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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.

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Iron Man puts spring schedule in motion with videos

The members of legendary doom metal band Iron Man have been getting crafty lately. Recently they spent some time recording video footage to go along with some carefully (demonically) selected conceptual video and have come up with a singular visualization for the song Grown. The song comes from their most recent self-released EP Dominance. If you read the lyrics to the song, the clips go along pretty well with the theme.

The video features founding member of Iron Man Al Morris III on guitar, Louis Strachan slapping the bass, Screaming Dee Calhoun on vocals and introduces newest member, drummer Jason Waldmann.

Iron Man has some shows coming up. One on April 14 at Cafe 611 at 611 (duh) N. Market Street in Frederick, MD. This one is with psyche-doomic rockers Admiral Browning and suspiciously named band Fat Chick Meat Haul. It starts at 9 p.m. and costs just $7. Get your taxes done and go. They made a video flyer for that one too. Check out each band in advance!

They also have a huge gig coming up on May 12 in Ottawa (that’s in Canada) at a joint called Mavericks. The show has been dubbed All That is Heavy 2. They will be sharing the stage with Blood Ceremony and a bunch of other cool doomy, sludgey, experimental bands such as Blizaro, Revelation, Monobrow, and Loviatar. I have never been to Canada, so I am looking forward to taking a little road trip to check this out. Look for more Iron Man news in the coming weeks.

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