GREEN ORACLE – Green
Stoner Psych Doom, Release: 31.05.2019, Argonauta Records
Doom and stoner rock shamans GREEN ORACLE have joined the eclectic artist roster of rising underground label Argonauta Records! Hailing from Tuscany and formed in 2013, the band has just announced the worldwide signing with Argonauta, who will release their long awaited debut album on May 31st.
The philosophy behind GREEN ORACLE is to explore the primordial sound flows through a classic combo based on heavy bass lines, low end guitar licks and drum grooves with the addition of several voices and a variety of other instruments that emphasize the evocation of natural harmonies. After a first period of jamming and improvising the line-up represented by Thomas, Matteo and Vanni, GREEN ORACLE started playing a number of shows since late 2014, immediately gaining a great response from the crowd as well as offers for further collaborations.
After several gigs opening for other Italian bands such as Ufomammut or Appaloosa, their song arrangements became more extense and defined, until GREEN ORACLE felt ready to record their full length 3 tracks for album, Green, earlier last year.
Stoner rock is a rock music fusion that incorporates elements of heavy metal, psychedelic rock and acid rock. It is intended to include depersonalisation (a detachment from your ‘self’, allowing you to enter a vague, dream-like state), dechronicization (altering the perception of time and enabling a form of time travel) and dynamization (giving power or energy to; to make active, trigger, arouse, quicken, disturb etc.) Yes, I had to look those up.
Please – 17:50 long.
There’s a slow start to the track which had me thinking of open, misty plains. Guitars come in gradually and are used to sound like the echoing calls of animals and shooting stars. It’s a slow layering of complimentary instruments and sounds.
Vocal chants like wails then ring out and the guitars and drums lift in intensity and complexity, including a driving heavy metal riff. There are then marked changes in tempo, some of which are like echoes of Viking Metal.
The guitars inexorably become more distorted and instruments such triangles make appearances. It gets louder and more piercing, then reverts back to percussion and familiar guitar themes.
Do – 20:50 long.
A gentle start with symbols and chant-like vocals, like someone praying across a windswept expanse. A second voice joins in counterpoint and harmony.
Subtle tribal drums add another layer about 4 minutes in. The music sneaks up on you as sounds and elements are added. It reminds you of water, or of previous experiences. It slowly builds up to be quite loud, catching you unaware and snapping you back to the music.
At about the 9 minute mark the mood changes again, with elements like didgeridoos being added over guitar. It is a cool fusion of style and sound that go surprisingly well together. Heavy metal influences of guitar and drums are then layered over other percussion and wind instruments, creating an interesting, distorted musical chaos.
Hallucinogens – 18:59 long
This track starts with slow swagger, like a lumbering beast. Unlike the other tracks, it gets loud and complex quickly, using vocals and distorted guitar. It’s like a distorted Georgian chant and in many ways reminded me of the “War of the Worlds” album and Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells”. It had me listening to see what we be added, removed or enhanced from moment to moment.
Often, the fuzzy guitars were the stars, as they hooked my attention.
10 minutes in and things evolve again, with the rhythm being as a heartbeat and the vocals shifting to a soothing presence. The percussive elements sounded African inspired.
The track then builds, bundling the elements together into an almost solid structure of sound. This then slows briefly, only to morph into a tribal ending that fades away. I did think that the looped and fading distorted guitar was like a washing machine out of balance… But, I did say that the music often transports you to other places…
I think that the title of this track is probably well-deserved – it is somewhat mind-altering.
The tracks on this album are a looping, repetitive style of music, but they are meant to be. In some ways it soothes and relaxes your spirit, allowing your thoughts to drift off and be supported and augmented by the tracks. I found my mind wandering, but not in a bad way.
The calm and predictable nature of the music does in some ways allows you to leave yourself, it does alter time (I lost track of it a few times) and it does bring about changes in your emotional state.
In these ways, it is as it should be.
Review by Greg Noble