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"Orestea Shadows Of Yesterday Review"

Orestea are a 5-piece female fronted metal band from Guildford. A band who I had the pleasure to meet prior to listening to this album. Their modesty and good nature is a credit to Orestea, who take their already growing success in their stride. Recently achieving a slot at Download festival 2009, they are set for big things. Do we finally have our very own female-fronted global band in the making? This six track album is the first release from Orestea, entitled ‘Shadows of Yesterday’.

Track Listing:

1. Shadows of yesterday
2. Drive
3. Watch it fade
4. The deserted
5. To survive
6. Away

Track One immediately introduces the technical guitar work of Luke Genders and Lloyd Wilson. As the track gains pace, the dominant and talented vocal of Lisa Avon cuts through the musical lines to produce and effortless performance. Bass (Mike Quinn) and Drum (Will Crozier) work is complex and completes the Orestea sound. This band display clear talent, which is cohesive and represents individuals who have stunning abilities. The chorus allows Avon to express vocal ranges, including harmony sections which draw the listener in with ease. Well written lyrics compliment musicianship and towards the mid section a simply crafted guitar break returns to a driving metal-esque riff that induces head-banging opportunities. At four minutes a brief, yet complex guitar solo reminds the listener that the Orestea guitarists are no strangers to the ‘metal solo’. Certainly a track which could be twice the length and still be a hugely enjoyable piece.

Track Two begins with some sharp and precise drum work, before a distorted and grungy metal riff works as a rhythmic link for Avon to enter. The guitars and drums return to a simpler arrangements as Avon takes the band towards the pre-chorus and chorus sections. Background guitar work adds depth to the piece and once again complex arrangements display Orestea’s ability to write inspiring musical sections. The chorus is infectious and would be a crowd pleaser at the biggest venue or indeed festival. Drum and bass work is solid throughout and really completes the layers of the track, where each member can be showcased. Guitar runs and harmonised riffs add detail to background arrangements and Avon extends her vocal abilities with ease.

Track Three rumbles in with the distant riffing of a guitar, before the power is turned up and the juggernaut of Orestea’s musicians drive home the unique sound they have developed. I love the way even the simplest backing sounds during quiet verses still provide a thunderous, bassy sound that thunders out the speakers. I have to point out the stunning drumming of Crozier on this track, which I think shows his diversity and flare behind the kit. For once we don’t see an all out double-foot fest which so often spoils an atmospheric track such as this. The guitar solo is awe-inspiring and includes seamless runs, before the chorus returns and the band build the strength of the song once more into the final sections. The track ends leaving you begging for more as it closes at 3 minutes and 35 seconds.
Orestea are able to write music that leaves the listener wanting more, whilst still reaching the four minute mark. Choosing to include numerous exciting verses, over the bland repetitive approach, which so often dominates modern day songs. Certainly Orestea have a format which allows them to be fresh and unique – confirming their potential.

Track four is the first time we hear an acoustic guitar grace the speakers. At this point Avon is able to deliver a softer approach which fits beautifully with the acoustic setting. As the track reaches a minute, the acoustic is replaced with a distorted axe, providing a simple, yet perfectly placed riff. Returning to the softer sound allows the track to build atmosphere and Avon extends vocal displays on some words which reach eight seconds and more. At 3:45, Crozier begins a thunderous drum pattern across the toms of the drums, which prepares the listener for much needed guitar solo. A truly stunning solo sets the song off as an epic and after countless listens; I believe this is my favourite track on the album. ‘…. We are not deserving’ are lyrics within the song and certainly something fans of Orestea should be chanting throughout any live set.

I first heard track five on Orestea’s MySpace page (http://www.myspace.com/orestea) and I bought this album on the strength of its infectious nature. After one listen I was already hooked and this is certainly a track I would champion as their first single. For a relatively new band, to write a piece of music with content that immediately grabs the audiences attention is truly astounding. I have written countless times the ability of these musicians and this track is no exception to that. This was one which I had on repeat throughout the day, before I had the album.

Track six has some excellent guitar work which works alongside Avon to produces a harmony which works really well. Missing you metal pinches? Think again, the boys throw in numerous metal sweeps and harmonics which will meet any metalheads desires. Any track which has you singing along before the halfway point (without you realising!) demonstrates a well written piece. Some expressive guitar runs complete this track and I find myself returning to complimentary words to describe this band. Each member contributes first class musicianship and I will be incredibly surprised if this band are not worldwide within the next two years.

A fantastically produced album that will take Orestea from the pubs and clubs to the stages of arenas without a doubt. This is a band that can be compared to no other, because they outshine all within their genre. Orestea are the first band I have heard in a long time that immediately excite and connect with their audience without conforming to bland metal trends. As I suggested at the start of my review, this band are incredibly modest and they deserve every success. If I could put one band on a main stage at every festival around the world, I would choose Orestea.

UltimateReviewer Rating: 10/10
- Ultimate Reviewer

"Download Festival Set Review"

Orestea are next to the stage and after a wave of their melodic metal we spoke to the Surrey five-piece. If a band was based on aesthetics, then the first thing anyone would notice is the shocking blue hair of front woman Lisa Avon. In comparison to her haunting vocals on stage, she is incredibly down to earth and modest, as are the rest of the band when discussing how they started out. Orestea is completed with Lloyd Wilson and Luke Genders (guitar), Mike Quinn (bass) and Will Crozier (drums), a group at the end of their teen years who met at the Guildford College of Music. Although they are constantly compared to Lacuna Coil, the band claim they are influenced by the likes of Pantera and Killswitch Engage, which shows in their rocking riffs and heavenly harmonies. Despite this being only their sixth gig(!) Orestea have definitely got their heads screwed on and their live show this evening is tight and hypnotic. Lisa explains that they were more interested in recording their debut EP, Shadows of Yesterday, before hitting the road and getting the following they deserve. Here’s what the band had to say about their experience at Download so far:

Although it’s only Thursday, have you had any interesting Download stories to tell so far?

Lisa: Well we haven’t been drinking too much yet to save ourselves for tonight, but I’m sure the drinking will begin shortly.

Mike: However we did have a pretty interesting morning involving air horns and hangovers, which is never a good combination.

What bands are you looking forward to seeing on this year’s bill?

All: Slipknot, Steel Panther, Motley Crue, Forever Never, Killswitch, a real mix really.

Lisa, you seem to manage to control all these boys. As a singer do you feel women are given a fair chance in metal?

Lisa: Yes I do, I feel that us girls have an advantage as the minority on the metal scene and feel that I have as much of a shot in this career than any male vocalist. I think the boys would agree with me on that one?!

The boys nod with true sincerity as I close up the chat and it’s fair to say that Orestea have both the musicianship and the friendship to keep this band going into a much bigger spotlight.
- Lily Randall


Shadows Of Yesterday (E.P) April '09

To Survive (Single) Feb '10



The band formed in late 2008 after realising their mutual love for all things metal. Their debut E.P ‘Shadows Of Yesterday’ was released in April 09.

With a highly acclaimed E.P release, and a performance at the famous Download Festival 2009 under their belts, and their debut album already in the works, Orestea have been marked as one of the bands to look out for in the very near future!