Oraculum‘s sound is akin to that of classic Sepultura without the tribal drumming or atmospherics. This is straight-up brutal, high-tempo death metal. You’ll have to sit through a slow, needless two-minute opener before getting to the good stuff though, but it is worth it.

Always Higher is a dark EP. Now, it won’t make your skin crawl, but it’s just about nasty enough to perhaps skip over on a late night walk. Oraculum’s brand of darkness is fast, aggressive and unforgiving. “Lex Talionis”, for example, offers four-and-a-half minutes of unrelenting blast-beats and destruction while “Semper Excelsius” is slightly slower, with a more chugging central riff, but no less dark. This is a heavy record, but there is something missing. Always Higher isn’t particularly interesting, nor is it inventive.

The best of the four-track EP comes at the end. “Sphinx”, a Poison cover, weighing in at over nine minutes, is more progressive than its forebears; it’s a more interesting track that does more to impress. It builds slowly into an aggressive tirade into the darkness. This is more like it!

Always Higher is an EP that doesn’t play its best card until the end of its turn, but there is enough here to suggest that the band’s debut record could be decent enough death metal. I’d just like to see them be a little more adventurous in the future.

Always Higher Track Listing:

01. Exeunt
02. Lex Talionis
03. Semper Excelsius
04. Sphinx (Poison cover)

Run Time: 21:18
Release Date: September 15, 2017

Watch the teaser video for the Always Higher EP