Orbeth - 13th Orb review
|Release date:||January 2013|
03. Riding The Ice Fields
04. Planetoid Alpha
06. Scorpius Frequency
07. Celestial Guardians
08. 13th Orb
10. Terra Ignota
11. Blue Sunrise(Drone)
Ben White AKA Bijimitsu, formerly of Mithras, is a very, very busy composer. His band Orbeth released 4 albums in 2012, which followed the 2 full lengths from 2011. The 13th Orb is his first of who knows how many for 2013.
Last year I reviewed one of the 2012 offerings, The Way, and was impressed with its dark, spacey prog but not thrilled with the execution. It seemed to set up big climaxes that never happened, and hinted at potential while never really satisfying. When he sent me this album I was trepidatious to say the least. But once the album was spinning I realized this new output is nothing like The Way.
The 13th Orb is still prog, and still dark, but the spacey-ness manifests itself in a heavier, hungrier way. Though he referred to this album as "fantasy metal," gone is much of the whispered, mystic atmosphere; it was replaced with sheer power and more extreme metal. There are still acoustic parts, still mood, and still some whispered vocals, only now they're splendidly balanced with shouted vocals, build-ups that really go somewhere, and guitar solos that'll make you swoon.
Swoon, I tell you.
The soaring melodies have their moments, and the extreme death-inspired metal has its moments, but for the most part it's a unique blend. It's both melodic and extreme, and encompasses the best of many different kinds of prog. Strangely enough, there are some electronic elements that really tie it all together. Electronic elements? That was really out of left field, wasn't it? Just go with it this time. What felt held back in the other album positively bursts forth this time around. It's like... "Orbeth unleashed" or something awesome. Not just the increase in extreme metal or the faster tempos but really in the energy as well.
Hearing two such different albums from the same dude made me very curious: did he simply evolve or is Orbeth's discography just this eclectic? Hearing more of their music is definitely on my to-do list this year. But at least this time, Bijimitsu really hit the sweet spot. If you like any form of progressive in your metal, or you just like interesting blends of music, then listening to The 13th Orb should be on YOUR to-do list this year.
Listen at Bandcamp
Written on 03.04.2013 by
Susan appreciates quality metal regardless of sub-genre. Metal Storm Staff since 2006.
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