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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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Play guitar for Pentagram. No, really.

Bobby Liebling with Victor Griffin. Photo M. Spiro/ 2011
Victor Griffin is moving on to other things, and Pentagram needs a guitarist. I don’t know about you, but I think for the right person this is the opportunity of a lifetime. The band just posted this statement on their Facebook page so there’s no need to rewrite it. Read on…

Agoura Hills, CA – October 25, 2012 – Legendary heavy metal pioneers and doom metal innovators PENTAGRAM are auditioning new guitar players. As previously announced, the revered guitarist Victor Griffin is performing his farewell shows during the Oct/Nov European Relentless Tour. He’ll be focusing on his solo career from this point on and the band and fans wish him all the best. Victor will forever be an important part of the “Ram Family.” 

PENTAGRAM is now searching for the perfect player who can easily play the blazing, early blues-based, hard rock, proto-metal of the late Vincent McAllister as well as the doom metal mastery of the one and only Victor Griffin. Tone, chops, appearance, tour experience & availability (US and abroad so a passport is required), song writing skills, and sobriety are all important factors. The band will be writing/recording their follow up to the acclaimed Metal Blade release, Last Rites this coming December and January.

Someone who is close to the Washington, DC area is preferred but exceptions will be made for the perfect player.

For songs and video of the band, visit: www.reverbnation.com/pentagramofficial
Please submit a short bio, a photo, and audio or video of you playing. PENTAGRAM song covers are preferred and the following songs are suggested:
“Wolf’s Blood”
“All Your Sins”
“Treat Me Right”
“When the Screams Come”
“Forever My Queen”
“20 Buck Spin”

Please send submissions to: PentagramAuditions@gmail.com 

In other news, PENTAGRAM is gearing up to tour Europe and the dates will commence with the band’s first ever UK tour. In a celebration of Victor Griffin’s time with the band, PENTAGRAM will be playing the Decibel Magazine Hall of Fame album, Relentless, in it’s entirety. After the doom pioneers first-ever UK show in London in 2011, Bobby Leibling and the boys return for four shows with Gentlemans Pistols as support, kicking off in Bristol at The Fleece.

PENTAGRAM UK Tour Dates
Tour w/ Gentlemans Pistols
10/31 Bristol, UK The Fleece
11/01 London, UK Garage
11/02 Manchester, UK Academy 3
11/04 Glasgow, UK Ivory Black End Tour
11/06 Kopenhagen, DK Loppen
11/07 Gothenburg, SE Truckstop Alaska
11/08 Oslo, NO John Dee
11/09 Stockholm, SE Slakthuset
11/10 Würzburg, DE Hammer Of Doom Festival

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