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Orthodox: Amanecer en Puerta Oscura

The doom metal trio from Seville Spain known as Othodox certainly turned more than a few heads in 2007 with their ambitious debut CD Gran Poder. However as promising as that disc was, their sophomoric effort Amanecer en Puerta Oscura demonstrates that was just the tip of the iceberg as far as their overall abilities go. They really blow the doors wide open, upping their sonic ante big time by continuing to refine their slow, pile driving assault, but also by injecting more of a free jazz influence into their sound.

Orthodox basically takes a couple of slightly different approaches on Amanecer en Puerta Oscura as they either go for the highly effective stoned Sabbath style riffage, or they venture out into the sometimes cacophonous, exploratory territory of Sun Ra or later era Coltrane when they are augmented by guest musicians on clarinet and trumpet respectively. These new influences are evident right away as the first track "Con Sangre de quien te ofenda" is a sprawling nine minute epic which slowly builds in textures and moods before culminating in an almost song concluding orgy of noise, as the trumpet and clarinet finally meet head on. Using that opening number as a springboard the band comes out firing with an all out sludge fest on the 2nd song "Mesto rigido e ceremoniale" as the drums and guitars just explode with a remarkable amount of energy and clarity. They push and pull at this track for nine minutes, building tension and releasing it numerous times within the framework of the song. "Solemme Trido" is pretty much a straight ahead, stripped down, slow and driving track which again takes a bit of time to percolate but when it boils over, the frenetic guitar and pulsating bass lines work the song to it's dramatic and sudden conclusion. The title track and "Puerta Osario" are nothing more than short, instrumental interludes which take you into the opening acoustic bass notes of the CD's centerpiece, the fifteen minute "Templos". This song is a true exercise in minimalism and restraint, as the same few basic notes on the bass are repeated for the entire length of the song, accompanied only by the surge of the odd eclectic sounding guitar passages, a few cymbal crashes and a dash of clarinet. "Parte II Apogeum" closes things on an ultra heavy note as the band once again returns to their patent, slow drone like assault which takes over most of the track, before gradually increasing the tempos and climaxing in one massive, furious guitar solo.

As solid as Gran Poder was it was a just a mere stepping stone ( and a pretty good one at that) on the way to better things and one listen to Amanecer en Puerta Oscura is all it takes to confirm that. The robed penitents of Seville have definitely arrived.

Track Listing
1) Con Sangre de quien te ofenda
2) Mesto rigido e ceremoniale
3) Solemme Triduo
4) Amanecer en Puerta Oscura
5) Puerta Osario
6) Templos
7) Parte II. Apogeum

Added: February 21st 2008
Reviewer: Ryan Sparks
Related Link: Southern Lord
Hits: 2788
Language: english

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