Album Reviews

Orme: Orme

On their debut LP, the Hertfordshire drone overlords take it to the extreme.

Perhaps one of the very few who never thought to pit Matt Pike’s howling guitar psychosis with the void-like menace of Sunn O))), whilst occupying similar orbits, in my mind the two respective bands were always considered too pioneering to share any sort of creative space.

Hertfordshire’s monolithic odyssey, Orme, don’t much care about this of course, and on their tone grappling self-titled debut album, they just about defy the odds.

Two songs clocking in at 95 minutes, Orme’s heart-on-sleeve Dopesmoker homage is equal parts ambitious and stark raving mad.

Orme deliver a motion-sickness drone with a sea of volume that would flatten any coastal town. The three-piece, comprising of members from Everest Queen and Praetorian, guitarist/vocalist Tom Clements, bassist/didgeridoo Jimmy Long, and drummer Luke Thelin), pull and twist the origins of metal into a form of monolithic rage that lands at the foot of Lucifer’s lair.

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The amount of guitar tracks alone on opening cut, Nazarene rival their fellow amplifier worshipers, Sunn O))), piling them up to the skyline, or – more cynically – sinking them into the very soils inhabited by Odin.

On Nazarene, Orme do away with the hypnotic heaviness and meditative vibe Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley have mastered to great effect over their last three Sunn O))) releases. The sermons delivered by Clements revel in lunacy, cloaked in Satanic diabolism. The sickening timbre build-ups are gale-force, giving his spooky diatribes new strength.

Orme - Orme

Then there are riffs. By Christ, there are riffs. Thirty minutes into Nazarene, and the cry-into-your-pint riff-a-rolla straight from the book of Pike and Sleep cuts through like a butcher’s blade. It opens up the track’s final 10 minutes, which is like being swallowed up into the void. Pure epic blasts and bruising tone inspired by fellow doom hell-raisers from the south, Electric Wizard.

The 53 minute epic, Onwards to Sarnath, relies heavily on the drone, leading us through to a psychedelic melange of didgeridoo and hypnotic vocal harmonies featuring Chea Griffin Anker alongside Clements. In contrast to Nazarene, Onwards to Sarnath permeates with a reflective spirit that acts as some strange form of sonic detox.

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Such as the extremities of an album like Orme, from its esoteric discourses to its lengthy duration, it will either be discarded or heralded as an underground classic in time. Either way, a band like Orme don’t care. Pure audiophiles, throughout this 95 minutes, the band don’t waste a second. From the long silence at the backend of Onwards to Sarnath to the bolt rumbling doom freak-out throughout Nazarene, every morsel of sound has its purpose. It’s up to you whether you wish to partake.

While the Norwegian church burners may dance through the flames of Odin’s habitat, Orme back burn the terrains with the kind of riffs and rhythmic tonality that shapes up to anything Southern Lord have served up over the years. Don the headphones, take the plunge, and listen for yourself. If dare you…

Omre is out via Trepanation Recordings. Purchase from Bandcamp.

By Simon Kirk

Product from the happy generation. Proud purple bin owner surviving on music, books and LFC. New book, Welcome To Charmsville, available from all major vendors.

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