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Orbit Culture - Shaman Award winner

Orbit Culture
by Matt Bozenda at 03 December 2021, 10:12 PM

The Mighty Boosh’s resident Jazz enthusiast Howard Moon once referred to himself as ‘The Genre Spanner’, to which Vince Noir addressed him as ‘The Spanner’. That pretty much summarizes the abilities of bands who try to cross styles; they either do a good job of it, or they only believe they’ve done a good job of it. Two great tastes don’t always taste great together, but every once in a while, you wind up with something as good as bacon-banana cookies.

Well put on your oven mitts and slide out a sheet of Swedish delights as Eskjö-based ORBIT CULTURE continues to refine the Thrash/Groove/Melodic recipe with their latest EP, “Shaman”. Following up on last year’s well-received third album “Nija”, the band’s prior internal shufflings have not compromised momentum as their star continues to rise amidst the pandemic stricken underground.

A Thrash/Groove Metal tune begins things on “Mast Of The World” with a pleasant Melodic organ in the background before going almost entirely Melodic for the last minute or so. “Flight Of The Fireflies” shifts gears to a more Melodic/Thrash/Groove pattern, which overall affords the song a bold sort of feeling. Then “Carvings” abandons the pattern and unleashes chaos, working each of the band’s strengths through random haymakers.

Without compromising anything else, the Thrash is given center stage on “Strangler”, the most clear cut METALLICA homage so far. Finally, the EP’s longest song at over seven minutes, “A Sailor’s Tale” starts with a Melodic piracy theme, picking up the tempo and employing the familiar salvo, vacillating between the three chosen genres. A break in the middle resembles the intro before resuming course, before then ending to little fanfare.

If it is the task of an EP to tease about an album to come, then send ORBIT CULTURE to the studio this instant. “Shaman” has very little to dislike, and even those with a distaste for the sounds being used will have to see the quality work done on the technical side. The vocals, a tandem of RANDY BLYTHE and JAMES HETFIELD impressions, could also still prove to be polarizing to some degree, but even so, the efforts of NIKLAS KARLSSON’s singing and songwriting undoubtedly prove this band’s worth.

Genre mixing invites every opportunity to become a hokey tribute band but ORBIT CULTURE dodges them with expert ability. They have crafted something unique out of well-established influences without sounding like they’ve sold out or are just cheap imitators. The band’s stock has steadily risen for most of the last decade, and a breakout is definitely in play. If the core of the band can keep it together and continue to evolve, there’s nothing to stop ORBIT CULTURE from reaching deep space.

Musicianship: 9
Songwriting: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Mast Of The World
2. Flight Of The Fireflies
3. Carvings
4. Strangler
5. A Sailor’s Tale
Niklas Karlsson - vocals, guitars
Fredrik Lennartsson - bass
Richard Hansson - lead guitar
Christopher Wallerstedt - drums
Record Label: Seek & Strike Records


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