The Oracle review by Godsmack

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  • Released: May 4, 2010
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7 Good
  • Users' score: 8 (93 votes)
Godsmack: The Oracle
2

Sound — 7
It's been about four years since Godsmack unleashed a new album on the world. The landscape has changed, but they haven't and that's not a criticism. If you are a Godsmack fan, what you are expecting is what you'll be served with on The Oracle. The path is not diverged from. Experiments are not conducted, resulting in something unexpected. Nope. This is meat 'n' potatoes hard rock, the kind radio is apt to play and the type of music that Godsmack became a success because of. Godsmack's music has always had a gloomy, grunge vibe, with elements similar to Metallica and Alice in Chains and honestly, that's never a bad thing, since both bands have a knack for heavy with melody. Only Godsmack always dared to up the metallic ante a notch with their records. The Oracle is vintage Godsmack: machismo imparted by vocalist Sully Erna and plenty of riffs that'll delight strippers and send a testosterone surge through the bloodstreams of rock lovin' American dudes. "Cryin' Like a Bitch" puffs its chest with pride, whereas "Saints and Sinners" pulses with thunderous beats and molten rhythms. The Oracle's closest living relatives are Dirt and The Black Album. "Devil's Swing" revs its engines like one of Erna's beloved motorcycles and boasts a bluesy cadence and a riff hook that lingers for days, if not months. The title track ends the album and it's a moody, semi-epic that haunts with a yearning, head-down attitude and galloping riffs. It's instrumental, save for sound clips. It's also cribbed from the 'Tallica play book.

Lyrics — 7
Erna writes for dudes but that doesn't mean the girls who like the rock will be offended by what he says. There's just a decidedly male bend to his declarations, but it's never alienating and that's probably why Godsmack have enjoyed such a measure of success throughout their career. They make music that radio isn't afraid to play. Yes, of course, "Cryin' Like a Bitch" will be an anthem for anyone who wants to tell off someone who gets in their way, while "Devils Swing" is totally fun to sing along to, thanks to its New Orleans-influenced sway. Erna's raspy vocals bark and bite. He's not too far removed from James Hetfield, but he's not copying off the Metallica throat. "Love Hate Sex Pain" isn't a S&M tune; I love the old fashioned fade out and piano coda of the song, but here, Erna's vocals really conjure up images of Alice in Chains and Jerry Cantrell, without sounding forced. "Forever Shamed" finds Erna asking questions about the beginning and end of life, sweat and regret. Not stuff we've never heard, but from a real place, no less. There's a reason that girls like Godsmack and a lot of that has to do with Erna's alpha male lyrics and delivery. He's also a devout Wiccan, which only adds to the intrigue, mystery and appeal. Overall, The Oracle is build up and release on all fronts.

Overall Impression — 7
Sometimes the biggest misstep a band can make is to try and veer to far from what earned it fans in the first place. Godsmack don't make such a folly with The Oracle. While consistency isn't always thrilling, it sure fits Godsmack. They make quality, well-constructed, four-minute rock songs that radio falls in love with. The best thing about The Oracle isn't that the band isn't writing for radio but the catchiness comes naturally. While Godsmack don't turn the corners and make any hard lefts or rights on The Oracle, they give fans what they want. The Oracle is another solid set. They may sound a lot like Alice in Chains and Metallica, but those are just influences.

62 comments sorted by best / new / date

    the_unforgiven6
    Definitely a good album. Seeing them on the 14th with Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, Papa Roach, Hell Yeah, Skillet, and Halestorm.
    mr gOiD
    Rocker396 wrote: Metallica and godsmack are too different bands and styles. Wow definatly dont agree with the review. But anyway this album is excellent and it defiantly doesnt really do anything new except some kickass drums(double bass at the end of The Oracle) and guitar parts. Love Godsmack and i always will. :metal:
    Dude, I'm a HUGE fan pf Metallica (and Godsmack too) and the first thing i said when i hear the riffs in the Oracle was "This is really Metallica-esque, but in a non-ripoff sort of way." Some of the gallops in that song make me question if Het had a guest performance on the rhythm gee-tar. But this album KICKS ASS! I havent listend to much else since I bought it.
    thrashmonkey
    COBHC_Erick429 wrote: jp2_2026 wrote: the_unforgiven6 wrote: Definitely a good album. Seeing them on the 14th with Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, Papa Roach, Hell Yeah, Skillet, and Halestorm. You mean Alestorm Halestorm and Alestorm are 2 different bands. Alestorm is the "pirate" power metal band, Halestorm is a girl fronted hard rock band from what ive heard from them.
    Funny that this should be mentioned. I'm listening to Alestorm right now as I write this. On the subject of Godsmack, I don't think they're that bad. But what about that song Whiskey Hangover that came out last year. Is that on this album?
    Freunleven
    Decent review, if a bit overly favorable. My one main qualm with your assessment of the album: On UG, its listed as having 11 tracks. On the Godsmack website, it only has 10. Did you include Whiskey Hangover on the disc when you burned it by some chance?
    roundwoundsound
    i always laughed at people calling godsmack nu metal, cause they use guitar solos at times and guitar solos are usually absent from any nu metal songs. however i guarantee this album is godsmack's closest sounding to nu metal, cause their recent stuff doesn't seem all that technical compared to older albums.
    themetalpig
    They hit their peak with Faceless. IV was a good try at something a little different, would've liked to have seen them progress from IV's sound rather than go back to something which they did best on Faceless. Cryin' like a bitch is a dull run of the mill attempt at the same ol' same ol' Godsmack sound. The title track (The Oralce) is where I'd like to see them push their sound, longer, progish rock. F*@k radio!
    AdenZerda
    EpiExplorer wrote: reminds me of the ocean collective. But then just goes through my ears and nowhere else.. and everyones using the same logo font. Cynic have the same text, and Meshuggah's isnt too far off either..
    Except Cynic have been using that font for their logo since the early 90s
    snakesson
    I would have to say I am fairly disappointed with this album. No progress made considering music, no technical approaches to songs, plain attempt to sound like a new hard rock band which leads to easily predicable riffs and transitions from one section onto other. None of the tracks stands out except the instrumental, whose parts can also be seen in a lot of other bands which just makes this album "another brick in the wall". They are favoring simplicity way too much, and this is not the Godsmack I am used to listen, where is all that energy that pumped me through first three albums?
    Farid Macleod
    JimBonJovi wrote: Progis8strings wrote: I'm honestly impressed that this band is still around, because they really shouldn't be. Yes well you can say that about alot of bands nowadays. Who is to determine if a band stays or go's "away" anyways. They can do what they like.
    +1 (although i don't like Bonjovi ;)
    mamason282
    Solid album; Classic Godsmack sound; They are an awesome live band. Ive seen them live twice and those are probably the best shows I have ever seen
    bmarlatt1685
    I bought the album today. I must say I like it. It's a nice blend of IV and Faceless. Devil's Swing is probably my favorite track off it for now. I like the guitar/harmonica solo trade off in the middle... Also, personally, I think it's some of Robbie Merrill's strongest work on bass.
    greasysweet
    Not that i dont like godsmack, but whoever reviewed this sounds like they're a huge fan and it comes across as a little "biass" and something i was wondering, since when is godsmack such a big apeal to girls? he made more than a few references to that so is it just something i havnt noticed before?
    bmarlatt1685
    greasysweet wrote: Not that i dont like godsmack, but whoever reviewed this sounds like they're a huge fan and it comes across as a little "biass" and something i was wondering, since when is godsmack such a big apeal to girls? he made more than a few references to that so is it just something i havnt noticed before?
    I was friends back in high school with a few girls that were "fans" of Godsmack solely cause they thought Sully was hot, nothing more... They probably can't even tell me a single songs of theirs... It's like chicks that claim to dig Metallica 'cause they like "Nothing Else Matters"... I mean, hey Sully's a great singer and I love Nothing Else Matters too, but damn there's more to both bands than just that, haha.
    brett dixon
    I had no idea the album was out already. I'm definitely heading to my local Best Buy and buying it right away.
    andrewjp123
    metal4life34 wrote: Abacus11 wrote: Cynic have the same text, and Meshuggah's isnt too far off either.. Did you just compare Meshuggah to Godsmack??? That's like comparing Albert Einstein to a half-retarded mongoloid with a crayon. I almost never hate music, I can usually find at least one good thing to appreciate, but there are NO redeeming qualities about what they do. It's boring idiot wannabe toughguy rock and it's been sucking for over a decade now. And they ripped off alice in chains. Their name is from a song off dirt, and they sound kinda similar too. they're ok though.
    yeah, and don't forge t thier first album was faceless, and AIC's first album was facelift. A not so subtle either copy or tribute...
    iTzMaTT
    JD+Thrash=win wrote: All my friends go absolutly apeshit for this band...I don't get it
    Same story here. I still don't see it too.
    jcool2003
    andrewjp123 wrote: yeah, and don't forge t thier first album was faceless, and AIC's first album was facelift. A not so subtle either copy or tribute...
    Apparently you forgot their first album, which was self-titled. I like both bands but I would hardly call Godsmack a copy of AIC or Metallica
    \m/Mix\m/
    taylorhindman wrote: E.harley wrote: not a huge godsmack fan, but since i've heard every album before oracle, i'll listen to it and leave judgement for later. one thing i can say- you can't come down on a band that stays true to what it does. ac/dc has done it for almost 40yrs. my hats off. Really. AC-DC's new Iron Man 2 bs begs to differ. :\ JimBonJovi wrote: Progis8strings wrote: I'm honestly impressed that this band is still around, because they really shouldn't be. Yes well you can say that about alot of bands nowadays. Who is to determine if a band stays or go's "away" anyways. They can do what they like. +1000!
    Taylorhindman: AC/DC's 'Iron Man 2' soundtrack isn't a departure for the band. Ever listen to the 'Who Made Who' album? That is the soundtrack to the movie 'Maximum Overdrive'. The only difference is there were 3 new songs on 'Who Made Who': the title-track, and 2 instrumentals ("Chase the Ace" and "D.T."). The rest of the songs were all well-known AC/DC tunes. The 'Iron Man 2' soundtrack pretty much follows the same formula, except instead of having new songs, there are a couple of songs that were previously unreleased or did not appear on U.S. albums. And those songs were included in last year's box set 'Back Tracks', so there's still nothing new on the soundtrack. Check your facts before you try to bash someone's post with your "knowledge".
    \m/Mix\m/
    Godsmack has been one of my favorite bands since 2000-2001 and I agree with some of the posts that 'IV' was far from the greatest Godsmack album. A few damn good songs, but I never got overly excited about it because there were a handful of sub-par tunes as well. As for 'The Oracle', I haven't been able to stop listening to it since I brought it home yesterday. I am pleasantly very surprised with Godsmack's turn towards the stripped-down, stop-start aggressive style that were especially showcased on their first two albums. 'Faceless' was great, but too polished, and I've already mentioned 'IV'. Stylistically, 'The Oracle' sounds like it should have been released after 'Awake'. My one and only critique of the of this album is that the intros to two of the songs sound almost identical to songs by other bands. The bass riffing that opens "Saints and Sinners" is pretty much the same as "Nowhere Man" by Dropbox (a band that had their one and only album on Sully's Re-Allign Records, and Sully played drums on all but two of the songs on Dropbox). The only difference between the bass intros of "Nowhere Man" and "Saints and Sinners" is the tone is slightly different. The other song from 'The Oracle' that shares its intro with another song is "Good Day to Die". The opening guitar riff is very similar to Megadeth's "Back in the Day", but slower. But these are just observations, I don't consider them faults. Furthermore, I think comparisons between Godsmack, Alice in Chains and Metallica are justifiable. Godsmack does share their name with the AiC song, and they were clearly an influence on Godsmack, but let's be honest here, every band sounds at least somewhat similar to their influences. That's how it works most of the time. I'm a very protective AiC fan and I've never felt that Godsmack has ever come too close to ripping them off. As far as Godsmack being compared to Metallica, that's a really easy one for me to agree with in some ways. Metallica has been my favorite band for many years and Godsmack doesn't sound anything like Metallica, yet their music has similar qualities. I saw Godsmack open for Metallica in 2004, and it was a damn near perfect match. Probably the best opening act/headliner pairing I've seen. It was a great show! I've seen Godsmack in concert two other times and their live shows are well worth the price of admission. Finally, 'The Oracle' is the first CD in at least a year that I can say doesn't have a single bad or filler song. It's a solid album from beginning to end and I think it will end up being considered one of Godsmack's best, and worthy of being mentioned in the same sentence as their self-titled major label debut.
    \m/Mix\m/
    thrashmonkey wrote: COBHC_Erick429 wrote: jp2_2026 wrote: the_unforgiven6 wrote: Definitely a good album. Seeing them on the 14th with Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, Papa Roach, Hell Yeah, Skillet, and Halestorm. You mean Alestorm Halestorm and Alestorm are 2 different bands. Alestorm is the "pirate" power metal band, Halestorm is a girl fronted hard rock band from what ive heard from them. Funny that this should be mentioned. I'm listening to Alestorm right now as I write this. On the subject of Godsmack, I don't think they're that bad. But what about that song Whiskey Hangover that came out last year. Is that on this album?
    "Whiskey Hangover" wasn't included in 'The Oracle' because the band stated that they never really liked that song. Sully recently said in an interview that they had to write a new song if they were going to be on the Crue Fest tour. Even though it isn't on the CD, "Whiskey Hangover" is included on the bonus DVD that comes with the deluxe edition of 'The Oracle'.
    andrewjp123
    jcool2003 wrote: andrewjp123 wrote: yeah, and don't forge t thier first album was faceless, and AIC's first album was facelift. A not so subtle either copy or tribute... Apparently you forgot their first album, which was self-titled. I like both bands but I would hardly call Godsmack a copy of AIC or Metallica
    lol yeah, i guess i forgot that.. and they're not a blatant rip off, they're just similar.
    trendkill-
    brett dixon wrote: I had no idea the album was out already. I'm definitely heading to my local Best Buy and buying it right away.
    well i hope you wouldn't go to a non local one it be a waste of time to travel that far
    Raisem
    Kept the same sound (a little better than the last one) but not huge what these guys can do, it's a pity but after the last album, don't expect surprises for a new one, a shame to say "the old me is dead and gone"
    jdwilson223
    metal4life34 wrote: Abacus11 wrote: Cynic have the same text, and Meshuggah's isnt too far off either.. Did you just compare Meshuggah to Godsmack??? That's like comparing Albert Einstein to a half-retarded mongoloid with a crayon. I almost never hate music, I can usually find at least one good thing to appreciate, but there are NO redeeming qualities about what they do. It's boring idiot wannabe toughguy rock and it's been sucking for over a decade now. And they ripped off alice in chains. Their name is from a song off dirt, and they sound kinda similar too. they're ok though.
    The sun logo is similar to AICs also.
    CLib
    "This is really Metallica-esque, but in a non-ripoff sort of way." ...strongly disagree, check out the main riff from Good Day to Die because it is from Master of Puppets
    steevo92
    This album is just kick ass, i got it and worth to listen believe me, godsmack wont be inducted to Hall of Fames by this album but very cool (sorry for bad english)
    pmmalmeida
    Love Metallica, really like Godsmack and dig AIC. IMO Godsmack is so much heavier than AIC! I can "ear" Metallica and AIC influence on all Godsmack records, but I believe that's what makes them all great records! Can anyone "ear" Megadeth on "Good day to die"? Great album! Sully rocks and also love Tony Rombola's work on this one.
    velocigecko
    Dunno why everyone is hating on this band. If you don't like them don't post a damned comment and start a bandwagon hating frenzie. As far as this album goes I think it's a solid album with nothing too great and nothing too shitty. I was kind of hoping for something a bit angrier like their first album, but this is still damn good.
    Baddian
    I dont like their heavy songs, but i like their album "The ather side"(balads only)
    E.harley
    not a huge godsmack fan, but since i've heard every album before oracle, i'll listen to it and leave judgement for later. one thing i can say- you can't come down on a band that stays true to what it does. ac/dc has done it for almost 40yrs. my hats off.
    EpiExplorer
    reminds me of the ocean collective. But then just goes through my ears and nowhere else.. and everyones using the same logo font. Cynic have the same text, and Meshuggah's isnt too far off either..
    ryancide
    always found them to be boring and repetitive. i would welcome some experimintation and variety....
    celticstorm84
    I like their older stuff a little better, angrier and all but this isn't bad at all. It's exactly what would be expected from them.
    jp2_2026
    the_unforgiven6 wrote: Definitely a good album. Seeing them on the 14th with Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, Papa Roach, Hell Yeah, Skillet, and Halestorm.
    You mean Alestorm
    COBHC_Erick429
    jp2_2026 wrote: the_unforgiven6 wrote: Definitely a good album. Seeing them on the 14th with Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, Papa Roach, Hell Yeah, Skillet, and Halestorm. You mean Alestorm
    Halestorm and Alestorm are 2 different bands. Alestorm is the "pirate" power metal band, Halestorm is a girl fronted hard rock band from what ive heard from them.
    Kevhah
    Godsmack are great! Their nu-metal kicks some asses!
    What part of HARD ROCK you don't understand???
    BushMasterFlex
    Ever since lV came out, i havent listened to godsmack that much at all. i would only here them when my xbox was on shuffle and happened to play a song or two. im intreeged to here this album because i herd crying like a boitch an it was actually pretty good. the reveiwer was right, they arnt takeing any risks, but its for the better.
    SilentTom113
    @Ryancide you obviously haven't listened to IV yet....very experimental for Godsmack but this album is everything that IV couldn't be and more. It's there best album in a long time I'm glad they went back to there roots.
    spectorlegend
    Godsmack is great, especially live. I'll have to check out the album, sounds pretty good.
    JimBonJovi
    Progis8strings wrote: I'm honestly impressed that this band is still around, because they really shouldn't be.
    Yes well you can say that about alot of bands nowadays. Who is to determine if a band stays or go's "away" anyways. They can do what they like.
    AlmostTheMan
    i've been in love with their music as long as i can remember!...i really hope i like this album! x)