|The Official Biography, April 2004.
It has been four years since the Dutch Gothic Metal band ORPHANAGE delighted the world with their last studio album "Inside". Mysterious atmospheres, harsh riffs and the "beauty & the beast" vocals of both male and female origin, those are the musical facts and ingredients the band became liked and loved for, and now the waiting is finally over. With "Driven", ORPHANAGE present a new strong and homogeneous piece of work, typically filled with lots of metal and melody, brutality hand in hand with gloomy aesthetics.
During their X-mas Tour 2003 at the side of WITHIN TEMPTATION, ORPHANAGE already introduced some parts of the new material, and particularly 'The Sign' turned out to be the absolute new hymn of darkness. Together with the other songs 'In den Bergen des Irrsinns' (a German translation of 'At The Mountains Of Madness', to be found on the album "By Time Alone" from 1996) and 'Inside' (taken from the experimental self-titled record "Inside" from 2000), 'The Sign' already appeared on the limited ORPHANAGE tour EP which got spread during that tour as a virtually Christmas gift.
ORPHANAGE surfaced on the musical map in 1994. With their two demos "Morph" and "Druid" the band caught a lot of attention and the chance to get a record deal arose soon. In 1995 ORPHANAGE release their very first album "Oblivion" - people just loved the mixture of Death Metal elements, bombastic keyboards and groovy drum playing at first go and especially the blending of George Oosthoek's hard male grunts and Martine van Loon's (ex-THE GATHERING) beautiful female vocals made the music of ORPHANAGE so special. Also on stage the band could convince its audience wholeheartedly and made every concert an unforgettable happening. Shortly after the release of "Oblivion" Martine decided to part ways with ORPHANAGE and Rosan van der Aa joined in. In 1996 "By Time Alone" got recorded and released, the album contended even more atmosphere and elegance, leading ORPHANAGE to play the songs at some exclusive live gigs with a 5-piece horn-section, a string quartet and a 14-piece Gregorian Choir. Due to several other projects of the band members and more effort regarding the songwriting, it took ORPHANAGE almost four years to finish their next full length record "Inside". This new and dark masterpiece got in store in August 2000 and brought ORPHANAGE very good reviews as well as a lot of new touring opportunities, among them several festival appearances and headliner shows with WITHIN TEMPTATION and AFTER FOREVER during the years 2000 and 2001. Changes within the line up and time problems detained ORPHANAGE in creating new material afterwards - with the new members Remko van der Spek (bass), Sureel (drums) and Lasse Dellbrügge (keyboards) finally made it to get back to work in 2002, resulting in the most uncompromising album of ORPHANAGE: "Driven".
Within the 14 tracks on "Driven" slumbers a whole world of variety - the new songs are straight but also melodic and will appeal both Gothic fans and Melodic Death devotees. You can find gloomy and brute "back-to-the-roots" tunes like 'The Sign' and 'Driven', heavy guitar-stuff in form of 'Dead Grounds' and 'In Slavery' as well as romantic or groovy compositions with 'Beyond The Fall' and 'Addiction'. A really elegant album, which combines old and new skills of ORPHANAGE, and a true masterpiece of its genre that will certainly crown the band with a lot of success!