ORPHANS OF DUSK
Released August 2014
The great Pete Steele would definitely approve. Orphans Of Dusk, a band hailing from New Zealand and Australia, deliver enormous, powerful goth-doom riffs that are infused with both delight and derision. This is Type O Negative revisited, with a bit of rampaging death metal thrown in to add an energetic edginess to the gothic drama. It’s an interesting twist that raises this four-track EP from mere homage to something altogether more appealing. It’s reminiscent of Rise Of Avernus’s stunning ‘L’appel Du Vide’ but without the female delicacy.
Growled vocals are used sparingly so as not to distract from the gloom. And while the clean vocals may lack the floor-splitting resonance of Steele, or the lyrical clarity of Woods Of Ypres’s David Gold, singer Chris G dexterously interweaves the clean and filthy styles, giving these Orphans a solid, distinctive sound. As he roars in the ecstasy of misery, church organs wail and somber, echoing drums resound. The songs envelop you like a black curtain.
Beautiful synths hide behind ugly riffs. Choruses reach incredible epic heights. Yes, there are the string-sliding, pitch-shifting tributes to Type O Negative here and there, but even where the inspiration feels a little blatant, it is delivered in such a thoughtful and warm-hearted manner that the listener is pleased to be reminded of ‘Bloody Kisses’ and TON’s other classic releases.
This is doom metal on a grand scale. The slow, avalanche-heavy riffs rumble with a punchy gothic groove and an invigorating sense of melody. There are some interesting mood and tempo switches and creative rhythms, although on occasion songs do not feel fully realised due to their slightly impatient arrangement. ‘Nibelheim’, for example, starts off as a curiously wonderful combination of Bolt Thrower and My Dying Bride, and goes through a number of costume changes, leaving you impressed but a little shell-shocked.
‘Revenant’ is a great-sounding and great-looking release that is presented with great care and attention to detail. It skilfully balances ferocity and melancholy, varying between complexity and simplicity, first caressing and then pummeling. Perhaps most tellingly of all, when it’s over, you’re left wanting more.