Bring up Italy when talking about Metal and you’re likely to conjure images of cheesy Power Metal a la Rhapsody of Fire or Arthemis, or melodic Gothic in the form of Lacuna Coil, but there’s a fair few decent Stoner and Doom bands, most notably Ufomammut, too. Another decent group is Oreyeon (previously known as Orion), whose sophomore album Ode To Oblivion (Heavy Psych Sounds) is a solid slab of spacey Doom and Stoner that doesn’t just dwell on the Black Sabbath and Kyuss tropes.
Ode… has less of a spacy, Desert Rock feel compared to the band’s satisfying 2016 debut, Builders of Cosmos (Taxi Driver): the songs are longer, the songwriting more complex, and the band have added a more Baroness-inspired feel around the guitar melodies and drum-work.
The title track bridges Kyuss riffs with the drive of the Age of Winters-era The Sword, before ascending into hypnotic clean rhythms and then descending back down into a sea of swampy grooves. The vocals often have a grungey, nineties-style delivery, most obviously heard on ‘Trudging To Vacuity’, which in the press pack the band says is themed around “the existence’s paradoxical passing of time in an ephemeral period of time in which the process of the end begins”. I’m guessing means something big and sad. But it’s good fun to listen to.
Fans of Floor may well find a lot to like in ‘Big Surprise’ which features the same kind of melancholic-but-melodic-vocals-over-fat-riffs, while ‘The Ones’ starts off more as a straight-ahead stomping number before wandering off into a five-minute jam. Album closer ‘Starship Pusher’ is another slow-burning shredder that sucks you in at a snail’s pace but doesn’t allow you to escape its gravity. In Ode To Oblivion, Oreyeon has delivered a peach of a Stoner album that doesn’t just retread old clichés but actually tries to put a spin on a well-established formula.
7 / 10