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Orbweaver: Strange Transmissions from the Neuralnomicon

Orbweaver is best described as trippy, psychedelic, dissonant, noisy, and heavy. The album cover, aside from being a cool image in its own right, is actually a helpful guide to the music. Like the picture, the music being played here is big and oozing and unusual. Not to worry; the band offers listeners plenty of death metal growls, riffs, and blast beats. Beside all that, though, are a series of effects that takes the music in new, otherworldly, directions. I enjoyed the changing time signatures, the unusual rhythms, and the lyrics. About half way through the opening track, the singer screeches out the words "circle of life." I had to laugh; I haven't heard that expression very much since Elton John's song from The Lion King. Wherever Orbweaver lies on the circle, I want to be there. This is exciting and interesting stuff.

For my money, the best tracks on this album "Xoxotic" and "Tragic Orbit: A Doomed Cosmic Starship." The other tracks are fine, but these two stood out to me as the most fascinating blend of what the guys in Orbweaver are trying to do. As I write this, I'm listening to "Tragic Orbit" for the fifth or sixth time and am amazed at how well it draws my attention. There's just something about that opening dissonance that makes me wonder what's coming next. There are also some pretty crazy science-fiction style melodies on that track. I don't know if that's a real theremin I hear, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were.

Many people will describe the music here as weird. The label is entirely appropriate, but I actually mean something very different by that term than some readers might think. See, I'm using "weird" in a manner similar to H. P. Lovecraft, the master of weird fiction. This isn't the time or the place to get into a longer discussion of the concept. Simply put, weird fiction has something to do with the smallness of human beings, especially in light of the vast and indifferent universe. Human beings, to put it another way, are nothing. The purpose of weird fiction is to frighten readers in ways that resonate with primeval fear, the kind that wondered whether this life was everything. This album is weird in precisely the same sense. As I listen, I feel like the band has drawn on music outside of human experience and reminded me at how strange and unusual the universe really is. Orbweaver is about to hit the road with Shroud Eater. Sounds like a great start to 2014!

Track Listing:
1. Xoxotic
2. Those of Non-Being
3. Crystal Prisms
4. Tragic Orbit: A Doomed Cosmic Starship
5. The Church Warden Procedure

Added: January 16th 2014
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1566
Language: english

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