Asleep Next To Science
01. Sayer of the Law
02. A Man of Science
03. Megaloblastic Madness
04. The Northwestern Bearitories A: We the Animal
05. The Northwestern Bearitories B: Kid Cancer
06. People Will Read Again
07. Something Beautiful
08. Lost at Sea
[Equal Vision | 08/17/10]
Combining members of Between the Buried and Me, Cradle of Filth, Fear Before and Torch Runner, you’d be forgiven for expecting ORBS to be some kind of metal supergroup – albeit perhaps an eclectic one.
That was the mindset I had going into Asleep Next To Science, the debut album this group have had in the works since 2007. What I found was not even close to what I presumed: it is at first a bizarre, immeasurable experience, but one that rewards investment.
You see, despite the collective pedigree of the members of ORBS, they are not really metal at all. It was quite a surprise to say the least. Oh sure, they’re heavy (at times), but they instead take an astral, progressive approach to their music, combining a multitude of compositional techniques to create a sound that is very difficult to pigeon-hole. Bravo, ORBS; I like this.
First and foremost, in sidestepping the classic metal lyrical tropes, they have created an album of narrative and substance. A Man of Science paints a picture of a man too engrossed in his cause to see the shame he is causing his family. The Northwestern Bearitories A: We the Animal plays with the idea of interspecies misunderstanding. People Will Read Again creates an epic out of a group of children playing at war. They tell stories of both the mundane and the fantastical with operatic majesty – a scientific symphony if you will.
On top of this, ORBS have the musical brawn to match their lyrical brains. Most notable in the mix are the keys of Ashley Ellyllon, which give the album it’s space-rockey punch, transitioning seamlessly between accompaniment and lead melody. Her co-writer Dan Briggs, better known as Between the Buried and Me’s bassist, handles the main guitar duties here, but his influence over the bass parts is abundantly clear, as they are given as much prevalence as anything else. It’s really well-orchestrated stuff, expertly composed by individuals with a wealth of experience between them.
Whilst in no way to their detriment, Adam Fisher does employ a unique vocal tone that may put off the impatient. If you’re the kind of person who is deterred by what may be termed as ‘interesting intonations’, then you may not find ORBS to your liking – which would be a shame, as you’d be missing out on so much.
Every member of ORBS deserves the utmost praise for this sumptuous composition, and I’m glad that after a long wait, they’re finally able to put it out there.
Orbs’ Asleep Next To Science gets