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Orpheus Omega - Partum Vita Mortum

Orpheus Omega
Partum Vita Mortum
by Danny Sanderson at 25 September 2015, 11:58 AM

Upon listening to ORPHEUS OMEGA's third full length, "Partum Vita Mortem", you'd be forgiven for thinking these guys hailed from some dark, icy nation like Finland or Sweden. In fact, this band comes from the much balmier Melbourne, Australia, a country that has plenty of great Extreme Metal acts, and a long history of producing great Metal and Rock music. This record certainly has a Scandinavian flavour to its Melo-death, but to write it off as a homage to other acts would be foolish. It's got a strong sound and style that makes this stand head and shoulders above anything that many of the genres heavyweights have produced in the last five years or so.

"Conception", which serves as a powerful, melancholy opening piece, helps ease the listener into the album. It slowly builds, with some great Metal parts thrown in towards the end that lead seamlessly into the first full song on the record, "I, Architect"; it's a fairly grandiose Melo-Death track, with some imaginative riffs and varied vocals that really help to make this song incredibly catchy. It's a very good start to what will prove to be a very good record. "Karma favours the Weak" is a song that immediately jumps out and grabs your attention. In particular, the killer riffs and well placed keyboard sections are a highlight, combining plenty of hooks, razor sharp productions and, of course, plenty of melody, to create what is likely to become a future fan favourite. The albums fourth offering, "Practice Makes Pathetic", is a very Synth-heavy track with much heavier, thicker guitar lines and vocals. Most of the main draws in this song lie in the keyboard parts, (which are mainly folky parts played with plenty of distortion), although there are plenty of interesting lead guitar lines that provide another layer to this track. Likewise, "Our Reminder" is a song where the keyboards and guitars vie for attention, each adding different elements into the mix to create a cool track. We get treated to some sweet melodic sections that really help bring the track to life and break up the faster, darker aspects that dominate the track for the most part. "Unravelling Today" proves to be one of the most speed-driven, ferocious tracks on the whole record. From a guitar standpoint, this track liberally delivers hooks a-plenty, with the keyboard parts taking a back seat, only really coming to the fore when it is absolutely necessary to beef out the overall sound on this number. "Breath's Burden", with an awesome opening motif that utilises cleaner tones to great effect, is another track that is carried by the keyboard sections, which are given a much more prominent sound in the mix, without being present to the point where they detract from the rest of the music or stifle the impact of the track. "Tomorrows Fiends and Yesterdays Ghosts" is, as far as this album goes, a much more subdued and mid-paced slab of Melo-death, but it nonetheless has a lot to offer. Even though this is one of the less memorable tracks on here, it still says a lot that it grabs and maintains your attention throughout. "Beacons", with its palpable, distinct groove, is one of the stand out tracks on here. There's still plenty of those vicious riffs and amazing keyboard lines, but the guitar song definitely sounds fuller, and packs a more noticeable punch than it does on the tracks that have preceded it. It still falls well within the grounds of Melodic Death Metal, but it has a great, catchy groove to it that helps it stand out like a sore thumb from the rest of the album. "Echoes Through Infinity" has a much more epic quality to it, and can be only described as "Stadium Anthem Worthy". It's got that sing along aspect to the vocals, and a much more anthemic feel to it musically, that a lot of Melo-death bands strive for in at least one of their songs, without quite achieving the desired effect. Luckily, ORPHEUS OMEGA get the mix and the tone just right, and as a result this ends up being one of the best songs on the record, although it stands apart in terms of sound and style from most of the other tracks on offer here.

"Revel In Oblivion", yet another song that is characterised by solid, catchy keyboard sections, helps to push this record towards its climax, taking the grandiose elements and musical technicality to a whole new level entirely. "Kharon", although a great track in its own right, isn't exactly "penultimate track" material; by this I mean that it doesn't really bring the record to a head or help to peak the listeners interest on the same level that some of the previous eleven songs have. The second to last track on an album should really pull the listener back into the record, and provide one of the most memorable and exciting points on the whole album. Sadly, this fails to achieve this goal, although it certainly has the potential to do so at some points. "Silence, The I" really picks up the slack, and acts as an excellent way to end the record. In particular, the stand-alone keyboard piece and the subsequent guitar solo serve as a hair-raising send off for this outstanding record.

Even after one listen, it's abundantly clear that this is not a band that does things by half measures; even the most "generic" tracks on here are bombastic, over the top (but not to the point of being cheesy or bad) and, above all, technically spectacular. This is by no means the most original or even ground breaking records of the genre, but it's certainly one of the most interesting offerings of Melodic Death Metal I've heard in a good while, and I'd heartily recommend it to people who like their Melo-Death bombastic, keyboard heavy and infectiously catchy.

4 Star Rating

 1. Conception
2. I, Architect
3. Karma Favours the Weak
4. Practice Makes Pathetic
5. Our Reminder
6. Unravelling Today
7. Breath's Burden
8. Tomorrow's Fiends and Yesterdays Ghosts
9. Beacons
10. Echoes Through Infinity
11. Revel In Oblivion
12. Kharon
13. Silence, The I
Matt Themelco - Drums
Chris Themelco - Vocals, Lead Guitar
Joao Goncalves - Backing Vocals, Guitar
Keswick Gallagher - Keyboards
Nathan Mesiti - Bass
Record Label: Kolony Records


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