DARKEST MIND – Oracle of Death
BAND URL: https://smarturl.it/Oracleofdeath
Released late last year by Immortal Frost Productions, “Oracle of death” by the Belgian melodic black metal act Darkest Mind is a muscular-sounding collection of deftly executed epics that sound remarkably triumphant.
What amazes me is the fact that this one is merely the group’s debut offering (they released a short EP in 2015) simply because the record comes across as so well-structured, dynamic, and tight that one could easily get the impression that this band has been around forever and are veterans of the genre. An obvious reference point here would be Dissection’s “The Somberlain” in terms of its style, tone, and brooding vibe, and perhaps to a lesser extent groups such as Sacramentum, Necrophobic, and Dawn, but the thing is that “Oracle of Death” is no mere carbon copy and strikes these ears as being a confident output with a personal touch to it. The acoustic flourishes of “Awakened in the Cold Winter Eternal” add some interesting flavors to the affair, and my only real gripe with this evocative offering is that the vocals are merely adequate rather than creative and diverse, so there is certainly room for improvement in that particular department. Regarding the production, there is clarity and definition to the mix without it sounding sterile or lifeless and it lacks neither punch nor power.
The seven compositions that constitute this album are impressive in terms of arrangements, riffs, melodies, and majestic grandeur, and as with countless other releases by this label, a lot of care and attention to detail obviously went into the dark and intriguing artwork and layout of “Oracle of Death”. Quality stuff and a stellar debut album. Well worth your time.