Thursday, March 27, 2008

Best of 2007 - #11

11. orthodox - 'amanecer en puerta oscura'
[review published on issue #8 of Rock-A-Rolla magazine]
Sevilla’s Orthodox are everything but – already on their first album, ‘Gran Poder’, a relatively hidden gem, it could be perceived that these Spaniards were on to something special. Although the album got lost in its own meanderings a bit too often for its own good, that unmistakable feeling of a band on to something unusual was there. ‘Amanecer En Puerta Oscura’ confirms that, and a lot more besides. Still a remarkably difficult album, even more so than its predecessor, as sombre, unsettling passages alternate with urgent jazzy labyrinths to create an unpredictable tapestry that will require a lot of dedication for it to make any sense. Structures seem loose and vague, which helps the eerie, trance-like quality of most of the music, but once you get used to it the underlying thread becomes apparent, a moving force similar to later Neurosis. Most of the record is instrumental, and when voices do appear, it still feels instrumental, as they are used for texture and richness of atmosphere primarily. ‘Amanecer En Puerta Oscura’ is a great evolutionary leap for the band, as the focus is much greater than on their debut. The several elements are given less space to get lost in themselves and the dynamics are helped a great deal by this mutating approach to songwriting. Exotic in a dark and frequently disturbing way, experimental but controlled, strangely uplifting but nevertheless oppressive in its stronger moments, this is an album of contrasts and touching extremities, on which the patient listener will be immensely rewarded.

Orthodox - 'Con Sangre De Quien Te Ofenda'

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