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Orthodox : Amanecer en Puerta Oscura

There’s nothing orthodox about Orthodox. This enigmatic Spanish combo hails from Seville, but their music is dark, sometime impenetrable, miles away from the sunny stereotypes we are used to. Orthodox literally exploded on the Doom scene with their monolithic and highly acclaimed debut album 'Gran Poder', an infectious slab of slow, down-tuned sludgy doom, mixed with drone at times, but still as heavy as f***.

With 'Amanecer en Puerta Oscura', the Spanish trio adds unusual (for a Doom band) instruments – double bass, clarinet, trumpet – exploring new and experimental landscapes. This album is so varied that we could be listening to 14 different bands, but this is no bad thing. Almost every style is thrown in the mix, starting with the jazzy improvisation of the opening track 'Con Sangre de Quiente Odenda', a flirtatious affair between clarinet, guitar and double bass, culminating in a free jazz climax reminiscent of Ornette Coleman. The rest of the album takes you on a rollercoaster of a journey: sludgy, ...Sabbath rifferama on 'Mesto, Rigido e Ceremoniale', with a frantic guitar in full Robert Fripp style; Om and Boris with distorted vocals and pulsating bass in the stripped-down 'Solemne Triduo'; ghostly, haunting piano melody in 'Puerta Osario'. The centerpiece, the 15 minute long 'Templos', features a slow two-note double bass riff supporting endless instrumental improvisations and textures, building a disturbing and deeply involving atmosphere: think Karlheinz Stockhausen mixed with John McLaughling, 'Extrapolation' era or John Zorn. The album ends with 'Parte II. Apogeum'. More doomy riffs, distorted vocoder-like vocals, thundering drumming... an acid trip culminating in a violent guitar solo, with bass slapping in typical John Wetton (yes, that one) style. If you ever wanted to know what King Crimson would sound like playing a Doom dirge, this is your chance.

Amanecer en Puerta Oscura is a difficult album to digest and you will need several spins to absorb all the intricacies and different styles, but if you are prepared to suffer in order to gain, I warmly recommend it.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Con Sangre de Quien te Ofenda
2. Mesto, Rigido e Ceremoniale
3. Solemne Triduo
4. Amanecer en Puerta Oscura
5. Puerta Osario
6. Templos
7. Parte II. Apogeum

Duration : Approx. 47 minutes.

Visit the Orthodox bandpage.

Reviewed on 03-05-2009 by Giovanni Guarnieri
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