Review from Jenny Tate
Posted by Hypnotic Dirge Records on Friday, April 28, 2023 Under: English
From: Jenny Tate
Date: April 27, 2023
Date: April 27, 2023
The first Hypnotic Dirge Records release of the year, ‘Spleen’ comes to you from New Zealand/Aussie’s gothic death doomsters, Orphans Of Dusk.
Founded 2013, OOD’s last release was the 4 track ‘Revenant’, also launched on HDR.
Comparisons have been drawn to the likes of Type O Negative and Woods Of Ypres.
‘Spleen’ is an intensification of past material, with a lighter, yet meatier melodic touch. Designed to home in on the goth/doom themes, ‘Spleen’ heavily showcases the band’s evolution.
Officially launched on 28th April 2023, ‘Spleen’ is available on digipack, digital and combo packs and merch can also be bought from HDR’s Bandcamp page.
The trio consists of: Chris G (vocals), James Quested (guitars/synth) and Mike Wilson (bass). Don Salamon features on title track 5, ‘Spleen’. Drums – Jonas Schutz. Produced by Simon Cohen, at Studios 301. Cover art by Moreno Matkovic, with additional illustrations by Luciferium War Graphics, Irina Micic and James Quested.
Welcome Black – Instant doom hit. Fusing blackened doom with choral vocals and gothic melodies. Darkly haunting. A lone voice accompanies keys and synths, till the end.
Wasted Hero – Similarly doom centric, but even heavier, with more synth. Deep, guttural vocals. Actually quite creatively vibrant, considering the genre. Slight Sabbath echoes. Very visually evocative, for the sound. Lots of spacey, sci-fi sounds, verging on fantasy games, such as Dungeons & Dragons, in places. The haunting gothic organ combines well with the darkness and the synths. Slowed, doom vocals, with light stoner touches. Good narrative structure. An enlightening presentation and delivery. Light and dark intertwine.
I’m Going To Haunt You (When I Die) – Grinding death vocals intro, with a touch of melody within them. More classic doom refrains. Still, light penetrates, through the darkness. Switching, fluidly and comfortably, from heavy, deep intensity, to lighter melodies. Surprising and intriguing, in equal measure. Opening up another world of light relief and wonder, towards the bridge. Following with a searing riff and well spaced drum hits. Lyrics clearer, in places. More thunderous drumming and evil laughter meld together. Sailing, seamlessly, to the end, where bass and lead guitar fuse.
Aurora Australis – Dark synth waves open, revealing echoic, cave-like depths. Vocal blackness meets melody. Shades of death and light. Grinding edge and lighter glimpses balance each other out, punctuated by slow drum beats. Deepening bass loosens the tones. Moving into a continued looseness. Quite Immortal Empire-esque. Interestingly versatile. Constantly alternating rhythms and melodies. Eventually, emerging, into the light, at the end.
Spleen – A spacey intro. Darkest depths again, combine with light shafts. Quite an expansive sound. Cymbal hits form the following section, into the bridge, where the light grows stronger. Strange, yet curious combo of stoner, circa Crash Test Dummies, Yes and Pink Floyd-esque melodic reflections. Always presenting a new angle. A gothic finale.
Victim Of A Vampire – Carefully conveyed steel strings open, leaving room for imagination. Cymbals emerge, with vocals, via lyrical accessibility. Lots of enjoyable riff sheen. Flexible tones bend, this way and that, featuring a well-placed electrifying riff. Continuing, in a steady rhythmic light and dark combo, finished with a neatly positioned slide riff.
Magic Keys – A big, gothic opening, with impressively dazzling riffage. A mediaeval edge, with a modern execution. Neat string bending, as gothic sounds surround. Darkly choral backing vocals, topped off by funeral bells and a strongly sinister atmosphere. A brief, but very evocative interlude.
Falling Star – Electronic synth intro, straight into an unexpectedly light refrain. An effective dark and light fusion, again, featuring a few more diverse rhythmic patterns. Blood-curdling death vocals, towards the bridge. Slowing it down, alternating the tones, reflecting light, inside the darker aspects. Ending on a creepy vocal.
A Spell Of Bad Luck (B-Side) – A colourful blizzard of gothic melodies intro’s. Hope within volatility. A rainbow of reflective riffage sings, throughout. Always a sense of light emerging from darkness. Low vocals, showcasing depths, again, before uplifting, fiery riffage overtakes, till the end.
Overall – ‘Spleen’s a revelation, on many levels, but mainly and especially, in its wide-ranging versatility and its balanced capture of light and dark. The hopeful continuum and consistent diversity are clear USP’s, highlighting it’s creativity and originality. A long, but very intriguing and worthwhile aural journey.
In : English
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