Oathbreaker are a Belgian hardcore (for lack of a better expletive) band with a tendency towards fast-paced metal riffs and an evil, crusty tone. This is their first release for Deathwish Inc. and a fairly solid debut that I’m sure will turn at least a few heads and gain them a few fans.
The vocals are the standout performance of this ensemble. Female vocalist Caro sounds like a cross between Candace from Walls of Jericho and the musical equivalent of an exorcism. Her voice plunges us in to the depths of hell with little hope—only to plunge us even further until there is no coming back. The epitome of “evil” vocals must be a woman scorned.
Musically this album has no real “hits” and is a little bland at times. If I had to pick favorites, I’d go with parts 1 & 2 of “Sinking into Sin,” but the vocals are still the most impressive quality. This album gives a constant feeling of déjà vu except, I’m pretty sure that someone else did it better much before this came out. This is a generic release for your stereotypical blackened hardcore band of the past few years. All of the members are very talented at playing their instruments, but they lack in the creativity department. I will credit them that I think this album was exactly what they set out to make. The ambience and tone match the lyrical premise and overall aesthetic of the band, but the rhythms and progressions are simple and need work. “Maelstrom,” the titular track is another great showing of Cora’s vocal flexibility but the track itself is reminds me of something you listen to to help you fall asleep.
I see this band as having a very bright future and, no doubt, some followers will disagree with my review. Here’s to hoping that their evolution in music has only begun and that their next release will change my jaded mind.
4.5 / 10
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