To master the dark and wring compelling creativity from its densest shadows requires vision, belief and, perhaps most importantly, a dash of synchronicity. These are all qualities that ooze from every pore of the debut album by The Oath. A band forged around the fizzing, feral chemistry between Swedish guitarist Linnea Olsson and German vocalist Johanna Sadonis, The Oath represent the wild magic that erupts when two blazing souls collide and fate is sent veering off course by sheer strength of the human will. This is heavy metal at its most mercurial and intuitive.
Veering from the strident grooves and shimmering menace of opener All Must Die to the breakneck, Luciferian clatter of Black Rainbow and on to the spine-tingling grandeur and grime of epic closer Psalm 7, The Oath is anything but just another addition to the modern pseudo-occult rock canon. Instead, it is an extraordinary glimpse into its creators’ overpowering charisma and chemistry and a thrillingly, hyper-nourishing dose of authentic, 21st century heavy metal sorcery. With input from In Solitude’s Henke Palm - who contributes some “improvised Voivod-style solos”, according to Linnea – and logo designed courtesy of Watain’s Erik Danielson, this is an album that exudes ageless style and irresistible substance: a potent antidote to the flimsy fripperies of the modern age.