Orbit Culture - Shaman EP

Band: Orbit Culture

EP: Shaman

Genre: Heavy Metal

Label: Seek & Strike

Location: Eksjö, Sweden

FFO: Gojira, Metallic, Sepultura

After such a massive album release in 2020, I was super excited to already be seeing new music from Orbit Culture in 2021. They grew a lot in the past year in terms of listeners which is great because this band has been grinding for a long time now, consistently putting out massive sounding releases. This new EP, Shaman, of course being no exception.

My first thought going into this was rather normal for entering a new music experience, “What is this going to sound like?” But this question, I am more attentive to when it comes to Orbit Culture because every album of theirs is some sort of progression. They grow as a band, taking a couple turns, making some adjustments. Odyssey is it’s own sound among their discography. In Medias Res and Rasen possess a uniqueness between each other. Then Redfog is what I consider the start of their most recent sound people associate them with. Obviously that came across on Nija as well, and now we come to Shaman. And I think this EP solidifies, at least for now, that Orbit Culture has found their sound. Their own concoction of progressive and death metal elements. Powerful and commanding singing with very aggressive screams that, on Shaman, at times return to a low harshness I haven’t heard from Niklas in a while. Their music is a feeling that I’ve never found easy to describe, just something you have to hear and feel yourself because I will still continue to say, there is no one in the scene that sounds like Orbit Culture. As long as we are comparing, I’ll say: something about this EP comes across darker to me than Nija. A little because of the lyrics, a little because the music has a darker tone to it in my opinion. Almost like a mixture of Nija and some Rasen era tone to it. Lyrically they are back to telling in depth, intense stories with narratives as rhythmic as the music. Which is just another thing that fits so well with their instrumentals. Musically it’s super heavy as to be expected, but not just heavy for the sake of it. It’s very impactful and every riff has its purpose to strike. The atmosphere is of course there sonically filling any chance of silence. But knows how to give breathing room when necessary.

There also seems to be a theme in here that I can’t quite put my finger on yet. But it is easily heard in the music itself. These songs, although stylistically similar to Nija on the surface, have nuances that make this EP feel separate from any previous release. The organ playing in ‘Mast of the World’, the strings in the beginning of ‘A Sailor's Tale’, or the ‘heave-ho’ feel of ‘Carvings’. Even the tone of Niklas screams and chants in ‘Strangler’ truly give off a different aura that is all wrapped into this 25 minute package. Really the only song on here that sounds like it could’ve been on Nija is ‘Flight of the Fireflies’. But even that track in the context of the EP makes it fit right at home here. Usually EPs are a taste of something but this feels like it could’ve been a fully fleshed out album. And I think that alone shows the effort put into it.

I really hope they just keep bringing the heat like this. I would love to see another full release next year or early ‘23.

Over the past few years, Orbit Culture has fallen into a special pocket of metal that is distinctive to them alone. They have officially refined what makes them unique and gone head first with it; now playing with concepts and nuances that bring out the best in them.

Rating: 9/10

Strongest Song: Strangler

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/4uTP3iJL9VQs3HODTtMf4A?si=m1D_Cga_QSGpEnV5aJyuDA&dl_branch=1

Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/album/shaman-ep/1569513168

6 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All