ORBITER is a five-piece stoner doom band formed in Helsinki in late 2014, of which first EP, “The Deluge,” was released independently on January, 29th 2020. Before this, a couple of digital singles were released (“Oneironaut” in 2016 and “Gravity” in 2017), and in early 2019 a split album entitled “Anthropocene/Reinventing the Wheels” was also released in cooperation with the band ROADOG, all of them with the guitarist Alexander Meaney covering the role of singer. In the spring of 2019, Carolin Koss joined the line up as the main vocalist, bringing new life and vigor to the act on many levels.
The 4-track EP works as a fairly clear summary of ORBITER’s attitude and identity as a band, in spite of its duration. In less than 24 minutes, the listener can get an idea of what the band is capable of, thanks to a smart approach in the songwriting process, nice production, and a generally good chemistry between the band members, which makes their live performances quite stunning.
The first song is called “Bone to Earth”: the main riff is a real ear worm that gets easily stuck in the listener’s head. Overwhelming low frequencies provided by bassplayer Tuomas Talka, along with hypnotic drums, all embrace Carolin’s voice – profound and intense – making the tune strongly reminiscent of the typical stoner metal sound from the ’90s, paired with the unmistakable aftertaste of the traditional atmosphere of early BLACK SABBATH. The final part has a ritualistic kind of a vibe that makes this opening track quite interesting.
“Astral Racer” is a nearly instrumental song that shows some features of the genre, deeply rooted in the classics from the ’70s but with a certain extra flavor that spices things up and makes the tune quite fresh and non predictable, along with the use of vocals almost as an additional instrument.
The third and penultimate song on “The Deluge” is “Orchids,” whose drum and bass intro is incredibly catchy and straightforward in its simplicity; psychedelic and progressive vibes from the ’70s are once again detectable in the guitar work as well, while the vocal line proves how versatile Carolin is as a singer. A few changes in pacing make this tune quite varied and colorful in terms of dynamics.
The fourth and final song on this EP is “In Echoes”: an 8 minute-long journey where Carolin’s haunting voice feels like the sound of mankind’s inner fears. The bass interlude makes this sensation even stronger and adds a further sense of heaviness, in contrast to the weightlessness of the intro.
As a conclusion, I would say that ORBITER got the job done and made this first release a strong and solid starting point. The band managed to upgrade the traditional stoner-doom sound into a contemporary and fresh version of its main features, without losing sight of the importance of good riffs, as the masters of the genre command.
Written by Licia Mapelli
- Bone to Earth
- Astral Racer
- In Echoes
Carolin Koss – Vocals
Alexander Meaney – Lead & rhythm guitars
Jere Remes – Rhythm guitars
Tuomas Talka – Bass guitar
Sami Heiniö – Drums