Orthodox, Proceed (Alone Records 2022)

O, the doom. Orthodox release their eighth album, Proceed.

Spanish doom trio Orthodox always offer surprises in their music, I have come to understand. The band is Borja Díaz (drums), Ricardo Jiménez (guitar), and Marco Serrato (bass, vocals). In addition to the seven other full-length albums they have released over the years, there is also a list of EPs, splits, and other material that hold any number of wonders.

When you listen, at first it sounds like the album is going to be straight-up doom metal on “Past Seers,” but it doesn’t stay that way for long. The vocals stretch the ideas beyond presumed boundaries, and the composition flexes past any preconceived standard. The set continues with “Abendrot,” and begins to incorporate some experimental elements and lingering otherness that band has become known for over their career.

With “Rabid God” there are dark jazz looks and sidelines. Clinking percussion blinks in now and again, and the guitars foster clashes that unsettle any complacency that might be lurking. You can feel distress in the vocals, and the kind of pleading where no respite is actually expected. The heavy foot of doom clobbers you when you are not expecting it, and twists to push in postures that have been established.

The final two tracks are both long and involved. “The Son, The Sword, The Bread” stands sounds together that, on your own, you might not have thought of as musical combinations. When you hear them here as they have been arranged, they are a veritable symphony with a choir of one. “The Long Defeat” closes the presentation in what sounds to me like a solemn reckoning. The doom is mountain-sized, and it is joined in cosmic collision with other elements to form what I would call conclusions.

I was not very familiar with this band until I listened closely to Proceed, then went back to hear some of their earlier work. Their music is genuinely unique, and if you don’t know about Orthodox yet, the new record is a good way to find out what it is all about. Recommended.

Proceed is out through Alone Records now. Gather it up from your favorite vendor after investigating the info at the links below.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://orthodoxband.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/orthodoxband

Alone Records, https://alonerecordsshop.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Orthodox, Proceed (Alone Records 2022)

Blazon Rite, Dulce Bellum Inexpertis review (Gates of Hell Records 2020)

Philadelphia metalheads Blazon Rite take a big swing with their debut release, Dulce Bellum Inexpertis.

The band carries with them the spirit of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal from the early 1980s in the themes and general sound of their fantasy-based creation. Pierson Roe (bass, keys), Ryan Haley (drums), James Kirn (guitars), and Johnny Halladay (vocals) breathe new life into familiar lines, introducing young fans to what has been solidly established as fundamentally appealing – and bring knowing nods of affirmation from those who have been around a little longer and recognize the sound.

There are four songs on the EP, adding up to a little over twenty minutes of music. “The Warriors Choice” gets things going with beautiful organ notes and layers, giving you a minute or so to gather yourself up for the metal. When the guitars start, you can hear the campaign immediately, the marching army. “Diamond Draggyr” has another quiet start, then kicks in at frantic pace with an homage to Dio on “Neon Knights.” “Into the Expanse” has a more formal and complex musical construction and a blistering lead break. “Udug Hul” begins like an English folk song then drops a heavy riff right on your head, speeding into an all-out assault. The band packs a lot into these four songs.

Blazon Rite is making the most of their initial release. The digital version of Dulce Bellum Inexpertis came out through Bandcamp in March this year, followed by a cassette in April. It was a hit, and drew enough attention to make to make additional releases possible. Alone Records (Greece) published a CD version a couple days ago, and the vinyl comes out from Gates of Hell Records this Friday, September, 25. If you like old school heavy metal, you are going to like this. Recommended.

Links.

https://blazonrite.bandcamp.com/album/dulce-bellum-inexpertis-e-p

https://www.facebook.com/blazonriteofficial/

https://www.facebook.com/gatesofhellrecords/

http://www.gatesofhellrecords.com/

Blazon Rite, Dulce Bellum Inexpertis review (Gates of Hell Records 2020)