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Sevilla, Andalusia, Spain | INDIE

Sevilla, Andalusia, Spain | INDIE
Band Metal Avant-garde


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Gran Poder (Alonre Records 2006)
Amanecer en Puerta Oscura (Alone Records 2007)
Sentencia (Alone Records 2009)
Matse Avatar EP(Doomentia 2010)
Baal (Alone Records 2011)



The Spanish doom trio Orthodox released its fourth full-length in March. It’s called Baal, and it’s an excellent record—all their records have been excellent—and, as always, it marks a change for the band. Their debut, 2006's Gran Poder (“Great Power”), was an ultra-heavy doom metal effort, all slow riffs and roaring vocals, equal parts Black Sabbath and Melvins.

Their second album, 2007's Amanecer en Puerta Oscura (“Dawn in a Darkened Doorway”), kept the heavy guitars at times, but added jazzier drumming, piano, clarinet and trumpet for a progressive, exploratory feel. They went even farther afield on 2009's Sentencia (“Verdict”), which only featured guitar on the first track, and that wasn’t metal so much as amplified Spaghetti Western-style twanging. The album’s primary focus was avant-garde jazz, featuring piano, upright bass, and brushed drums.

Baal is the most metal Orthodox disc since their debut. It’s not a return to the crushing doom of Gran Poder as much as a desert-bleached stoner doom record. It reminds me of Kyuss a little, and of early ’70s proto-metal acts like Josefus (from Texas) and Buffalo (from Australia). It’s got five tracks (Gran Poder had only four, one of which was a 90-second interlude; Amanecer… had seven, but two of them were short bridges, and Sentencia only had three).

For the first time in their career, Orthodox are singing in English. Bassist / vocalist Marco Serrato Gallardo sounds like a cross between Melvins’ Buzz Osborne and System of a Down’s Serj Tankian, and he frequently filters his vocals through an effect that makes them seem to be coming up from underwater.

At the present moment, their eclecticism has led them to be the opening act of the first domestic tour of Scott Kelly (Neurosis) or the music companions of the flamenco dancer Israel Galván.