Orphan Hate – Blinded by Illusion – 4/5
If you've ever encountered a German whilst on vacation you'll probably have noticed something about them is a little strange; even when relaxing they seem to have a military precision about how they go about their free time, reporting at 0700 to ensure that not a single sun bed is left without a German towel in their invasion of the prime locations at the poolside with a round-the-clock watch put in place. Minus the machine guns, its as though they never truly left the war. I may have run away with my analogy far more than I intended here but the point I'm making is you'd think the German precision displayed by this band would make them stand out loud and proud, the hard working ethos resulting in this self-released debut full-length after half a decade of hard work a testament to tradition, and yet just how they've managed to slip through the cracks and gone unnoticed all this time is a puzzle I've yet to figure out.
Now there's little to be said for pushing boundaries on creativity, many of the elements feeling plucked from various other artists; there's the “Morbid Angel” death metal school of drumming, DePierre (Amaran) like soaring cleans amidst Kitty Saric's (Decadence) ferocious thrash growls and guitar solo's that seem torn between technicality and a more traditional train of thought. There's even a metalcore tinge to it all; the simplistic grooves of the rhythmic guitar delivered with plenty of bass providing a constant pounding throughout the music, acting as the piece's continuous lifeblood that only feels all the more essential when it inevitably dissipates.
And yet despite me picking out near-enough clones for each of the elements, it never comes off as some cheap knock off or as stagnant material; it all feels precise without any instrument haphazardly blurring into another, and this doesn't feel as though a result of extensive production either. Everything registers and has the bite to make a genuine impact; the drums in particular given enough presence and opportunities to provide ample fills and neither the lead guitars or the impressive range of delivery from the vocalist do anything do detract from the multi-layered composition. I've been silently obsessing to this release for the past couple of days and its slightly disappointing that still many of the tracks blur into one another; the melodic grooves just a touch too similar to distinguish themselves from the other tracks, there's not enough of the lead presence throughout many of the verses (not least of which the released single “Circus”) and too much time feels waiting for either the chorus or the solo to kick in. Sadly its just this one component tarnishing an otherwise highly impressive debut.
Highlights: 24/7 Liar, Evil A, Nothing's What it Seems