Orexis of Death
This strangely before its time production opens with a false sense of tranquil security. A charming melody branches out from the mystical soundsphere and gently swings on for a few moments. It's when the fade to silence begins to take shape that experience tells me something is about to happen. And maybe this was new back then, and for this I love it, after a moment's pause some dirty psychedelic and blues orientated guitar throws everything off balance.
Production by Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath gives the flavour a heaviness and full on feel that makes an impression immediately. Thumping rhythm with a notch extra for the bass notes makes way for some wailing vocals. It's got rock n roll all over it, the pace is up tempo and the music remains frantic even when the chord progression leans back for the verses. Tight playing and interesting directions of melody and song section make the quality bar rise within a few minutes.
A definite sense of Sabbath and Deep Purple oozes from this album, the song structure is exciting and with parts that flow and alternate, glued together by continuously original fills, the classical rock sound really encapsulates the record. As the second track calms down with the use of acoustic guitar and a more folky edge to the melody, we get to hear the singer a bit more clearly. Bill Branch sings poetry and stories with a formulated but complex band effort that almost works in unison, each instrument firing off around the same parts.
The element of progressive rock is called on with most of the tracks, some funky workings take the place of some of the more atmospheric styles other bands may revolve around but the evolution of each number works for listening and allowing. Getting to grips with the words makes it more enjoyable, singing along is good fun. It's a cool album, with a magic of its own that speaks loudly for its era but without having a status symbol track to keep it on the radio. It wasn't officially released until 1999 due to the band splitting shortly after it being made. Who knows what would have happened otherwise?
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