Reviews for Orphanage - Oblivion:
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Orphanage, the first metalband I bought an album of, so naturally this band has an extra warm spot in my heart.

Orphanage plays dark atmospheric music, with some ambitious lyrical contents, like a song about a serial-killer who assumes the identity of his victims (Chameleon). There's also one song around a Lovecraft-story (The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward). The difference between other bands and Orphanage is that this song is *not* about Cthulhu, and doesn't involve the cliched 'Ia! Ia! Phtagn!' lyrics or the famous 2 lines about R'lyeh.

Back to the music:
Orphanage could be lumped into the gothic metal category, but that would be unfortunate; the association between Orphanage and gothic revolves mostly around the line-up (grunter+clean female vocals, keyboards), it's emphasis on a dark atmosphere and Orphanage's involvement with the dutch gothic scene (mostly their close involvement with Within Temptation). A better description here would be that they're a mix of gothic and doom-death.

However, a huge difference with your standard gothic band would be the fact that the grunts are the main vocals here. That, and the guitars are pretty non-standard as well: going through 2 amps, Lex Vogelaar's guitars carry a lot of oomph and heavyness. The grunts themselves are also impressive, especially coming from a guy who in real life is of quite short stature.

The songs are in themselves occasionally gimmicky with the keyboards, and the vocals are slightly too soft in the mix, but with the alternation of heavy grunts, clean gloomy choir-vocals, and the clean female vocals, crunching guitars and varied drumming, the songs manage to be reasonably memorable. Most carry over their intended atmosphere well and invite to repeated listening.

Overall, the Orphanage sound isn't as mature as on their later two albums yet, but it's definitely on the right way.


Review by: Egregius

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