Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Orbseven - Fall Below the Earth

Orbseven is a one-man death metal act from Texas performed by a guy known as Zeven. I’m used to solo “bands” being a one-time thing, usually putting out only one or two albums. But this guy has been doing this for almost eight years now! For those of you who don’t like reading long reviews and just want a short description of Orbseven’s sound, it’s mainly old school death metal with a bit of industrial sounds thrown here and there and some parts of ambient keyboard parts. Other than that, there isn’t much else to say besides the fact that this guy is really unknown considering the quality of the music he puts together.

Of course since this an extremely underground project, the sound quality of the recordings suck. But remember, that’s never a bad thing. I’m not sure if this was his goal or if he just had some shitty equipment, but it sounds exactly like some old school death metal album from the late 80s! Even though I’m a huge fan of the old school death metal sound that bands like Grave, Immolation, and Bolt Thrower have been putting out, it’s kind of something that’s hard to still make and sound good. In other words, the majority of the album seems to sound exactly like a death metal band from the 80s. Notice that I said the “majority” of the album’s sound is like that; the record does contain tons of progressive elements that take a couple of listens in order to be heard.

Zeven notes everywhere that he incorporates ambience and black metal into his music. I think this is relatively valid considering that there are several parts of ambient industrial keyboard sounds, but doesn’t give off much of a black metal vibe. The songs go on for quite a considerable length, oftentimes ending up getting repetitive and boring. There are some Incantation-influenced breakdowns in some of the songs that give the headbangers something to do. I don’t know if there is any bass guitar at all in this album, if there is, I can’t hear it; so that’s something that kind of bothers me. There’s this weird effect that Zeven puts on his vocals that struggle to fit in with the rest of the music most of the time. It sounds almost exactly like the voice of the Master Control Program (MCP) from Tron (not the new one kids, the original one). The fifth song, The Void is a Mirror, is apparently what would happen if Vader and Marilyn Manson made love. If you don’t know what I mean or if you don’t believe me, listen to the song and let the sound of the vocals prove the truth.

It’s hard to believe that one person could do something like this! I mean, most of the time when you have a solo act, it’s usually all one or two instruments with tons of keyboards and digital effects. But Zeven here has completely outdone himself by successfully tricking me into thinking that I was listening to a full band, not just one person. So basically my overall opinion on this album is that it’s definitely worth having in your collection if you’re someone foraging for something new. The album’s pretty good, but not something I would scream to the world. I would give this album 12/20. I will be watching this guy waiting for his next release.