“A View Of Heaven, From A Seat In Hell” from Wisconsin melodic death metal band Orwell is a definite grower. Its intensive charms slowing working their intrusive and skilful fingers deeper and deeper across multiple plays rather than offering an instantaneous wave of attractive but less substantial sounds. The EP consists of six carefully and wonderfully crafted chunks of progressive sounds that inspire strongly as they slowly strip away layer upon layer of the senses. There is no barbaric attack or brutally given bombardment, but a constant and unrelenting oppression lined with engaging and deliberate melodic stroking, all combining to make a release that has more power and effect than most.
The follow up to their album “Endeavors”, the EP was almost a year in the making from writing to release, the attentive approach and deliberation in the song writing and construction very apparent and rewarding. Each song is a wealth of heavy duty riffs and creative intricate melodies that surge through the intense sound with incision and impressive ingenuity.
“A View Of Heaven, From A Seat In Hell” is a concept release, the songs all concerning and portraying the theme of the grieving process, As each song title suggests the tracks each represent emotions felt when in situations involving things like loss, anger, depression etc., accumulating in the moment one finds the point to let go and move on with their lives. The songs are extremely emotive going far beyond the power and though as mentioned it takes maybe a few attempts to feel the full impact it is a deeply gratifying result.
From the opening atmospheric tones of ‘In Tides, I Wake’ the realisation that the EP is more than just something for the ear to feast upon is instant. The song brings forth feelings we have all felt at some time effectively reaching a chaotic climax as things become excessive and hazed. The vocals of Logan Hauser, coarse and emotive, instil deeper feeling upon the creative sounds, his delivery expressing the powerful lyrics forcibly to fuse with the blistering sounds.
The opener is dark as are all the tracks but from ‘In Crude, I Remain’ there is a more open array of sounds starting to influence the songs. Still heavy and sprawling in energy the guitars of Tim Bradley and Erik Bolstad expand into larger and more creative interplay with the unrelenting builds and waves of noise. Musically it is a clash of the likes of Unearth, Deftones, Darkest Hour to give an idea, a smart and perfectly pleasing blend of dark and harmonic play, especially in ‘From Depths, I Rise’ with female vocals giving a sense of hope and siren like welcoming. The song is bordering on perfection, its soothing and fearsome union a pull on the heart as the song engages in the fight to be won. The bass of Will Strickland is especially powerful here though with drummer Cris Bissell throughout A View Of Heaven, From A Seat In Hell they forge an intense and inviting rhythm and attack that is irresistible.
“A View Of Heaven, From A Seat In Hell” is immense and though it still leaves one feeling there is more to come from the band that thought feed the anticipation of what they can yet come up with considering the quality on this EP. Varied in sounds within songs and threatening in power over violence the release once it takes hold is a lingering joy and the extra time taken to explore its soundscapes proving worthwhile.
Orwell will make a big impression on metal in the future and with “A View Of Heaven, From A Seat In Hell” have already left an indelible mark.