About midway through Orion, an eight-song set of instrumental progressive-metal/fusion that Kopecky recorded live at Orion Sound Studios as part of the 2000 Baltimore Progressive Rock Showcase series, William Kopecky — bassist and keyboard player for the trio of brothers — brings up Edgar Allan Poe. “[Baltimore] is the city where Poe is buried, right?,” he asks the audience. “Anyplace that holds Poe’s bones is good enough for the Brothers Kopecky.”
The comment is appropriate, considering Kopecky play dark, twisted and groovy metal that bends the mind while sounding both minimalist and lush at the same time. Intricate melodies slither in and out of these performances — some only four and five minutes long — with unbridled ferocity, and tinges of traditional Middle-Eastern music creep into the proceedings.
A deep-rooted sense of inner violence pervades Kopecky's music, lending such tracks as "Scorpion" and "Crimson Crime 2-1-3" an extra air of heaviness. Conversely, atmospheric and moody pieces like "Autumn Swirl" and "Bartholomew's Kite" demonstrate the band's ability to convey a vast array of emotions. The well-paced 53-minute set also includes a live version of "Temptation's Screaming-Ground," a new cut from the band's forthcoming third studio release.
Bill brings a deft touch to his instruments, while Joe melds his guitar to fit the vibe of each song, and Paul’s drumming incorporates elements of jazz without sacrificing heavy-metal mentality. Sonically, Orion ranks among the best-sounding live recordings the genre offers, and taken as a collective performance, these songs represent a band stretching the seemingly limitless boundaries of its music. — Michael Popke