I first heard about the band when releasing their first 2017 album “Sound Of Loss”.
Brilliant new imaging of the early nu metal sound from the 90s/00s mixed with sonically ridiculous breakdowns & heavy hardcore influences.
One of the highlights of the band personally was the group is a straight-edge band, which in the “metal” genre today is rare.
So the band’s next release “Let It Take Its Course” from 2020 saw them harness their sound to a more refined & focused affair.
Still keeping the hard-edged metallic sound but going full on with lyrical topics & creating some of the heaviest breakdowns of that year.
Now we have “Learning To Dissolve”, a more introspective album.
Somewhat more refined and focused than “Let It Take Its Course”.
Opening straight away with “Feel It Linger”.
No boring intro just straight to the fucking point, which is what Orthodox do best.
Just by the first track, you can hear that the songwriting bar has been raised. Catchy rhythmic riffs blended with two-step sections.
Adam Easterling yet again writes some of the most stand-out lyrics, thought-provoking & match perfectly with each track.
We are only one track in and we have ass-beater breakdowns, fantastic riffing & a step up in vocal performance from Adam.
“Head On A Spike” is up next. And it’s my favourite on the album. Now that’s not to say the band have front-loaded the album. Far from it. “Head On A Spike” is one of the band’s best choruses to date. Not to mention the blistering drums from Mike White. Some of the most inventive uses of cymbal work I’ve heard all year.
Adam stated “It’s a fuck you to everyone who said we’d never become anything as a band. You’re not enough to pull me away from this or make me give up.” and you feel that straight away with the track. Full-of rage & anger focused on one thing makes this track dangerous & one of the best in the band’s catalogue to date.
Now when it comes to Orthodox nu metal influence “Cave In ” shows it the most here. Now, this isn’t some poor attempt at bringing back a nostalgic genre. What Orthodox has done is build upon bands like System Of A Down, Korn & Even bands like Deftones to create some of the best call-back riffs & heavy-ass breakdowns.
Nu metal is just the foundation of the band, what they have done on this track is turn that sound to a 2022 anthem for the new breed & 30+-year-olds like myself who grew up within the genre.
On the latter half of the album “1 1 7 6 2” might only be a short interlude but its heavy industrial elements are a mighty change of pace & give me the feeling of say Godflesh & Fear Factory. Again a short track but one of the heaviest parts of the album before setting up the next track “Dissolve”.
The last single to be released “Dissolve” is the most frantic track on the album. Austin Evans, the band’s guitarist, really shines on this track. Writing some of the thickest chugging rhythmic patterns as well as a melodic chorus that blends so well together is a hard feat!
The last half of the track really opens up. One last melodic chorus before the track ends quickly on a few bars of a breakdown. This track is a late album gem.
The album’s closer “Voice In The Choir” is the longest track & feels the most throughout. Reminding me of the experimental lanes Slipknot created on IOWA. This feels like the biggest progression the band have made to date.
At the halfway mark everything fades out until a static laced clean guitar reintroduces itself with a haunting guitar lead then on a dime the band bring it all band building up to a sea of drone-like guitars & sea of reverb before the song changes quickly again as the track begins to come to an end.
“Learning To Dissolve” is the band’s best album to date.
A fantastically crafted & cohesive album that bridges genres & have some of the most inventive songs right now within the metallic genre.
Learning To Dissolve is out via Century Media on 19th August 2022