The sound of what sounds like chains which makes up intro piece “Circle X”gets Orrisa’s new album off to an interesting and atmospheric start and makes a refreshing change from the usual piano based interludes several albums in recent times have opened with, but when “Tara”, complete with impressive vocals and strong instrumentation kicks in, the collection shifts –albeit only for a few minutes – into high gear.
The rather sombre guitar of “Shades Of Grey” begins the closest thing to a ballad that the album features, while at the same time showcasing Orissa’s versatility– it’s a simplistic little number, but it says one hell of a lot. “Dissolution” brings back the heavier guitar and deeper vocals which rock fans will lap up however, clocking in at almost 8 minutes in length, the song is far too long and runs the risk of being cut off or skipped over completely.
“Psalm 1”, at 7 minutes and 12 seconds, has a similar problem, not at all helped by the lullaby-like introduction and a vocal which is surprisingly soft – at least until 5 minutes in when the tempo and the power with which the lyrics are delivered are both upped considerably. It’s not a bad track by any means, but it’s also not one likely to find itself put on repeat very often.
“Primordial” might as well have been left off the album all together. Consisting of little more than breathy air sounds and the odd rumble, its inclusion on the collection is likely to baffle listeners as much as it did myself. Fortunately “Verse V” gets things somewhat back on track thanks to a guitar lick sure to have many air-strumming to, however it is also the third number on the album to come in at more than seven minutes long. Once again, the piece is longer than necessary and distracts from the strong musicianship presented to those who hear it.
It’s also a shame, although admittedly not that surprising, to find that closing number “Blue Communion” is yet another long track – in fact it’s the longest on the album by some considerable margin. While it works as a showcase of Orissa’s talents, its length once again means it runs the very likely risk of dis-interesting – perhaps even boring – those who check it out.