Orphans of Dusk - Revenant - (8/10)
Published on May 25, 2015
2014 was a good year for doom/death. Established acts like Novembers Doom and Vallenfyre put out excellent new albums, while we were also treated to an excellent debut from Temple of Void. Revenant, the debut EP from Australia/New Zeeland’s Orphans of Dusk, may have flown under the radar for many, but like Temple of Void it shows that there are new bands who continue to do the style justice. Originally released independently in 2014, the band is now signed to Hypnotic Dirge, who have re-released Revenant on CD.
Orphans of Dusk plays on the more gothic side of doom/death. Vocally, the band utilizes both deep death growls and clean vocals. The growls are slightly reminiscent of Paul Kuhr from Novembers Doom in that they are guttural yet decipherable. They’re solid to be sure, but the clean vocals are far more interesting. Vocalist Chris G. (also of Mesmur) has a deep, rich baritone that recalls the late, greats Peter Steele and David Gold. The clean vocals are this debut’s strongest asset; they really elevate the four songs on Revenant and provide much of the E.P.’s emotional depth. While all four tracks are good, “Starless” and the churning “Nibelheim” are slightly catchier than “August Price” and “Beneath the Cover of Night.”
Orphans of Dusk made an interesting choice in not having a second guitarist, opting instead for a more pronounced synth presence. It works for them; Revenant doesn’t sound like it needs a second guitarist, and the synths complement the deep, gothic vocals nicely. The guitars shift between doom lurches and slightly groovy death metal riffs, while the synths and clean vocals provide the melody. There is a distinct My Dying Bride influence to Revenant, particularly with regards to the former’s more recent output. Although the band’s influences are fairly obvious, Revenant feels very natural and is performed in such a heartfelt and genuine way that it is easy to forget this is just a debut E.P.
My Dying Bride meets Type O Negative may sound too good to be true, but Orphans of Dusk come close. Revenant sounds like the product of a much more experienced band. Orphans of Dusk is definitely on to something with Revenant and the band’s potential is unmistakable. With this very impressive debut Orphans of Dusk has created a memorable first impression for doom/death fans and I’m excited to see what the band can do with a full-length