Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Orphan Bloom - Orphan Bloom (2010)

1. The Waterway 4:34
2. Immune 6:57
3. Burning in the Rain 4:20
4. Atonement 2:00
5. Indra's Web 5:42
6. The Duel 3:53
7. Brindle 4:29
8. No Ever After 3:57
9. Veil 7:42
10. Until Dawn 4:30
11. Sepia 2:13
12. Frail Hand 9:41

Wow, over the last week I just can't seem to get enough of this album from this Madison, Wisconsin based progressive metal band Orphan Bloom. It's ballsy, riffy, bluesy, technical, groove metal. This record has these thick yet catchy guitar hooks at times that never leave your head. "No Ever After" and "Until Dawn" maybe being the most memorable. Some other standouts include the epic "Indra's Web" the opening cut The Waterway" and the closer "Frail Hand." Along with some songs with these nice acoustic ballady sections in "Brindle" and "Veil."

I am really loving this album a ton, and probably a bit more with each listening. These guys have the chops, the memorable melodies, the riffs, the molding of influences. Even their singer, while he's not the greatest singer I've ever heard, keeps growing on me and I find fits their music extremely well.

The groups who do come to mind, just for the sake of a reference point: King's X, Mastodon, Rush, Motorhead and along the lines of both Mastodon and Motorhead, the great band from Texas I saw a few years back with Fair to Midland, The House Harkonnen.

Really badass, groovey blues metal, that is progressive rock of a kind, but really never is guilty of excessiveness.

And one other thing that I can't help but think about is at the show I saw them a few weeks ago in Minneapols at the "Progasm" at the 400 Bar, they played some new material. In other words, their next work may not be far away, and could be even better, as they clearly were the band I was impressed by the most that evening.

I think one of the biggest parts of what I love about them is the guitar tones they use and the tasteful guitar solos. Their lead guitarist Saigopal Nelaturi brings influences that are non-traditional-to-many-hard-rock/metal bands. As shown at the beginning of "Indra's Web" among other sections. I think among other things, his guitar work and style, makes them stand out over so many other "prog" and "prog metal" bands trying to do something significant now.

I probably would call this among if not the best 2010 record I've heard in 2011 thus far. Those are the kinds of albums I look forward to every year, even if I'm not around during the initial release period/year.

I can't wait to hear what they do next and see them live again.

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