Orwell – AVOHFASIH (2011): Album Review

In Depths I Sink” is a misnomer of a song title, as it’s about realizing your own strength and learning to ignore the “advice” of experts. The scream for “Apparitions come to life” is brutally amazing. The track has a heartbeat outro, which seems to indicate that the protagonist is waking up to the realization that he’s still alive despite years of feeling wicked and deserving of suffering.

From Depths I Rise” After the heartbeat outro of the previous track bleeds into this one, we’re introduced to some symphonic metal female vocals. When Logan Hauser comes in on vocals, he’s answering to the female singer and their parts overlap. It’s a slowly building track, but it doesn’t take too long to get to the point, and at 3:25 the bass comes in to takes over the breakdown. This is the first song that tells us what we’re dealing with, and that is loss; perhaps at this point our story teller is learning to deal with the loss and accept his new future.

In Dust I Stand” begins with an awesome guitar intro that introduces a killer melody, which gets fleshed out in the second verse. It’s in this track that we learn the protagonist is at fault, or at least blames himself, for the death (or loss) of someone he deeply cared for, but he finds the strength to break the chains of guilt and release himself — rising in the ashes (dust) of his guilt. The track is a 9:09 minute epic and intense journey that never becomes dull and ends sooner than you’d expect. There’s a beautiful break midway through with some enchanting acoustic guitar, which gives way to a nice sounding solo. The outro reminds me of Chemlab.

The final track on Avohfasih, “A New Awakening,” opens with marching snares and a distortion-free guitar melody and the main guitar riff is staccato, like a train rolling (Johnny Cash style). During the breakdown we can hear an audible nautical reference (i.e., waves), which we learn (along with the lyric, “sand on my feet the earth beneath me”) signifies that our protagonist is no longer lost at sea, but has solid ground to stand on once again. Ultimately, the song is about shedding the past and finding oneself again and being able to move forward in life.

While I fully endorse Orwell’s Avohfasih and is among the most exciting things I’ve heard in a while, there are some faults. There needs to be more fully developed choruses that listeners can get behind and sing along with, more complex guitar solos, and, though it’s not generally part of the genre, better vocal phrasing.

Orwell is:

Cris Bissell – Drums
Logan Hauser – Vocals
Erik Bolstad – Guitar
Will Strickland – Bass
Tim Bradley – Guitar/Vocals

The Verdict: [rating:3.5]

Get it, you won’t be disappointed. And if you are, it’s a pay-what-you-want download on Orwell’s bandcamp page. If you really love it, order a physical, hand-numbered copy for $6 (or more) USDA.


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