Orthodox "Gran Poder" CDPosted on Monday, February 5th, 2007 @ 9:02am » permalink
Among the latest from Southern Lord is "Gran Poder", the debut full-length from mysterious Spanish trio Orthodox, who deliver five tracks in a massive 61+ minutes – exploring the types of slow, pulsing, pounding doom for which the label is still best known. Hell, opener "Geryon's Throne" is damn near a half-hour long on its own, taking the first 10 minutes to gradually build up through spacious chord progressions, wandering bass runs, and sparse percussive bursts before the warbled vocals finally kick in – for a few minutes that is, before the track decays into a mass of twisted and mangled drones and feedback that occasionally become rather chaotic when joined by frantic percussive fits. That pretty much sets the tone for the album as a whole. There are a lot of loosely structured passages, though everything (not necessarily including vocals, which are utilized very sparingly) does unite on rare occasion for a more energetic and rocked out attack, and in general the drums are either barely there or run circles around the other instruments, bouncing from completely unhinged outbursts to almost jazzy patterns or sheer rhythmic bashings. Granted, the bonus cover of Venom's "Genocide" does counteract some of the band's own methodologies, ha! And the recording is fucking outstanding on this thing. The drums alone sound about as huge and resonant as possible – with a warm, crisp, extremely up-front sound that sort of dominates the mix without overpowering the other elements. Meanwhile the guitars and bass are perfect equals, each acting as "lead" instruments and treading similar ground with just enough differentiation in character to stand apart from one another. Awesome layout, too. A very cool outing when all is said and done.
Make the grab if you dig the track: