Lion Music
Release date: July 22, 2005

User Review
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Delphian have followed the standard route that all underground bands have to go to get a recording contract. What makes them stand out is the fact that they have a female singer.

You may be asking yourself what makes yet another band with female vocals worth your time. Don’t expect more of the same from Delphian of what you would find on Theatre of Tragedy, Epica, or Nightwish. These guys are focused on making honest Progressive Metal with nice vocals. There is no operatic singing, ball dresses, leather clothing, or Photoshop fake pictures of a beautiful lady trying to seduce you into liking the band’s music here. Their sound is a blend of Doom and Progressive Metal, without falling into either style’s clichés.

The opening track on Oracle, “My Confession,” opens up with a Paradise Lost-like intro, making up ground for Aniek Jansses’ vocals. The vocals are surprising for being honest, and not having any choir or harmony lines to “thicken” them. The guitars and bass make for a great foundation, and the drum work is what you could expect from any other good Progressive band. There’s a clean section about the end of the track that breaks the song’s mood, bringing out some more of the Progressive elements.

“Fall” is one of the heaviest tracks on Oracle, with guitars reaching the Nu-Metal plateau. The song has a heavy atmosphere, to which Aniek’s low pitched voice and excellent bass lines contribute in large scale. If you like Dream Theater’s latest records, you may fall in love with this track.

The first ballad in Oracle, “Never Willing, Still Fulfilling,” is a real let down from the other two tracks, being one of the weakest tracks on the album. Aniek Jansses’ vocals sound slightly out of tune and misplaced for most of the track. After 3 minutes of boring chords, the song has an interesting middle section, as heavy as the main sections in the previous track, but that’s about all there is to it.

You may be fooled to think that the next track, “Sylvester’s Dusk,” is a ballad from its intro, but it’s back to Metal in its full form. Again fooling you that this could be a Power Metal song, the song breaks into a clean section with a good flute solo and a laid back mood that gets into Progressive meets World Music territory.

“Moments” begin with a violin wannabe guitar section that lasts for more than one minute. If you can get over that, the real song begins, and shows off … another dark sounding track, with good atmosphere and headbanging-friendly riffs. While not breaking the dark atmosphere, the clean section you must have learned to expect from Delphian is once again present, and is one of the album’s best moments (no pun intended).

The next track, “Salvation,” is one of the album’s highlights. The guitar riffs are remarkable, and the not-so-fast-paced tempo is a nice reason to get your head shaking. The drumming here is a highlight too with lots of inventive patterns and rhythms.

Although dark sounding, “The Unknown” is an acoustic ballad. It has some very nice singing, and this time the vocals seem to be right where they should be. If you’re looking for dark acoustic inspiration, this is your song.

An attempt at flirting with Thrash Metal, “On Sale” doesn’t really fit into Delphian’s style. The singing includes too much screaming and it seems that Aniek can’t keep up with the tempo that the other guys are playing. There is a killer bridge to the outro and solo in this song — very evil sounding with a clever, clean guitar riff.

“Wrong Turn” starts as another ballad, bad-sounding as “Never Willing, Still Fulfilling.” The following heavy melodic part seems really busy, and maybe hadn’t its justice done due to the poor recording quality of this record. Not a bad song, but one of the weakest tracks in Oracle nonetheless.

“Door to Reality” brings back a cool flute solo, in a dreamy atmosphere, broken by a melodic and inspiring heavy guitar melody, that after a while opens space for a nice clean section, that reveals this song as being a ballad, but a nice one. The chorus vocal harmonies break the laid back atmosphere for the rest of the song, but are too happy-sounding to be consistent with the rest of the track.

Making for a nice debut album, Oracle shows that Delphian has a lot of potential that is already unleashed, but needs some cuts around the rough edges to define the band’s style. The band could’ve been helped by a better recording as well, as the sound quality is not the same as other Lion Music releases.


Aniek Jansses – Vocals / Flute
Coert Bouten – Guitar
Marcel Volleberg – Guitar
Roel Van Helden – Drums
Sjoerd Hoejimakers – Bass


  • Alex Reis

    Alex is a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, born and raised in Curitiba, PR, Brazil, yet living in Antwerp, Belgium, since 2010. AC/DC was his first intro to Rock and Metal, but Metallica and Iron Maiden were the turning point for his love of the genre. Alex has played the guitar since he was 14, and has been an aspiring musician ever since.  Also serving as lead guitarist and vocalist for Belgian/Brazilian Hard Rock outfit SSC, Alex and co. have released a single a few years ago, but are yet to follow with a full-length  release that's been 20 years in the works. When Alex is not writing for MER or making music, he works at the Belgian tech scene, having served as CTO and other technical roles in numerous startups and organizations.

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