Tuesday 8 November 2022

Orbiter - Head Wounds (EP Review)

Date Released: November 11th 2022. Record Label: Salvaged Records. Formats: DD/Vinyl

Head Wounds: Tracklisting

Head Wounds

Eyes Like Cloud

Hell Mates



Jon Reinertsen – vocals/guitar

Matt Walker – lead guitar

Jonathan Hamilton – bass

Brad Purvis – drums


Doom/Stoner Rockers Orbiter have gone in a slightly heavier creative direction with their latest EP - Head Wounds - compared to their 2019 debut full length release Southern Failures. Whilst that album had a more Desert/Stoner Rock feel with traces of Black Sabbath amplifier based sound, this time the band are focusing their attention closer to home with the Florida Sludge/Stoner Metal scene with acts such as FLOOR and TORCHE. 

This isn't too surprising as Head Wounds has been Engineered, Mixed and Mastered by Jonathan Nuñez of TORCHE fame. This EP is a blissful and aggressive style of Sludge/Stoner grooves that TORCHE were known for but with perhaps Oribter playing with a stylish mix of Grunge and Noise Rock. The EP is aggressively addictive and wonderfully heavy with the down-tuned sludgy Amplifier based grooves with traces of Psych Rock and sublime vocal melodies with a slight "Pop" edge.

Opening song Head Wounds is a great mix of heavy and quiet styles of Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal with catchy vocals leading the way. The down-tuned and distorted guitars give Orbiter extra bite with the different styles of music employed on this track. The song becomes heavier and perhaps even a slight MELVINS feel begins to appear but like TORCHE, pull the action back and play a more vibrant and stripped back style of music.

Second song Eyes Like Cloud opens with lengthy distorted Drone guitars before a subtle 90's Alt-Rock/Shoegaze feeling arrives amongst the heavy BASS HEAVY and FULLY FUZZ LOADED grooves that remain brilliantly heavy and fresh at the same time. Kick-ass melodic vocals yet again showcase the great lyrics Orbiter have written for this EP. Orbiter does allow the music to be the heaviest part of the song and perhaps the whole EP which allows them to create levels of violently aggressive and sweet-natured riffs that had me headbanging in agreement. 

Third track Hell Mates is a more of a grungy throwback to 90's Punk Rock, Noise Rock and Stoner Metal with the snarling vocals that lay down the rebellious attitude nature of the song. The music is yet again one of Noise Rock based Sludge/Stoner Metal that the Florida Underground local scene has become famous for. Expect short bursts of mighty loud BASS HEAVY aggression and first rate Psychedelic Guitars that offers a more GLOOM & DOOM outlook to Orbiter's overall sound.

The final song Transmissions is the standout track on the EP running near seven minutes in length and Oribiter start playing Progressive Sludge/Stoner Metal jams with that Punk Rock spirit not too far behind. The excellent vocals return with Orbiter adding more strands of Noise Rock and Trippy Psych Rock for a song that shows Orbiter are more than capable to fill the void of TORCHE who sadly split up in 2022. The added use of Droned Out Guitars and flavours of Psychedelic Post-Rock. The final stages of the track does become more reflective when the instrumental grooves move closer to Shoegaze territory that all builds upto an exciting finish.

With excellent production values leading the way, Head Wounds is a brilliantly entertaining and wonderfully creative release from Orbiter makes me hopeful that the band will carry on with this style of sound for future releases. As this is a first rate release.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Earsplit PR for the promo.

Head Wounds will be available to buy on DD/Vinyl via Salvaged Records from November 11th 2022.


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