Thursday 15 June 2023

ORENDA - Moral Dementia (EP Review)

Release Date: June 15th 2023. Record Label: Self Released. Formats: DD

Moral Dementia: Tracklisting

1.Poisoned Chalice 04:50

2.Valid 03:15

3.Society of Torture 04:48

4.Moral Dementia (Interlude) 06:54

5.Loss 04:40

6.Nulllife 03:06

7.Frail Haman 07:12


Cole Bunn - Guitar/Vocals

Jackson McCoy - Drums/Vocals

Dakota Hollandsworth - Bass


Moral Dementia is the debut EP from Doom/Stoner Metallers ORENDA with the band playing more of a modern based with a subtle WEEDIAN influence heard within the music. 

The band play LOW & SLOW and AMPLIFIER DISTORTED music that amps up the Fuzzy Guitar Reverb grooves to the max with a subtle Sludgy mix heard within the opening bleak opus Poisoned Chalice. The vocals have a DEVIL MAY CARE attitude to them which gives ORENDA a more daring approach to their music. The grooves are sometimes extended riffs with a hint of Prog behind them but they’re downright addictive when the band start playing extended moments of music.

Second song Valid is more Doom/Sludge based compared to the opening track with the vocals going through a DEMONIC makeover with harsher growls starting to appear. The music is a classic Doom/Stoner Metal approach with a Grungy attitude keeping the mood quite seedy. I can hear twinges of Metallica and The Melvins within the later stages of the song which makes for some interesting creative choices from ORENDA.

Third song Society Of Torture stays with the Doom Metal themes but ORENDA add elements of Death Rock, Occult Metal and harsher atmospherics for a more distorted LOW & SLOW style of music. One of the heaviest and gloomiest tracks on the EP which offers some of the bleakest experience thanks mainly to the superbly written lyrics and impressive sounds that build up to a wicked finish.

Fourth song Moral Dementia (Interlude) opens with exquisite and gloomy Organs and Keyboards which I didn’t expect from this release. As ORENDA have primarily been focusing upon that Distorted Chainsaw approach and delivery for their music. This feels like it’s from a different band altogether with ORENDA almost moving over to  Classic Doom Metal themes. The musical passages here are varied and interesting though they can be a bit tiresome in places. This would have been better as a shorter instrumental interlude but I applaud the band for doing something different here. 

The final three songs of Loss, Nulllife and Frail Haman sees ORENDA return to the EP’s earlier style of Doom/Stoner/Grunge grooves with the band impressing the most on the more THRASHIER sounds of the EP most noticeable on Loss and Frail Haman.

Moral Dementia is a superbly written EP that offers a more grounded version of Doom/Stoner Metal though ORENDA still offer moments of daring sounds that should allow the band to build up a loyal following within the Doom/Stoner Metal Underground Scene. There’s a ton of fantastic and deliciously HEAVY GROOVES to lose yourself in which ORENDA excel the most here on their debut EP.

I’m looking forward to their next release to see what ORENDA have in store for their next musical adventure. Impressive. End Of.

Words by Steve Howe


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