Thee Orakle
Smooth Comforts False
Style: Progressive Metal
Release date: 16 April, 2012
Playing time: 43:04

This is my first introduction to this act and the music style Progressive Metal, is only one of many influences. Melodic, death, and doomy gothic metal is also blowing out of my speakers, which makes the album and band quite unique on the progressive metal scene or whatever metal scene they belong to.

The band from Portugal joined the metal scene 5 years ago, and the discography is already counting a demo, an EP and one album ‘Metaphortime’ from 2009. A total of 9 tracks were recorded onto this second full album with the smooth title ‘Smooth Comforts False’, and credit should be given to the masterminds of the high quality work done to the production. All instruments are clearly defined in the ambient universe on this release and helps bringing this dark monster to life.

Members of the band include Daniel Almeida (bass), Frederico Lopes (drums & samples), J. Ricardo Pinheiro (guitar), Luis Teixeira (keyboard), Micaela Cardoso (female vocals), Pedro Mendes (guitar & vocals) and Pedro Silva (clean & growling vocals). The line-up is including many talented musicians, that really make this release sounding diverse with the help from some guest appearances.

You will not be walking alone in the forest of dark melodies, but holding hands with a traditional doom gothic setup also referred to as the “beauty and the beast”. The role as the “beauty” is handled by Micaela, who has a voice of an angel, and Silva is the “beast” with his harsh grunts and growling style, almost resembling the same vocal vibe as heard from his Portuguese “brother” frontman Fernando Rebeiro of doom metal act Moonspell. Micaela’s voice is very controlled, emotional and melodic, hitting the low and high tones with the skills of an operatic singer, and with the brutal and powerful voice of her counterpart Silva, sets the mood of the musical journey.

Highlights among the tracks showing us this very diverse monster, is the second track ‘Psi-Drama’ with it’s blasting drums, layers of shredding guitar tones blending in with haunting female vocal. And then Ricardo Formoso (Sp) is blowing some crazy tunes on his trumpet, which make this track stand out beautifully among the rest.

The track ‘Mysterious Hours’ also perfectly showcases the amazing skills of the talented band with its groove, odd time signatures and heavy guitar shredding.

Track number 8 'Hopefulness' is on the other hand, very melodic with the haunting females vocals and clean male vocals during the chorus. Another track illustrating the melodic side is ’Winter Threat’ with its very mesmerizing melodic sound and complex song structure mixed with female vocals and deep clean male vocals by another guest musician Marco Benevento (The Foreshadowing) during the chorus.

A beautifully, strange and relaxing odd melody is added to the last track ‘Rescue of Mind’ by guest musician Fábio Almeida using his saxophone and with the heavy slow sound on the last track, putting this monster perfectly into its grave.

I actually did fall in love with this monster and must admit that it had to be brought back to life several times before grabbing my full attention, because of all the musical details floating around on this release. Those who adore pure doom or progressive metal should look somewhere else, but if you like “twists & turns” of those genres then look no further and awaken this monster from Portugal.

01. Faraway Embrace
02. Psi-drama
03. Mysterious Hours
04. Foretoken
05. Evil Dreams
06. Winter Threat
07. The Bridge of the River Flowing
08. Hopefulness
09. Rescue of Mind
Label: Ethereal Sound Works
Distribution: Viral Propaganda PR
Artwork rating: 88/100
Reviewed by: Tommy Skøtt
Date: 19 April, 2012