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Orpheus Omega > Bleed the Way > Reviews
Orpheus Omega - Bleed the Way

Bleed the Way! - 87%

pfm, September 14th, 2019

Bleed the Way is the debut full-length album by Orpheus Omega (formerly Orpheus) from Melbourne, Australia. The album is a catchy, fast-paced riff-fest that owes a lot to the Gothenburg school of melodic death metal. The sound is driven by a combination of lead guitars and dancing keyboards, supported by an absolutely crushing rhythm section. For a young band at the time of this album’s release, the combination of quality individual musicianship and mature song writing is highly impressive. A couple of below-par tracks aside, Bleed the Way is forgotten gem of headbanging energy from start to finish.

Lead and rhythm guitars deliver a satisfying barrage of crunchy, catchy riffs and incandescent solos, that based on their early live performances must have taken a dozen takes each in the studio. The keys provide a sometimes almost unnoticeable symphonic backdrop, occasionally venturing to the forefront for an infusion of ephemeral, jaunty melody. They are absolutely integral to Bleed the Way’s sonic structure and set the band apart from other melodeath acts. The bass is mixed well, constantly lurking near the surface, though somewhat overshone by the monstrous display from Matt Themelco on the kit. Every time I come back to this album I am more impressed with Themelco’s drumming, to the point that it is now the album’s standout element for me.

The vocals are a raspy growl that strides across the instrumentation. They occasionally sound a little processed, but are otherwise passionate and well-delivered. The lyrical content is somewhat abstract, after 8 years I still don’t know what some of the songs are about. I am fairly confident in saying they deal largely with the human condition, with a bit of fantasy and science fiction thrown in along the way. The production, for me, borders on perfection. It’s a raw, snappy mix that preserves each individual element without approaching the over-polished sterility of many modern melodeath releases.

Bleed the Way does drag its feet a little in the second half, with For All It’s Worth and A Thousand Times lacking the clarity and punch of the rest of the album. I won’t call them filler, but they don’t live up to the quality or energy of the other tracks. Overall this is an excellent debut. Gritty, catchy, highly enjoyable and well worth your time. Standout tracks are Unscathed, Neath (The Shadow of the Monolith) and Sealed in Fate.