It is becoming very difficult to write reviews of the other kind of bands that are signed these days. There's the good ones and there's bands like Oratory. Of course there's also bands like Opera XI and some such similar shite, who are terrifyingly, waking-up-sweating-in-the-middle-of-the-night bad, but let's not count those. Oratory is not a bad band, you see, it's just that they have nothing to lift them from the rabble.

These guys are from Portugal. Their singer has a pretty heavy accent. The 19-second spoken track "Last Prophecy" portrays such stunningly bad English pronunciation that someone ought to write up a law against it. Luis Barros hasn't succeeded in laying down a grade A production either: the bass drums are too soft, the snare too loud. There is a female vocalist, such as is the wont of many prog-ish bands these days, but she doesn't really sound convincing (nor convinced). The album as a whole gives an impression of Oratory playing it safe, not taking any chances, not doing anything too difficult. Apart from a 2-minute instrumental entitled "Galaxy", which proves that these guys can do it if they want to, there is nothing of interest here. They are, simply, too inconspicuous to leave an impression or attract any major attention.



Written November 2000


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