Orphalis – As the Ashes Settle Review

There are albums that really trick us. If I were to write only about album warmer and tittle track “As the Ashes Settle” this review would completely different as the track evolved into a Brutal Death Metal. Though, as I went deep in the album, my opinion had to change totally. I still do think the album has a Brutal Death Metal slant, however, Orphalis added layers and layers of a refined and flawless instrumental. So, I’d rather say they are a Technical Brutal Death Metal band which loves to give us the creeps with tracks as “Moon Supremacy” whose electro grip might scare the fan if put to play first. Things, though, get on track with “From Shadows Arisen” with a frentic drumming.

At first sight, Technical Brutal Death Metal is really hard to understand. I mean, how can a band be at the same time brutal and technical? Well, they can. The secret is to balance both as Orphalis did here. They did it in a very smart way giving the vocals and the drumming the task to gather all the aggression possible leaving the guitars free to fly. This kind of writing avoids all the trouble in mixing the guitars because the problem is they get too noisy even for a Death Metal band. Vocals and drums don’t sound tangled. Guitars do. If not well mixed and produced the sound of the guitar may sound as a beehive, if you know what I mean. Of course, there are times the intent is this, but not all the time. Music needs some melody. “To Embrace Defeat” tells this tale much better. Just the right amount of aggression and punch with melodic guitar lines. The constrast. Always the contrast.

As I was talking about smart musical choices, there is one more here that is the breaks Orphalis like to insert inbetween the songs. That’s where the guitars and the bass are totally free to do whatever they musically feel like to. In most of them they insert some weird grooves that spice even more the music.

“As the Ashes Settle” is a great album with great music choices.

Orphalis “As the Ashes Settle” will be released on August 25th via Transcending Obscurity Records.

Track Listing:

  1. As the Ashes Settle
  2. Ritual of Conflagration
  3. Watch them Descend
  4. The Wolves Draw Near
  5. An Effigy to Humanity
  6. Staring into Ruin
  7. Moon Supremacy
  8. From Shadows Arisen
  9. Labyrinth Configuration
  10. To Embrace Defeat
  11. Crowned in Hatred

Watch “Ritual of Conflagration” official music video here: