Dubbing themselves as "Pure Midwestern American Metal", Wisconsin's own Orwell have released a new record entitled Endeavors (Zero Budget Records). This 10 song CD mixes elements of the awesome Melodic Swedish Modern (Death) Metal and adds an American slant to it, ala Killswitch Engage or All That Remains. And what you get is aggressive Metal with twin guitars a blazing, smoking drumming with blast beats and a melodic flavor that does not water down the metallic sheen.
Orwell very much shows their Swedish influence all throughout Endeavors, which is NOT a bad thing in the slightest. Always heavy and with a ton of powerful groove, they riff it up like you might expect a band to do that incorporates this genre into their style. Songs like "Consumed" show off the double guitar harmony riffing that has become synonymous in modern day metal, and these guys pull it off very well. Also check out the opening riff to "Distance" for another great harmony example. Hard Rock Twin guitar pioneers, Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson of Thin Lizzy would be proud of the harmonizing done by guitarists, Tim Bradley and Erik Bolstad, throughout this record.
Songs on Endeavors are all heavily brutal and their use of Metalcore with the aforementioned Swedish Metal blends nicely. Headbanging beats infused with Doc Marten stomping breakdowns are evident on the track "Chasing Illusions", while the longest song on Endeavors, "Fortress", clocking in at just over 8 minutes, allows Orwell to stretch out a bit and flex their Wisconsin muscle in a bunch of different ways. The only drawback that I really have is the vocals. This is an area where the Swedish bands just completely rule in, I can understand their lyrics! Orwell singer, Logan Hauser, while using quite a bit of melody in his delivery, you can almost not understand a word he is saying! And while this is a trend of a lot of bands these days, wouldn't it be better to actually understand what they are saying? Thank god for bands like Soilwork, In Flames and Killswitch for keeping it heavy and intricate while never just screaming lyrics that you can't understand.
Overall, Orwell delivers a good Modern Metal listen here with Endeavors. It's riffy with a lot of chest thumping grooves that are sure to make the Metallion in you very happy. Given a bit of a minus for the vocal styling's, this is still a solid release. The harmony guitar work alone is a treat and makes these guys are definitely a band to keep an eye on.
1. Dictators In Disguise
2. Tempting Our Damnation
3. Walking Ghosts
7. Chasing Illusions
9. A Promise Of Pain
10. Firefighting In Hell