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They hide in the buffalo bluffs of Pittsburgh... - 90%

Zmaj, December 22nd, 2007

After hearing some tracks on their myspace, Orgone's 'The Goliath' was the most anticipated album of 2007 for me, and let me tell you, it didn't disappoint. Some things that I found especially interesting were the lyrics and the band members' stances on politics and society, which is something you don't usually find bands being so open about (or interested in) in metal. However, I won't let that part influence this review (too much) and I'll try to keep it as objective as possible (though I will say a little about the lyrics).

I'll start off with the first thing that struck me when I got the CD, and that was the album art which was done by David D'Andrea who is most famous for collaborating with some well known sludge bands. The booklet contains abstract imagery which fits very well with the lyrics. The lyrics are of a spiritual nature and talk about a school teacher who undergoes a mental and physical transformation and basically becomes much more aware of his surroundings and the world (for more information visit the Orgone myspace). The whole story definitely 'does it' for me, especially when I read it along along to the music.

Ah, the music. Some words I'd use to describe it are: unique, technical, atmospheric, organic. Orgone blend tight technical musicianship with great atmosphere which, as a result, sounds kinda organic. I feel like everything flows perfectly.

The guitar and bass are mostly very technical and fast while the drumming is characterized by a healthy amount of aggressive double bass and fairly complex cymbal work. Some melody can be heard, but it's obviously not the main focus of the songwriting. The songs are all relatively long, ranging from the shortest track (Vowelic Drone) which lasts for 2 and a half minutes to the last track on the album (Vomited Hyacinths) running for more than 8 minutes. The structure of the whole album is progressive and there is not much repetition going on. Most of the songs are based on a gradual build-up, or should I say 'build-down', since they usually start with tech metal whirlwinds that slow down into crushing ambiental sludgy and more melodic parts. So rather than being 'all about the riffs', it's about the songs as a whole. And though the music may seem chaotic at first, that is definitely not the case. Orgone carefully weave their fine fabric into a complex tapestry of awesomeness that is 'The Goliath' . This is very technical music, but it's not generic or boring and the technicality isn't there to show-off the band members' playing skills. There's a lot more behind it. There's the atmosphere and the way the music flows. There's the distinct sound that I wouldn't mistake for any other band than Orgone. The overall complexity requires many listens for the album to sink in.
As for the vocals, this release features a different vocalist (for the most part) than the one on 'Accumulator'. While Steve Jarrett both sang and played guitar on the demo, Christian Senrud does most of the vocals on the full-length. His performance really surprised me because it's a whole different kind of guttural vocals unlike any growl I've heard before. I'm unsure on how to describe it except that it's not too low or too high but mid-range, quite raspy, yet coherent. Apart from Senrud, Steve Jarrett can also be heard near the end of 'The Levitating Chandelier' with his much more traditional sounding but very strong growl.
Adding to everything is the excellent production delivering a clean sound that lets no instrument stay unnoticed.

In the end if you asked me in what genre I would pigeonhole Orgone I'd probably still say technical death metal even though you can hear a very broad array of influences, from jazz to metal, and the overall sound is quite different from all the other bands in the genre. I really can't find a band to compare this to, except maybe Electro Quarterstaff, but that's only because of the way the music flows and I'm not sure if anyone would understand what I'm babbling about.

But anyway, I call this a masterpiece.