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Orpheus Blade: Wolf's Cry

Orpheus Blade want to explore our darkest, beastliest side, insisting it lies somewhere within us all and Wolf's Cry is their rather intricate, twisted, yet delightful way of doing so. Billed as progressive metal, I'd actually suggest that what this album portrays is more theatrical metal, the feel of an unsettling stage show derived through quite wonderful spoken word sections, as well as eerie incidental passages and the overall atmosphere of the arrangements and vocals. On that front, Adi Bitran and Henning Basse (Metalium/Epysode) are quite superb, the female/male vocal interplay a sound to behold. Bitran is the owner of a hugely expressive delivery and impressive range - although she is far more interested in providing engaging, rich outbursts which enhance the music than having us fawn over her undoubted talents. Basse is a more aggressive proposition, gritty and brash, yet soulful melodic and never tipping into the guttural side of things. Apart the duo are mighty, together they combine to make a lethal weapon.

Musically things are equally arresting, the trio of power that is Gal Ben Halm (guitars), Edi Lemishov (bass) and Shaked Furman (drums) in imperious form, their ability to move from intricate and claustrophobic melancholia right through to bombastic boisterous barrages equally jaw dropping. This is an outfit as likely to draw you in and seduce, as they are to knock you sideway and leave you bleeding on the ground. Special mention must also go to whoever played keyboards on the album (there isn't a credit on the digital download), their contributions integral to the atmosphere and scope of what is achieved here, while Erez Yohanan (AMASEFFER), who co-wrote alongside Bitran must also take a bow.

Whilst individual songs do stand out, "Because He's Made Of Flesh", "Under Dying Stars" and "The Finest Art Of Feeding" (Nightwish should give the latter a good listen…and take note) being amongst my own personal favourites, Wolf's Cry works best as a continuos listening experience. Across the twelve tracks - some of which are short linking pieces, some music backed spoken word - the atmosphere and threat grow and evolve; the strength of this album its clear coherence, although it is delivered with much more freedom and exuberance than that description suggests.

Amazingly this is the first offering from Orpheus Blade, the maturity and scope of what's on offer suggesting a long established act reaching the peak of their maturity. That we are only at the beginning of the O-B journey leaves only one problem. How do they follow Wolf's Cry? It's sure as hell going to be interesting to find out.

Track Listing
1. Shadows Still
2. The Finest Art of Feeding
3. The Becoming
4. Under Dying Stars
5. In Sickness And In Hell
6. The Death Of All Morrows
7. Dismissal
8. In Terms Of Twilight
9. Because He's Made Of Flesh
10. For Each Man Kills
11. Chronicles
12. The Man Who Cried Wolf

Added: August 30th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Pitch Black Records
Hits: 1750
Language: english

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