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Review of the Album "The Oracle" by Power Metal Band Ring of Fire
A Photo of a Ring Along With a Globe to Symbolize the Band's Name
About the Band Ring of Fire
Ring of Fire is actually a power and or progressive metal band with symphonic influences from California. Its claim to fame is that it has American vocalist Mark Boals and Ukrainian born keyboardist Vitalij Kuprij. The rest of the band members on this release "The Oracle" are:
Who Are the Rest of the Members Playing on The Oracle?
Phillip Bynoe: bass guitars
George Belllas: guitars
And Australian drummer Virgil Donati
Ring of Fire is an International Band With a Ballad Style Song in This Album
Even though the band was formed in the United States, Ring of Fire is sort of an international band in a sense. It is good to get a mix of people from different countries in a band as this allows for better sharing of ideas and a better way to collaborate musically. This is quite a long album being over 60 minutes so patience is advised. There is a ballad song called Take Me Home. This is a song about a person that hangs up the phone telling his ex-girlfriend that he has made up his mind to break up with her even though he sometimes thinks about her. However, this song is not as good as the song Alone on the Ring of Fire album.
Why Review This Album?
Note: with that said, one of the reasons for attempting a review and analysis of this album is to show that if we just step outside of our usual way of thinking and acting, we can see that there are things about the United States especially its music scene that are good and that we can appreciate.
Mark Boals is One of the Best US Born Vocalists Ever
One of those good things is the contributions of Mark Boals of Youngstown, Ohio now 59 years old. But back then, he was in his early 40’s having established his career since moving to Los Angeles and I first heard about him back in 1995 and I would say that he is one of the best US vocalists ever.
City of Dead (Song)
The Oracle Songs 1-5
After the short instrumental song called “Prelude for the Oracle,” Circle of Time is a song about the fact that time never stops because there is no way to stop it from going. With each day that passes as the drops of rain fall and the seasons change, all of us are one step closer to death. There are wars that are fought to prove strength, might, and power. Through victory or defeat, some people still want more because of their greed. The keyboard play is a definite hint of the classical influence. There is also an album by the name of Ring of Fire but that one is under the name of Mark Boals. The song Shadow in the Dark lyrically is similar to the song called Liar written back in 1986. That’s when Mark rose to musical prominence. But in 2001 he had more flexibility in terms of deciding how the songs were to be written. Shadow in the Dark is about a person that comes up to us wanting to be friendly. Then they start to tell lies, spread hate, and betray us. Jealousy as a feeling or an emotion can only lead someone astray from their biggest goals or objectives and it can leave them forever in the wrong state of mind. Vengeance for Blood sounds like a more modernized version of a 1980’s hard rock song. This is one song that I feel kind of does not belong in an album such as this because even though the vocals are good, the lyrical content is not the best. The song called Samurai starts out with some Egyptian style sounds in the keyboard as the lead guitar accompanies it. The song makes reference to the samurai, a warrior that will fight as the sun rises. He is fighting for honor and glory and he may lose his life but he will be remembered as a legend.
Shadow in the Dark
The Oracle Songs 6-12 and The Best Songs
City of Dead is the 6th song and it has some of Mark Boal’s best vocals. The song is about a city that has spirits and treasure that contains secrets that are dangerous because of the power and greed that it has. Among power metal albums by bands formed in the United States, “The Oracle” is a good album but it may not even compare to power metal bands in Italy or Spain. But as soon as I write this, the song called Dreams of Empire is a Dark Moor sounding song that is about the glory of ancient empires throughout history such as Charlemagne’s success and Napoleon Bonaparte’s empire building missions. However, Napoleon became too arrogant even for his standards as his troops withdrew from Russia during a very cold winter as thousands of his own men perished and he was never the same after that. Heroes will die sometimes being unnamed. There is a price to pay for the building of empires and those historical things are brought into the review of the song to provide some perspective of what is going on musically and lyrically. The Oracle is a song that is about an oracle that gives off signs that show its wisdom and knowledge. The chorus is solid even if the song may not be one of the top 3 best in the album. The best songs in “The Oracle” are Shadow in the Dark, Samurai, City of Dead, Dreams of Empire, and Face the Fire.