Review by Paul Castles
Anyone who suffers from arachnophobia would not welcome an Orbweaver scurrying around their feet. If, however, you can handle listening to your death metal through a hypnotic haze then the prospect of settling down with this debut release will be an altogether less frightening proposition. Strange Transmissions from the Neuralnomicom is a five-tracker trip that draws you into the heart of Orbweaver’s sticky warped web and then refuses to let you out. This American quartet do not serve up your conventional death metal fare. What they do is strip things down, break things up and inject a mighty dose of psychedelic juice that coats Orbweaver in a flavour you’re unlikely to have sampled before. And vocalist Randy Piro (ex-Gigan & Hate Eternal) has a bite that leaves teeth marks on your skin such is its savagery and you feel Orbweaver is the band he’s been waiting a lifetime for.
‘Xoxotic’ is a blistering bewildering opener, raw abrasive guttural death metal vocals with a sharp as a tack guitar hook that keeps cutting in as though it’s being wielded by a deranged Dickensian deadbeat. ‘Crystal Prisms’ is a cacophony of distortion that has so many layers and tangents that even after repeated listenings you still feel as though you’re struggling to escape this mesmeric maze. A brief calming oasis leads us uneasily into ‘Tragic Orbit: A Doomed Sonic Starship’ before the two-minute soother is destroyed as planets collide to ignite more meteoric Miami mayhem, drummer Mike Pena ( who has since been replaced by Scott Spasiano) thrashing away from behind his kit as guitarist Sally Gates (also ex-Gigan) adds a succession of intriguing stratosphere shattering licks. The instrumental track is followed by EP closer – and longest track at eight minutes – ‘The Church Warden Procedure’ with Randy reentering the frantic fray with more tortured taunts but this time over a slower stoner sound that reeks of evil.
Anyone questioning the twisted inter galactic world that Transmissions hails from need only take a glance at the lurid goggle-eyed aliens on the cover to appreciate we’re dealing with something off the planet… almost literally in this case. This is a helter skelter of a ride in more ways than one. Orbweaver’s whacky world is possibly not one you’ve been around before. To enter needs a heart of steel and nerve of iron. Once inside be prepared to have your mind challenged and channeled into new directions. Forget those tarantulas… it’s the Orbweaver you need to watch out for.
8 out of 10
- Those Of Non-Being
- Crystal Prisms
- Tragic Orbit – A Doomed Cosmic Starship
- The Church Warden Procedure