Orphanage - _By Time Alone_
(DSFA Records, 1996)
by: Pedro Azevedo (
"Epic mix of melody, aggression, Gregorian choirs and danceable grooves"... is this publicity or a warning? Well, I was curious to see what Orphanage would come up with to describe their new album _By Time Alone_, after they had described their debut, _Oblivion_, as "Innovative Gregorian groovey Celtic doom death metal"... I guess they did it again. This time, however, there seems to be more of a Meshuggah feel to their sound, or maybe some Fear Factory influences - they boost a quite powerful sound, thanks to Vogelaar's guitar, which sounds almost like a bass. Orphanage have chosen to use lots of strange tempos and weird rhythmic sections which probably won't make much sense at first, and, unfortunately, there are a few nice melodies that get a bit smothered by all this, even though the combination of the two is what makes them unique - the melodic part being the best, in my opinion. In fact, as you probably noticed, the "Gregorian" part stayed in their description, both because of the good keyboard melodies and the very interesting female vocals done by Rosan van der Aa. The album starts off quite nicely, the first few tracks being majorly responsible for the album getting an 8 instead of a 7, especially "The Dark Side" and "Cliffs of Moher" (in which Rosan sings solo, great melody), and then moves on to a less melodic second half, the quality being generally a tad lower, yet still quite enjoyable. The last track, the "hidden" one, features a dance/techno/whatever part, which is about as interesting as finding a dead fly in your food. Overall, a good album, with a rather original sound and good rhythms and melodies.
(article published 5/13/1997)
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