Moon Oracle, Ophidian Glare (Signal Rex 2023)

Moon Oracle channels hoary dark wonders on their new album, Ophidian Glare.

Moon Oracle is a black metal band from Finland. They have only been around for a couple years, but have already released their debut long-player, Muse of the Nightside (2021), and a split with Sombre Figures, not to mention the latest and the subject at hand, Ophidian Glare. Their style is DNA-altering primeval metal – maybe even primordial. Reaching back, reaching deep and bringing forth horrifying sounds not heard before. According to The Metal Archives, the band is U (drums, synth), Sûrya-Ishtara (guitar, bass), and Harald Mentor (vocals).

There are six songs on the new record, beginning with “The Numinous Gate Opens.” The music is an unregulated attack. The tempo slows to chop the meat halfway through, then picks up again for more devastation. “A Vision in the Mansion” is equally aggressive. The tempo shift in this one has more of a groove to it than the first track, although there is a space for reflection, too. “Nethereal Axe,” which I misread as “neanderthal” at first, seems to have a mind of its own, casting about and swinging a spiked black metal mace at whatever catches its eye. “Serpent’s Word” begins on doom feet of stone, breaking out from that firm posture into a blistering chaotic assault. “Weddersinnes – Against the Current” throws a fake then thrusts a spear directly at your head. The growling vocals are a visceral threat.

The set concludes on the eleven-minute epic “Abysmal Crimson Desert.” I have often confessed my weakness for longform metal music, so I was looking forward to this one. It is a fantastic composition, pacing itself and expressing diabolical notions throughout. The ethereal passage in the middle might make you question the reality you experience. The ultimate resolution will leave you sated. Recommended.

Ophidian Glare is out through Bestial Burst and Signal Rex on Friday, April 14th. Links below.



Signal Rex,

Bestial Burst,

© Wayne Edwards

Moon Oracle, Ophidian Glare (Signal Rex 2023)