Tuesday 4 April 2017

With Our Arms To The Sun - Orenda (Album Review)

Release date: April 21st 2017. Label: 11th Dimension Records. Format: CD/DD

Orenda – Tracklisting

Disdain - Why Am I
Memory - The Drift
Doorway to Clarity
Macrocosm - Prometheus
Doorway to Realization
Apex - 100 Year Dream
The War - Light the Shadows
Doorway to Ascension
Regret - Sailing Stones
Homebound - March of the Trees


Josh Breckenridge - Guitars, noise, vocals
Joseph Leary - Guitars, Programming
Joseph Breckenridge - Bass
John Mclucas - Drums


Greetings all,

This time around I got to check out the new full length from the band With Our Arms To The Sun entitled Orenda. I was intrigued, as I knew this record was produced by Melvins main man King Buzz-O.

To be honest, I was expecting some sort of AmRep style Noise Rock or Weirdo something or other but was completely stunned to be hit with 10 tracks of absolutely killer Post Metal. This Arizona 4 piece brings the goods on Orenda from beginning to end. Orenda is heavy and melodic, with anguished lyrics carried by some crushing riffs, immense drums, and a sprinkling of odd noises that keep every listen fresh.

The album kicks off with Disdain - Why Am I, the track starts with the sound of an old school type writer pecking away before kicking in with some heavy ass riffage. The second track Memory - The Drift is far and away my favourite track on the album. It is super melodic with some serious tempo changes.

Doorway to Clarity is the first of a couple of brief noise tracks on the record. It has an ambient quality with some quiet spoken word throughout. There were many times throughout the record that I was reminded of the mighty Mastodon, in particular the bands Crack the Skye era sound. Macrocosm-Prometheus is potentially the most Mastodon-esque hitting the quiet loud dynamic perfectly.

Another amazing track is the dissonant, piano driven ballad Doorway to Realization. The brings the post metal fury over the next couple of tracks Apex - Hundred Year Dream and The War - Light the Shadows. Doorway to Ascension is a brief spoken word and guitar track that leads in to the very Tool inspired feeling of Regret - Sailing Stones.

The album closed with the sound of a cold wind blowing in some anguished screams and massive guitar and drums of Homebound - March of the Trees.

With Our Arms To The Sun have delivered an absolutely killer record. It is dark and beautiful and Heavy and nuanced. Every listen seems to reveal another fascinating layer not heard on previous listens. Orenda evolves and never disappoints. The album reminded me of titans like Mastodon, Tool, and Neurosis. The record is excellently recorded and masterfully played.

If you are a fan of The Melvins, Post Metal, or just all around Heavy Music, do yourself a favour and check out With Our Arms To The Sun.

Words by Todd Stealey - Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

Thanks to Monica at Speakeasy PR for the promo. Orenda is available to buy on CD/DD from Pledge Music from April 21st 2017.