Blue Origin – Somnium


Review by Paul H Birch

Wheeling out the usual modern rock suspects as their self-declared influences Blue Origin leaves me a little blank-faced, because while Black Stone Cherry and Alter Bridge may be in their own record collections, what I’m hearing has more in common with the whole New Wave of Heavy Metal scene given some modern spin. Consider the original Tygers of Pan Tang with a rocket strategically placed up their collective backsides, or maybe the Dianno-fronted Iron Maiden with less “Oi” and more paranoia invested in their lyrics – though frankly that should be self-evident with stark titles like ‘Sick’, ‘Scream’ and ‘Godless’ among the eleven tracks featured on this, the band’s crowd-funded début, Somnium.

Seven years gigging has made Midlands band Blue Origin a tight act, and what they do they do well, thrashing away with big repeat choruses reinforcing each song title’s intended theme and not outstaying their welcome. This is fortunate, because in truth, some songs take a couple of listens to be distinguishable one from another. However, it’s not all hell for leather type riffs. ‘Take Your Pills’ offers a more introspective look at modern life lyrically, ‘Don’t Hold Me’ expands their musical parameters and both have a Muse-like quality, while ‘Make Me’’ has unexpected mainstream appeal coming across like a heavy metal Crowded House.

On record it’s unclear how the two guitarists’ roles in this five piece line-up may differ, and being angry at the world isn’t always enough to carry a whole song; sometimes we need it explained why and how the situation might be dealt with in consecutive verses. Despite such quibbles, Somnium is raucously rock radio friendly, lead vocalist Nick Pilgrim has his angst down pat, with the band’s backing vocals adding to that overall effect on songs like ‘Whatever Happened’ and there are plenty of guitar solos that shoot from the hip in an altogether pleasingly classic axe hero manner.

Blue Origin - Somnium6.5 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Sick
  2. Take Your Pills
  3. Blur The Lines
  4. Whatever Happened
  5. Make Me
  6. Everything
  7. Scream
  8. Godless
  9. Junkie
  10. Don’t Hold On
  11. (A)wake