Orne - The Conjuration by the Fire. 2006 Black Widow (Italy) CD + LP
Orne - The Tree of Life. 2011 Black Widow (Italy) CD + LP
I haven't heard Orne's debut, so we'll dig right into their second "The Tree of Life". Orne are yet another retro prog band on Black Widow. And honestly, at least from my viewpoint, you really can't have too many of those. In some ways, Orne are really like a 1970 band from the United Kingdom. That is, it can be a bit dirgy and slow. The English vocals are a bit flat, and not sure they're entirely necessary to be honest. On the plus side, the all analog instrumentation (though they cheat and use a Memotron rather than an actual Mellotron) is much welcomed, and includes some lovely Hammond B3 and flute, and that will always warm the cockles of my heart. Plenty of fine guitars leads as well, with the appropriate effects on display. But one does hope for a good meter break - the moment that transcends the composition to another level. Even Pink Floyd did that from time to time, at least through their "Meddle" era. Orne is an offshoot group to the doom metal band Reverend Bizarre, who I've not heard prior. I'm a casual listener to the doom metal genre (for example, I have all the Candlemass albums, and a handful of others from the genre - and of course I know Black Sabbath inside and out), but it's not something I've done a deep dive on. Some doom metal can be excruciatingly slow and monolithic. And there's some of that kind of pacing here as well. It's a style thing, but I prefer a bit more kinetic energy. All that said, I hear plenty here to a) recommend to fans of the old Vertigo Swirl bands (Still Life comes to mind in particular) and b) they clearly have the talent to release a more dynamic album. I also credit Orne for not falling into the typical Stoner Rock traps (90's styled metal slabs for example), that many bands of their background tend to do. Let's see if this project continues, and what they do with it.