Orthodox - "Κρέας" CS/DL - DS018
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After "Supreme" on Utech and past works on Southern Lord and Alone, the Spanish doom metal band Orthodox are back with another instrumental/improvisational work and with the additional member Achilleas Pò on saxophone. The 27-minute improvisational suite "Κρέας" is a black hole of distortions and free tempos that is reminiscent of The Blue Humans, Rudolph Grey's "Mask Of Light", Klangmutationen's "Liturgie" on Dreamsheep Records, John Coltrane's "The Olatunji Concert" or "Ascension". Achilleas Pò's sax is a magma of inharmonic and squealing tones, while Borja Díaz & Marco Serrato (drums & bass section) are locked together and painting pure free-jazz full of rage in the vein of Milford Graves or Ornette Coleman's "Free Jazz" LP. Behind the huge wall of disembodied doom riffs, there's still enough logic and subterannean metal vibes that will slowly surface after repeated listening. One thing is for sure: Orthodox takes no prisoners and you will approve this with the sign of the horns. Mastered by Valerio Cosi, artwork made by Achilleas Pò and Dreamsheep Records over an historic image by Zakarīyā ibn Muḥammad al-Qazwīnī (‘Ajā’ib al-makhlūqāt wa-gharā’ib al-mawjūdāt - Marvels of Things Created and Miraculous Aspects of Things Existing).
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‘Orthodox’ is a rather antithetical name for such a band as this one. Indeed, the Sevillan experimental doom jazz trio don’t play by the rules, and don’t like to follow traced paths. Their most recent works are a melting pot of absurdly low and distorted bass guitars and twirling saxophones playing what they call experimental doom metal influenced by religious folklore and jazz. With their latest release, the twenty-seven-minute single Κρέας (Kréas), they push the formula even further by it being a complete improvisation. There is no understatement in calling this a free jazz record, but that description alone would be incomplete. The ‘experimental’ and ‘doom’ tags complete the description quite well, however. The work of Achilleas, on saxophone, is of particular note here. Its almost-constant screeching and whistling denote an experienced player, infatigable throughout the almost half of an hour that this session lasts. The drums sound free and unhinged, but somehow locked with the bass and its fuzz. All this makes for an interesting, if exhausting, listening experience, and a great experimental improvisation track and EP. --- Dæv Tremblay (http://www.canthisevenbecalledmusic.com)
Orthodox is a doom metal duo from Seville that has been known for a number of years for its broad-minded perception of the genre. The ultimate goal, a totally unique form of doom metal and free-jazz, seemed to be accomplished earlier this year with the Utech Records-released Supreme, which blows traditional music views over thirty-six minutes. It's such a record that, when you're affected by it, never becomes listenable and therefore it's also a disk that spins many laps, even if it's definitely not accessible music.
Marco Serrato (bass) and Borja Díaz (drums) worked on Supreme together with saxophonist Achilleas Polychronidis, a musical performer from Málaga who is part of the Skullfuck duo and as a solo artist, also steadily on the road. The word 'saxnoise' does not fail to name his saxophone playing, but is only part of the versatile playing of the Spanish Greek. For Κρέας, Polychronidis has been retrieved, not as a guest musician, but like the predecessor as a full member of the now-as-trio-musical Orthodox.
With a lot of the same ingredients from Supreme, the listener again has a slow health trip provided. That means: a rippling and bouncing bass and drums that sound like drums and cymbals are not played with ordinary drumsticks but with wooden blocks. The tempo is not fixed but is freely played at a slow pace, with a little more movement ahead than on the predecessor. The bass and drums sound sounds more familiar than Supreme, but that may come because it has been a pleasure after repeatedly listening to that album.
The biggest difference between Κρέας and Supreme is in the saxophone playing. Where in the previous album the sax was rolled in after four minutes and then played continuously, the new edition has space for short bass / drums duets. Moreover, Polychronidis is even more free in the mood; where he rested on Supreme primarily to a hoist and some cheeky tone, here he goes without brakes on Κρέας. What this saxophonist means is extreme and glaring playing, interspersed with some well-known cleansing pests. For Polychronidis, the radical playing guidance and 'normal' playing are the decoration, not the other way round.
Immediately after tipping it, it's all hands on deck. Díaz's team hits are hard and the drummer stubbornly refuses to hit a steady beat or regular beat. Serrato does not like to please the listener, the bass plays low as if the strings were turned off for a while. Also his playing is free, but somehow there is a perfect match with Díaz's playing. Polychronidis puts its playing over, sounds a bit more in the forefront than was the case with Supreme. For one time, the sax is like a weaning pig, and in the case of upset sounds, the saxophonist does not turn his hand at all.
Κρέας takes twenty-seven minutes and consists of one long improvisation in which the trio is well-received. Nevertheless, as a listener, you are not completely obscured, though Serrato and Díaz do their best with their heavy doomsound. The music contains lots of details and musicality, which ensures that you always stay in class while listening to the piece. Dynamics is there too, it does not always go on full force, but a single time the intensity is somewhat tempered. With an emphasis on something, for a healthy solitaire will last for twenty-seven minutes.
How free can metal be? In the view of Orthodox quite much, witness former Supreme and now also Κρέας. But can you call the completely free musical concept of Orthodox still metal? Yes and no. In spite of the missing right-timed and monotonous riffs, Serrato and Díaz really make it a foundation for which you could use the term 'doom metal'. In contrast, with the contribution of Polychronidis, the freejazz element is large and it is also a completely improvised piece here. Everyone has to take his preference. Meanwhile, the Spaniards simply do their own thing, and they are again overwhelming, contradictory and amazingly fantastic for the second time in half a year. --- Opduvel.com