A Dark Orbit

Voyager EP

Written by: AP on 18/03/2009 18:56:50

NB always criticizes me for liking bands that seem hellbent on making their music as frenzied and inaccessible as possible without really falling into the extreme metal category. Well, NB, this is one of those bands and I have decided to dedicate this preamble to tell you that you will disagree with everything in this review, possibly see this band live some day only to voice your disapproval of their entropic sound and be secretly impressed by what must be an equally frenetic presence on stage. There is no neo-classical influence to be found here; no pretty melodies to loosen this band's grip on your throat; and no soulful solo to showcase the guitarists' prowess. The music of this band will make very little sense to someone with little or no experience with bands like Converge and The Chariot.

A Dark Orbit is a hardcore band with a taste for chaos. This they assert from the very beginning of their debut EP, "Voyager", which blasts off with vocalist Kapper's furious roar and one of those beautiful discord riffs that strike a chord in my heart. Speaking of the riffs, the band makes use of the unusual but effective technique of providing ambiance with one guitar (think The Psyke Project) and hitting what at first sounds like random notes in a bizarrely timed sequence and with rapid key changes with the other (probably with considerable inspiration found in the work of one Fredrik Thordendal). The resulting discharge of pent-up rage sounds like a psychotherapy session for treating someone with anger management issues. Add to that the occasional flirt with Morton-and-Adler-esque Southern sounds and you've got yourself some pretty odd instrumentation.

Drummer Sprock isn't messing around either, making sure that "Voyager" is driven by rhythmic syncopation and neo-jazz chromatics - except in the six-minute closer for which he has been barred from the rehearsal room. This spaced out son of a bitch is one of the most peculiar tracks I have ever heard and I find myself at pains to describe it for you here. Imagine those flashes of hellish brutality in the movie Event Horizon for atmosphere; the minimalist music of Sigur Rós; and three Kappers screaming things at you from each of your five surround sound speakers. Like post-rock meets hardcore. Shall we call it... post-hardcore? At least that label seems far more accurate to describe this madness than the scene bands it typically finds itself attached to.

"Voyager" sounds like it should have been released from Relapse's laboratory; so stereotypical it is to that label's repertoire of ultra-experimental upstarts. In fact, it would be surprising if A Dark Orbit wasn't picked up for a round of processing and an international deal there in the near future. Certainly "Voyager" is deserving of such attention, and it's hard to believe that the band has a measly eleven months of experience to show for it. There's still some untapped potential here, but that just leaves high expectations for an eventual full-length album. With Bury Tomorrow already on board, Basick Records seems determined to have its share of the decade's exclusive club of young metal successes.


Download: Radio... The Dead Eaters, The Waters, Voyager
For the fans of: The Chariot, Converge, Hero Destroyed
Listen: Myspace

Release date 12.01.2009

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