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Oratorio - Redemption 4.5/5

Reviewed: 5-9-08


1. Cold state
2. Burning
3. Raw
4. Inner weakness
5. Secrets
6. Passing by
7. Whispers in the night
8. Brothers
9. Come into my heart
10. Faceless
11. Wicked

Oratorio seems to be very unknown in the metal community, and I'm here to tell you that it's a damn shame. There are rarely discussions about them on popular forums/message boards, and their 2 CDs are unfortunately somewhat hard to find. Still, they're more than worthy of recognition, as their diverse style and overall quality is above the majority of the bands out there. I was already impressed with their debut 'The reality of existence', but this 2nd CD 'Redemption' has totally grabbed my attention.

Oratorio is from Finland and they're with Rivel Records, so as you would guess, their lyrics are focused on Christian themes, but they're far from the light (borderline wimpy) style of, say, Narnia. Instead, their base style is melodic power metal and maybe think of Burning Point for a general idea, but don't take that comparison too literally as they have an ultra-heavy progressive side to them, kind of like Communic, as well as a slight modern vibe a la Nevermore. So their style is truly diverse, especially for a band that focuses on Christian lyrics.

Another aspect of this CD that is a bit different than what we've come to expect, is that there are no keyboards. The band truly focuses on intense riffs and the entire CD is extremely heavy, yet is still melodic with very strong choruses and there are some killer guitar solos! We seriously get one catchy song after another, and although there are a few highlights for me (track 3 "Raw" and track 6 "Passing by" for quick examples), the CD is powerful and more than excellent from start to finish. Who the hell needs a keyboard when the guitar work is this catchy? Not these guys.

I have a feeling that many metal fans don't know just how good this band is. They have their own unique sound that not only stands apart from the rest, but also stands well above most bands out there. In fact, this is one of the most refreshing CDs I've heard in the last several months. So I urge you to check these guys out right away, and I want to remind you all, sometimes the best bands are also the most unknown.




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