Thursday 27 September 2018

Review: Orator - Kallipolis

Based out of Seattle, enters ORATOR, a rising beast in the technical death metal world. They have released their debut album “Kallipolis” in July, and fans of NILE, DEATH, DYING FETUS, BEHEMOTH are advised to take a listen. “Kallipolis” is brutality, groove and nefarious lines of metal that invoke your “dark passenger.”

Though the band could loosely be described as some type of technical black/death metal combination, their sound is one of those instances where a wide swath of influences congeal into a driving, varied approach that really has its own special charm rather than sounding like the schizophrenic mess that many bands end up with. Though the music offers a strong backbone of punishing black/death metal stereotypes, one can uncover brutal death metal influences in the vocals, progressive metal touches in the lead guitar work — especially during “Emperor (Disposalble Youth).” Don’t let that turn you off, because the vast majority here is truly punchy and punishing blackened death metal, it’s just that Orator is able to make the style their own.

Performance-wise, these guys certainly have their chops. Everything is tight and proficient; more so than the most of the scene. Indeed, in a time when most bands in the style focus on atmosphere and forget about technicality, it’s really cool to see a band deliver on both sides of the fence. The production is quite punchy, allowing everything to shine through. While everyone does a fine job, vocalist (also guitarist and bassist) Isaac McCormick deserves mention for his powerful, yet varied vocal delivery, which mostly consists of a deep, snarled growl, though he delves into the previously mentioned realms of BDM.

“Kallipolis” shows a band hungry to take on the scene’s stalwarts. This is a professionally played and professionally produced chunk of technical black/death metal. It’s highly varied, which is certainly one of the band’s strengths at this stage. It’s a bit concerning how this might translate into the future releases, whether it will sound as streamlined or if will dip into the realms of schizophrenia, but as it stands this release is well worth your time. Give it a try.

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