2014’s .ismos. was a creative and novel album that took various aspects of avant-garde, experimental, and post-black metal and forged them into something quite enjoyable and satisfying. Continue reading
Orbseven is a one-man Experimental Black Metal project that has recently released a very impressive new album. As I’d not heard of Obseven until relatively recently and knowing next to nothing about the project I decided to find out more…
For those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself!
This is A. Zeven and Orbseven is my own personal solo project out of the US. Texas to be exact.
Give us a bit of history to Orbseven
I first thought about creating Orbseven in late 2004 and spent the next few years preparing the first release “The Linear Divide”. Since then I’ve released two more albums “Fall Below the Earth” and “.ismos.”. The latter of which has just been released this past year.
What are your influences?
Life is my main influence. My life. Others lives.
What are you listening to at the moment that you would like to recommend?
I just finished listening to the latest Anathema album “Distant Satellites” for the hundredth time. I love everything they do. Aside from that the recent releases from Overkill, Cannibal Corpse, and Bolzer. And I’m always listening to Rainbow (Dio era)…which I still believe is very under appreciated. In my opinion, the best work that both Ronnie James Dio and Ritchie Blackmore ever created. I think those first Rainbow albums should be looked into more by the general metal fanbase. I can go on and on about Rainbow. They’re essential listening.
After the first two releases, I had the urge to write something more open. Music that breathed a bit more than the previous material. I admit the first releases are really claustrophobic in sound and production. Very intense, and very exhausting. My idea for a third release was to counter those feelings but still create something that had impact…just without that frantic in-your-face approach. The music had to have clarity. I wanted it to have an inner and emotive pulse that resonated sonically.
Are you happy with how it turned out?
Pretty happy yes. I’ve always been happy about how my releases turned out. Being a solo artist that doesn’t have label representation and produces all the music alone, I have that luxury of releasing exactly what I want. It just so happens that I’m getting a bit better at representing the material with better production with each album. I think the two previous albums suffered because of my direction of the production. But it was the best I could do at the time and I’m happy about that.
What can you tell us about the lyrics?
Not a lot. The lyrics are the most personal thing about Orbseven. For “.ismos.”, it’s generally about existence. Just being. What that is, I don’t know. And I think thats the point of it. I have an idea of existence. Of being connected to everything. Of being aware. I have ideas…but I’m not certain. No one should be certain. Existence is too big for us. The contemplation is too enormous. No answers…all questions. That in a nutshell is what “.ismos.” is. I may release a lyrical line or two through social media from time to time. But never all of them.
Give us a bit of information on the songwriting process.
Each album has been quite different. Guitar is my primary instrument so it usually starts with that. And then I fill in the rest. With this latest one, it was a bit of writing before recording..and recording while writing. That just happens to be how the previous albums came to be. The first was pretty much written before any studio time. I had an over abundance of material and I was prepared before recording. And with the second album, 90% of the music was written while I was recording it…so I didn’t familiarize myself with it very much. I think that also contributes to that chaotic pace that you hear on that release. And in actuality, I can still play most of the first album by memory. The second album not so much. I only remember bits and pieces. I’d have to relearn how to play it. Again, with “.ismos.”, it was both knowing some of the material and still writing the rest. Lyrics would always come last because its the part I’m most intimidated about.
How do you see your songs/direction developing in the future?
I think for the next release, I’ll go back to that more aggressive style. After writing and recording “.ismos.” which is very minimal in guitar playing, I’m itching to play the heavy and fast stuff again. But at the same time, I want another “.ismos.” too. So it’ll probably be a marriage of both I think. That could all change. Orbseven is not very predictable.
What’s next for Orbseven?
Possibly a second video. But for now, I’m letting “.ismos.” do its thing. Letting it have its early life. I do that with all albums. I let it runs its course. By not preparing and writing a new Orbseven album, I’m allowing it to reach out and expand. It deserves that.
This is a combination of electric Black Metal, sleek Post-Black Metal and ambient/avant-garde darkness. It’s an interesting combination and the resulting album is an exploration of state-of-the-art Blackness and atmospheric expression.
Darkened sounds and interesting effects enhance the tracks in a way that’s subtle enough to not steal any thunder from the main driving force of the guitars but has enough impact to be noticeable.
The songs are propelled by Blackened melodies and experimental sound structures, but there’s also enough Post-Black Metal wanderings to allow the room for shades of both light and dark. They’re well written, have great dynamics and are potent affairs.
.ismos. fosters an atmosphere that’s vaguely mechanistic but overtly malevolent and mysterious. Everything about this album from the music itself to the album cover deals in these mysteries and although there are no answers forthcoming the search for them is what’s important.
The vocals are a curious and varied affair. Multiple styles collide as spoken/distorted words, barely audible pseudo-ethereal sounds and subtle cleans all appear at various times during the tracks.
If you think along the lines of Dødheimsgard, Aborym, Red Harvest and Arcturus then you’ll have a good idea of the basic building blocks of the Orbseven sound. There’s even a couple of riffs here and there that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Mastodon album.
Orbseven is a creative and novel approach to what Black Metal should sound like in 2014. Taking the basic Black Metal template and building/distorting it is common enough, but the always interesting thing is where the band ends up once they have done this. In the case of Orbseven we end up with Experimental/Post-Black Metal that rolls smoothly out of the speakers.
A great effort – show your support.