Oratory (download only) 2008


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Hellblinki's third full length album "Oratory", released in 2008, is patchwork of songs, incidental music, and found sound. As a tale of death, love, war, zombies, deadly poison, and the orange hamburger, "Oratory" could be described as psycho-cabaret, southern fried with guerrilla operatics, or possibly as pirate-blues, infused with a the kind of punk rock cinematic splendor unique to Hellblinki. This epic masterpiece is truly a journey through the bent, bizarre, and beautiful.

"The album begins with "The End", which starts off with audio clips of a man speaking and various sound effects, which then give way to the musical portion of the track. This use of canned sound clips is a common theme for Hellblinki, both on their recorded albums and in their live shows. "Bella Ciao", like "The End", is another fine example of Hellblinki"s "Pirate Cabaret" style. "Bella Ciao" is an Italian Partisan song; the music is that of a traditional folk song, but the lyrics were written to express the plight of the anti-Fascist partisans of 1940s Italy.

Songs such as "Ruckus" (a familiar tune to many) and "Can Be Free" have a rather avant-garde folksong feel to them. The songs speak of freedom to do as one pleases and enjoying life (as in "Can Be Free": "I take what I choose/And I take it for free/No one will ever tell me what to believe"). "Indelicate Brew" is another folksy song; however, instead of longing for carefree days, it instead speaks of poisoning the ones you love. There are also several purely instrumental tracks on the album. The most notable of these is possibly "Drums." The track is exactly what the title implies; crazed, almost tribal drumming, topped with Valerie's ethereal and haunting vocals.

Andrew's growling vocals, so like those of Tom Waits and Nick Cave, trading off with the powerhouse vocalizations of Valerie gives the album a haunting quality which is so rarely experienced in today's music. The amount talent and innovative ideas in this group (including any guest members) is hard to duplicate. "Oratory", much like the group which released it, is, in a word, insane." - Metropolitan Spirit

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