Posted by Nick Skog on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 Under: English
From: Sorrow Eternal Webzine
Published: September 22, 2014
Bizarre as it may seem to have to constantly find the next band worth hearing in the death/doom sub-sect of metal, this is where we are in 2014. The mighty have fallen, or disappeared to a cabin, hidden in the remote parts of the forest. Whatever the reason, new life and new blood is always in need. Australia's Orphans Of Dusk, a two piece outfit, seem to come to the table with a healthy amount of sadness, and a great deal of instrumental prowess. Fronted by Chris G, with all instrumentals provided by James Quested, minus session drums, they have a sound and style that is both familiar and formative. That is to say, they haven't found an identity all their own just yet. But on their debut EP, Revenant, they display both thought and care in varying amounts, and to varying success. These four songs can't be the best they have to offer.
The lines of doom metal are quickly bent on August Price, a track that connects with the listener on a variety of platforms. It is distinctly moody, anchored by the haunting use of keyboards, yet self aware enough to know when the time approaches to draw out their inner demons. Connecting the dots between one section and the other leads you down a gradual but rocky path. The guitar work is strong here, but fails victim to an imbalance in the mix that leaves a bass heavy aftertaste. Starless is the classic case of a straight line offering, a classic death/doom piece from start to finish. If anything, the melodic vocal lines are sometimes out of place, lacking the pitch and tone to make them effective against the grain of the guttural lead. On their own, they are manageable, bringing a retro doom feel to the chorus. But where the pieces do fit is in the backing band, a crushing piece of somber doom metal, driven by the drums, but directed by each guitar chord.
Where many will find the most solace is in the vaguely familiar of sound of Nibelheim, a song that may awaken the inner metalhead in many. Here, it is the keyboards, taking the form of organs, that ring so true. rather than merging styles, black and doom are pitted against one another, taking turns rocking you into a melancholic sleep, then awakening you with the devilish screams of frontman Chris G.. The latter half of the track reinforces the strengths of the band, with a more full mix revealed. Keys, guitars, drums and bass rise up, forming the four sides of the foundation, perhaps not equal in their strength or size, but stable nonetheless. Chris' vocals dip into the deeper register, almost mimicking traditional throat singing. If you've managed to ignore the lyrics thus far, you've missed a tremendous amount of gloom, but nothing compared to the finale, Beneath The Cover Of Night. The words here are just as important as the delivery, but it is the tale of two bands that tells the story. The first half depressive; the second half assaulting. It's doom metal versatility.
The process of starting a band, finding your sound, and refining it into something you can call your own isn't easy, nor is it fast. Orphans Of Dusk is a duo with limitless potential, even if there are a few bumps in the beginning of the road. What is strange is that an album with so many changes from atmospheric and overwhelmingly emotional to crushing and heavy can sound flat, sonically. many of the minor fixes that need to be ironed out come in the production realm, whether it be balancing the levels of the instrumental, or just allowing each instrument to be more dynamic in the mix. These are issues that are far easier to correct that that of chemistry or creativity, the latter not being a problem for these two musicians. Over time, it seems likely you'll hear bigger and better things from this pairing, and it won't be too long before this moniker becomes synonymous with the Australian doom scene. Until then, Revenant will have to do.
In : English
Tags: orphans of dusk revenant doom metal blackened doom metal atmospheric doom metal death-doom metal gothic doom metal new zealand doom metal