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Viking's Choice: Swear To The Oath, Faithful Servant

The Oath. i i

The Oath. Joe Dilworth/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Joe Dilworth/Courtesy of the artist
The Oath.

The Oath.

Joe Dilworth/Courtesy of the artist

When you name your band after a Mercyful Fate song, you'd better damn well live up to it, especially when that song swears "henceforth to be a faithful servant of his most puissant arch-angel, The Prince Lucifer." Thankfully, The Oath sounds something like the two bad-ass women in Heart raised on a healthy dose of King Diamond. So embrace the darkness and listen to "Silk Road."

Listen: The Oath, 'Silk Road'

The Oath.

Silk Road

  • Artist: The Oath
  • Album: Oath

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Silk Road
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Oath
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The Oath
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The Oath was formed after vocalist Linnea Olson left Stockholm to find new musical challenges in Berlin, where she discovered guitarist Johanna Sadonis. Last year's "Night Child" b/w "Black Rainbow" 7" was a riff-packed hard-rock stunner that owed as much to the haunting melodies of Mercyful Fate as it did to the biker-speed chug of Motorhead. Both tracks re-appear on the band's self-titled debut, an album that finds commonality with doomy, occult metal bands like In Solitude and Ghost B.C.

But "Silk Road" stands apart for a number of reasons: Olson's soulful vocals have this wild ascending/descending quality; every time it sounds like she's lost control of a pitch bend, she snaps it back into place like a dislocated shoulder. Sadonis achieves the same effect on the guitar by reversing the octaves in the second part of the verses only to — again — snap everything into focus with a single-note riff laid at the feet of Tommy Iommi. Backed by a solid rhythm section made of Kadavar and Angel Witch members, "Silk Road" is a bluesy squall that teeters on the brink of insanity.

The Oath comes out April 15 on Rise Above Records.

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