ORBS - Asleep Next to Science

Album cover
Progressive Rock
Equal Vision Records
ORBS
Asleep Next to Science
ORBS - Asleep Next to Science Review rating:
2
User rating:
Average: 3.6 (5 votes)

With members belonging to black metal band Cradle of Filth and mathcore wizard Fear Before (the March of Flames), it's odd that supergroup ORBS isn't as diverse as their background would suggest. They may have culminated all of their past projects into a conceptual piece about space and nature on their debut - and now reissued - album, Asleep Next to Science, but it doesn't feel quite as ambitious as it could be. Piano lines constantly near the edge of the cliff, but rarely are they an inch away from their life or in actual danger. Fuck, most of the time they can't even hear the waves crashing below. Adam Fisher's vocals on the other hand are out of control, flying up and down octaves with neither rhyme nor reason and completely ruining any potential the whirlwind of bass lines and reverb-laden guitar chords gave the band's debut album. He truly is the Mars of ORBS's celestial universe - luckily, there is a Venus.

Although songs like "A Man of Science" are inexcusable displays of vocal retardation, album opener "Sayer of the Law" is enjoyable with a tamed Fisher behind the mic. Ashley Ellyllon's symphonic fetish is put into drive for once and her keyboard skills are emphasized, not ignored. Tremolo plucks and unsettling chords surround the listener, while a wee bit o' reverb adds a distinct atmosphere to the progressive realm which the supergroup resides in. As well, it's one of the few times where longer track lengths don't revolve around prolix excess, unlike the rambling closer, "Eclipsical" or the ten-minute-long venture through time and space, "People Will Read Again." Loud and quirky bass lines may add character to the band's sound, but the band can't help but wallow in their own pretense, or perhaps it's their lack of understanding. Do they simply not realize how inappropriate some of the aspects to their sound are? If so, this is another argument for the "ignorance is not bliss" argument.

1. Sayer Of The Law
2. A Man of Science
3. Megaloblastic Madness
4. The Northwestern Bearitories: A) We The Animal
5. The Northwestern Bearitories: B) Kid Cancer
6. People Will Read Again
7. Something Beautiful
8. Lost At Sea
9. Eclipsical

Orbs began in the fall of 2007 in the United States after a series of cross country file swapping sessions between guitarist Dan Briggs (Between the Buried and Me) and keyboardist Ashley Ellyllon (Abigail Williams / Cradle of Filth). The band mixes high energy, 90's tinged space-rock with thunderous piano driven choruses, lush melodic textures, and quirky classic progressive rock passages and song structures. Singer / guitarist Adam Fisher (Fear Before) came on board shortly thereafter and the band quickly began to take shape and developed an urgent sense of more than just music.

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