Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Orion - On The Banks Of Rubicon EP - Album Review

Year: 2013

The one aspect that everyone universally expects from music is memorability. Be it any genre, the listeners always want to hear something that will stay with them for a while after they've listened to the album. When dealing with a genre like death metal, catchy song writing is a particularly hard feat to achieve. So death metal bands instead, focus on technicality and brutality as opposed to catchiness. So when I stumbled upon a death metal band that was both progressive and immensely memorable, it came as a surprise indeed.

Orion is a progressive death metal band that hails from Mumbai, India and they've been active in the scene for about six years now. The record in focus here, is the band's debut EP, titled 'On the Banks of Rubicon'. 

Right off the bat, the band's progressive inclinations are made clear by the odd time signatures and riff changes in the opening track 'Oh Sweet Ebullition'. The band takes a melodic approach to death metal as opposed to the mindless barbaric route. This is not saying that the music is soft, as it contains the required amount of roughness to it. 

The riffs, though progressive and slightly unconventional, are written in a way that they stick to one's mind almost spontaneously. Guitar work of Vigneshkumar Venkatraman and Ashwin Kulkarni steal the spotlight on this record as they let rip one solid riff after the other. The other elements are equally good if not better. 

Vocals are the typical death metal growls and this band does not shy away from employing clean singing in parts. The bass parts and drumming of Anshuman Bhattacharya and Pritesh Prabhune respectively, do a fine job in holding a solid rhythm and adapting to the progressive changes. There are slight instances where a slight carnatic influence can be felt in the guitar work, especially in the track 'Astral'. 

Production and mixing are done well and there are no glitches for the most part. Throughout the total play time of 23 odd minutes, this record entertains and intrigues. This is a solid slab of death metal and one that proves to be progressive, melodic and catchy.

Rating: 85%

Orion will be a part of the line up at Transcending Obscurity Fest, which is scheduled to take place on the 11th of May 2014, at Hotel United 21, Mumbai.

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