Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Oracle thumb their noses at your elitist metal attitudes

The Oracle from Maryland brings the collective musical influence and experience of four well-established performers to create something unique that they hope will challenge the elitist attitudes of all the metal subgenres they meld together. It’s a little bit sludge, a little bit doom, a little bit black metal and maybe even a little bit crust.

The Metallomusikum podcast team (Derek Beam, Jason Waldmann, and I) met with The Oracle this week at Midtown BBQ and Brew for a chat about their first few shows together as a band.  The Oracle is James Haun (guitar/vocals), Russ Strahan (guitar), Ron McGinnis (bass/vocals)  and Ben Proudman (drums).  James (ex- Sourvein, ex- Ol’ Scratch), Russ (ex-Pentagram), Ron (Pale Divine, Admiral Browning, Trilogy) and Ben (Rhin) collectively bring decades of experience to this new project.  This is evident in the music they produce which fairly defies neat classification.

In performance, The Oracle produce a ferocious wall of sound. James presents a formidable lead vocalist both in height and aggression. Russ lends a quiet class –he even started the set wearing a top hat — demonstrating his well-earned reputation as one of metal’s most skilled and soulful guitarists. Ben lays down a solid foundation that sets the pace for every song, shifting from doom-y drone to black metal blast beat at any moment.  Ron, plucking his signature six string bass, also offers strong supporting vocals to counter James and rounds out the profoundly heavy rhythm section.

For me at least, despite the fact that the music drinks deeply from black metal’s chalice of blood, the tunes remain mostly in the sludge/doom camp.  You can get an idea what the band sounds like on their demo  “Veiled Oblivion” but that recording features the vocals and bass-work Helena Goldberg (Akris), who left The Oracle after nearly two years of songwriting, to raise a family.  The latest incarnation should be experienced live.

Listen to the podcast here.

Check out a gallery of photos from the March 8 show at the Sidebar. PS. Happy Birthday Sidebar owner, Travis Hunt.

Krisiun stops twice nearby on Destruction tour

Brasil’s Krisiun, one of the hardest working bands in death metal, is on the road again, if they ever even left. (They didn’t.) Krisiun will start a tour  with the almighty German thrashers Destruction on March 14 and will be appearing at two venues within a reasonable driving distance from Baltimore: at Empire in Springfield, Virginia on March 20 and at Mojo 13 in Wilmington, Delaware on March 21.  You will see them with North Carolina’s Widow for the first part of this tour and then they will  be joined by the delightful Exmortus of California for the latter half. You can see all the dates here.

In May 2013, I sat down with Moyses Kolesne before Krisiun played a show at Baltimore’s Metro Gallery. Yes, this interview was conducted nearly a year ago. I have been holding onto it until now, for just such an occasion as this — a new tour– which was bound to happen sooner or later with these guys! Still, I don’t typically like to hold on to an interview this long. We met at The Club Charles and  tried to chat over the sound of the jukebox. Later that night, they tore through their set, which included a good mix of old and newer tracks. I remember that it was immediately after Maryland Deathfest and everyone in attendance at the show was a bit exhausted.

Krisiun formed in 1990 when brothers  Alex Camargo [Vocal/Bass],  Moyses Kolesne [Guitar] and Max Kolesne [Drums] were just teens. Since then, they have steadily  amassed rabidly devoted fans across the world. There are few bands who tour as frequently and who remain as rooted to their musical origins, to their country and to their fanbase as Krisiun.  They are also super humble and down-to-earth people, who are willing to kick back with their fans from the mosh pit, as well as go home once in a while to see their mother. Alex uses his mother’s last name, by the way.

Fangirl photo with Moyses Kolesne.

Fangirl photo with Moyses Kolesne of Krisiun.

In this interview, Moyses discusses what it is like to be in a band for more than 20 years with his brothers and about sticking with their label, Century Media, for just as long. He also talks about their devotion to extreme music and to an organic sound, he reminds me that black metal is older in Brazil than in Norway, and he remembers their big break at the Milwaukee metal fest. There is mention of possibility of a new record in the works and he talks about some of the fests they will play (or now have played) in 2013.

During the interview Moyses said something that I think perfectly sums up the work ethic and humility of Krisiun:

“The people that are are down there in the mosh pit and the ones on stage, they are the same. Both are part of the show. Without each other, they are nothing.”

More people in metal should think this way.  Moyses also offers some inspiration and insight for struggling musicians who are impatient about having to be out on the road and sleeping in vans for years before they find success. After all, he’s been doing it for 20 years so he should know what he is talking about! I hope you enjoy listening to this interview as much as I enjoyed recording it. It begins with me asking Moyses about what it’s like to be in a band with one’s  brothers. Click here to listen.

Don’t miss Krisiun and Destruction out on the road.

The BROS Gründlehämmer returns and goes on tour

Metal. Theatre. Awesome. How about all three?

“The Baltimore Rock Opera Society (BROS) is launching their first touring production: Gründlehämmer. Dedicated to over-the-top theatrics and mind-boggling spectacle, the BROS are excited to bring their craft on the road for the first time, with performances in Baltimore, Alexandria, and Philadelphia.”

I am hitting the March 16 show in Baltimore. Why don’t you meet me there? Last year, I did an extensive review of Murder Castle, which you can read here. I can’t wait to see their first production, revisited.

For more information, and for tickets to the show (running March 14 – April 6), please visit http://www.baltimorerockopera.org

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