End Of Times”. I had a lot of fun with this album and I’m pleased to be able to recommend it to all of you.
* copyrighted….and check out their homepage to listen to some tracks.
(Online June 10, 2007)