Whoracle. How do you define an album that defines an entire genre?
The Jester Race may have created melodic death metal but Whoracle is
the defining album of the genre. The songs are catchy and easy to hum
along too, yet it still manages to be one of the most brutal albums
Whoracle is a concept album which describes the past, present, and a
hypothetical future of the earh. "Jotun" is a foreshadowing of the main
concepts where a society is crushed and broken after an apocalyptic
event. "Episode 666" seems to be the narration of this apocalyptic
event which is, perversely, televised. The songs leading up to this
tell a story of the rise and fall of a global society. "The Hive" and
"Jester Script Transfigured" describe this technologically advanced
society and a utopian new world order which is demolished by human
nature in the next two songs. The inclusion of the Depeche Mode cover,
"Everything Counts", is a poignant way to imply that the people who
built then destroyed their society realized their folly after it was
too late. Seem relevant to whats going on today? Its almost so relevant
it can almost be uncomfortable to think about and listen to at times.
The album is impossible to summarize sound wise, as any summary would
be an understatement to the brilliance that lies in the music. The
entire album was meticulously planned and composed, and perfectly
executed in the studio. The brutal riffs are laced with melodies and
harmonies sure to keep you humming for weeks to come. Unpredictability
is one of the greatest aspects of In Flames, and Whoracle showcases
their diversity musically. Beautiful acoustic intros and interludes are
scattered throughout the album, and clean vocals and instrumentals turn
up in places where nobody would ever expect. Whoracle is full of
surprises from beginning to end.
I know few of you will listen to the album, and i understand the
apprehension toward this album because its such a pure breed of metal.
"The screaming is annoying and impossible to understand. The de-tuned
guitars are beyond heavy and can sound like armageddon at times." New
ears to metal hear a loud tangled web of noises where beauty, clarity,
and depth truly lie. I know, i heard nothing but noise once. It has
taken me years of liking metal and In Flames to really begin to
appreciate this album for the masterpiece it really is. In the end I'm
not trying to persuade anyone to love this album as much as I do, or
even like metal, but maybe someone will gain a new appreciation for how
complex and beautiful this music really can be.
Recomended Quick Listening Links:
Gyroscope - A track than stylistically represents the majority of the album.
Jotun - A heavier track with a cheerful sounding lead guitar melody throughout.
Whoracle - Acoustic instrumental with distant female vocals