Friday 29 September 2023

Orbiter - Hollow World (Album Review)

Release Date: September 22nd 2023. Record Label: Argonauta Records. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Hollow World - Tracklisting

Silence Breaks



Hollow World

Raven Bones


Under Your Spell

Last Call


Carolin - Vocals

Alexander - Guitars

Tuomas - Bass

Sami - Drums


Hollow World is the new album from Finnish Psych Doom/Stoner Rockers Orbiter who bring a sense of sludgy, down-tuned and fuzzy momentum to the album with a Grungy outlook within the more heavier moments of the record. With a creative outlook pointing towards such bands as Black Sabbath, Ruby The Hatchet, Monolord and Windhand. Orbiter do employ a LOW & SLOW style of music that works superbly well with the eerie and bewitching Grunge/Occult Rock vocals of lead vocalist Carolin. 

Opening track Hollow World is a slow-paced track with Orbiter playing a Post-Doom with slight Gothic twinges that elevates itself into other areas of Psych, Doom, Stoner and Grunge with the lyrics having a bleak sense of realism contained within. The instrumental work moves from 70's Heavy Doom to the more modern down-tuned and amplifier distorted grooves which allows the Sludge Rock/Metal sounds to fully take flight. The level of Sabbathian guitar reverb and Fuzz based aggression allows Orbiter to have a more Progressive sound you initially expect. The tone whilst aggressive and seedy is one that's quite warm-hearted at the same time.

Second track Beneath is full of 90's Classic Grunge attitude with a subtle Alt Rock/Metal creative flow bringing echoes of Nirvana, L7 and Soundgarden but retaining that bass heavy Doom/Stoner Rock drive. The tone of the album is quite Occult/Gloom based but it's that powerful blend of Melodic Hard Rock and Psychedelic Stoner energy along with Carolin's pitch-perfect vocals that really make this song take flight. There's some wicked Hard Rock guitar solos that burst out of the seams that suddenly end. Which is a shame as I was really starting to get into the swing of things with Orbiter starting to show their full creative side on the whole album.

Third track Kolibri is more of an instrumental psychedelic rock journey with minimal vocal chants that sees Oribter reside within the more Post-Rock or Post-Stoner way of life. It's an interesting track to include on the album that showcases a different side to Orbiter which they do explore more fully on the remainder of the album.

Fourth track Hollow World is a Post-Doom/Grunge/Stoner Rock odyssey with Orbiter structuring the song within different themes, tones, textures and melodies. Perhaps the most progressive sounding track on the album which uses a cool sounding SEMI-ACOUSTIC outline to hold both the full-on Stoner Metal grooves and Post-Rock aspects of this song. This is a track that has a beautifully emotionally charged centre at its core but on the other side there's a thrilling and bloody aggressive style of Doom/Stoner Metal that ranks some of the heaviest moments on the album. Orbiter undertake a more "riffier" approach which is where the impressive drumming and guitar solos make a mighty impression. Carolin's bluesy based vocals end the song on a more sombre and hopeful note.

Four tracks in and four tracks to go with Orbiter continue playing similar style of music with more Ambient and Sonic noises fully come into play on tracks such as Raven Bones, Transmissions and Last Call. There's more reliance on Swirling Psychedelics which allows the almost Gothic/Doom influences of Orbiter's music to shine mostly through the romantic lyricism that allows Carolin's vocals yet again to have such a powerful presence to them. The rest of Orbiter do their part by playing an exciting blend of nomadic based Psych Doom/Stoner Metal which has grabbed the attention of famed Italian Powerhouse label Argonauta Records who are releasing this album.

Hollow World has been produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa who has produced bands such as The 69 Eyes, Amorphis, Apocalyptica, HIM and Moonspell. The dude is a legend of the Finnish Hard Rock/Heavy Metal scene and he does a first rate job here. As the album sounds wickedly surreal and thrillingly heavy throughout. 

Overall, Hollow World is an emotionally charged release that sees ORBITER offering a unique and different sounding release at the same time.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Grand Sounds Promotions for the promo.

Hollow World is be available to buy now on CD/Vinyl via Argonauta Records now


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