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Orwell - Endeavors

WREN   (346 reviews)

Posted: 04/08/2010 | Comments: 0 | Rate:

It’s been a little bit since I did my last review. I’ve been busy dealing out all the material to the other reviewers, that I never saved anything for myself. Coming off two knock out albums in the new Deftones and Sick Of It All, I decided to grab a relatively unknown band in the form of Wisconsin’s, Orwell and their debut record Endeavors.

Since really coming on board with this whole reviewing thing, I’ve come to notice that the majority of the press kits I’m given are horrible. Obviously the PR person that is working for the band is doing everything they can to hype them up in hopes to sell more records. I can respect that but at the same time, they need to come up with better ways of doing so. Orwell’s kit describes them as “Pure Midwestern American Metal” and another part says “Thrash/Metal/Progressive (Not Another Hardcore Band)”. Even without hearing a single note, I laughed at this. It became a lot funnier when I actually heard the music. I’m not sure why the band or at least the person that wrote the press release emphasized the American part in their description because this is a complete rip-off of all the melodic thrash bands that Sweden was putting out years ago. In Flames, Soilwork, At The Gates, and Heartwork era Carcass all come to mind in easy comparisons. However as the album progressed I noticed that the band probably has been influenced by subpar American acts such as All That Remains, Darkest Hour, and The Black Dahlia Murder. While the band made it appoint to note that they are not just another “hardcore” act, they are teetering on the brink of pure metalcore.

The one really saving grace that this band has going for them is that they seem to refuse to cater to the mosh crowd and the album features relatively no breakdowns. They are there but not in the form of the standard open chord chug. Orwell does it a little more tastefully and when they do make their appearance you can almost miss them.

I don’t want to be completely mean to this band because the musicians definitely have talent. The problem is they are wasting it with a dated style of music. With the exception of bands that were doing it 10 years ago (i.e. Darkest Hour and BDM) the whole Sweden thing has pretty much died and gone away. Like the rest of the genre it was saturated with bands that couldn’t stand out amongst their peers. I think even had Orwell been around during the heyday of this style of metalcore, they would have just been another face in the crowd.

This album is incredibly boring and not until track 4’s acoustic beginning appeared, did I even realize that I had just heard 3 different songs. Even when the band breaks up the monotony with the acoustic lead into a pretty epic melodic intro to track 5, the band goes right back to the same formula of the previous 3 songs and that continues right up until the conclusion of the record. I think it would take me very many listens to start to be able to distinguish different parts and at that point the album is already ruined. If I have to work that hard you have failed as songwriters.

The press kit wraps up with saying that they are well on their way to becoming a well-known act in the metal world. Call me a pessimist but somehow I really doubt these guys are going to make waves. If by some miracle Orwell is able to make me eat crow, well then good for them. I, however, can’t recommend this beyond people that still are in total infatuation with the Swedish metal rip-offs from 10 years ago.

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