Review: “Let It Take Its Course” by Orthodox

Orthodox are a band who are leading the charge out of Nashville Tennessee along with the likes of Chamber and have played shows on the under card of the main event with the likes of Left Behind, Spite and Knocked Loose since their 2017 label debut “Sounds of Loss”. They’ve gathered a rabid fan base around their live show that is as entertaining as it is terrifying and yet still manages to make you smile to see a band draw in a crowd so naturally – like the best of horror films. You might think they’re new on the scene but they formed in Music City in late 2012 and has been touring since 2013 with original singer Adam Easterling fronting the band, while Austin Evans leads the guitar, Mike White carries the drums, and Shiloh Krebs holds down the bass. Their sophomore album “Let It Take Its Course” promises to be bleak, with lyrical themes tapping into the mindset of how far one would go when backed into a corner and welcoming hurt to protect their loved ones. Sonically if the album is anything like “Sounds of Loss“, it will be full of left turns with a feral vocal delivery and some outside the box thinking that combines Hardcore, Metal and even Nu-Metal revivalist stylings. However, Orthodox are a band who don’t want to be pigeonholed as they continue to push their boundaries to find their own sound.

Opening cut “Remorse” is merely the opening shot across the bow with an abrasive guitar pattern creating white noise that Easterling whispers rise from. “Obsinity” then thunders in, building off the lyrical base with headbangable Metallic Hardcore riffs straight out of the gate, building on that platform with an intensity and sense of tension that threatens to over spill into chaos but doesn’t quite do so as sonically the band keep a tight control on their instruments. Easterling showcases a greater vocal range with “Why Are You Here?” creating a split personality of intrigue with spoken word, hash barks, guttural lows and higher pitched screams. These give the impression of at least five different vocalists by using layering to make it sound like it’s all happening at the same time. Add to that Evans crushing guitar tone and you have a seriously addictive track that crosses multiple Metal sub genres in a single death defying leap. The guitar work of “Let It Take Its Course” has the influence of bands like Sacramento Noise Metal act Will Haven in places and by the time “Leave” hits, the darkness of the lyrics has taken hold. It’s a sadistic track that offers up images of someone tied up the basement and being subject to repeated savage beatings and it raises a vindictive smile of pure evil. The guitar work bleeds into “I Can Show You God” that is a fitting lyrical sequel with Easterling calling to see your blood with sinister clean and almost spoken vocals as he mixed up the stylings as White delivers his stand out kit performance. It’s as Schizophrenic as it is pure and brilliantly real evil. This isn’t a fairy take of a beast from the East with scales and fangs, these are the thoughts of a masked serial killer that John Carpenter wants to put on the big screen. The vicious little ditty that is “Cut” introduces some eerie melody with some Post-Hardcore esq guitar work while asking “Tell me why don’t you feel safe around me anymore?” with an evil sadistic grin. Whether it’s the tale of the voice of Satan asking Easterling to carry out dark deeds or that of a lover, it’s a clever storyline that brings to mind Oliver Stone’s 1994 satirical black comedy crime film “Natural Born Killers” and the relationship between the protagonists played by Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis.

The surprise introduction of blast beats and double kicks from drummer White on “Look At Me” only serves to increase the heavy aspect of the bands sound while the abrasive chugging guitar work kicks up the necessary mosh friendly aspect. Easterling brings to the table a new vocal style with some off kilter 80’s pop esq moments as he asks “What do you hope to see when you look at me?“. The vocals alone could make the song a single as they make it more of a commercial cut in some ways but the bands overall sound swings the opposite way sonically, which is a good thing. Piling breakdowns upon breakdowns with circle pit friendly brutality “When It Ends” has some brilliant downtempo moments that boil over into stompy Hardcore and is a real stand out moment. Title track “Let It Take Its Course” has the most impressive lead work on the album as Evans shows that he’s got more in his arsenal than just the brutal slabs of rhythmic poundings. Krebs bass work bleeds out of the mix as the poly rhythmic technical guitar patterns pause and break, which offers a sonic respite and as with some of the other tracks you might feel like it cuts short before it’s due time. That however adds to the sense of the album being one cohesive piece of work with each song being the chapter of a book rather than a standalone piece in its own right and a lot of the songs bleed into each other. “The Presence” returns to the haunting evil almost spoken word with off kilter sounds held together by an impressive bass line and returning to some of the earlier tracks of phrases in the lyrics that make the song title itself almost obsolete. A brutal dark track, it makes way for the sunshine of the piano introduction of “Wrongs” which again harks back to the earlier track “Cuts” for its lyrical inspiration. Either a love song or one of devotion it is a haunting moment that ends the album on an eerie note of somber perfection after the blistering riffs of it’s earlier parts [8.5/10]

Track listing

1. Remorse
2. Obsinity
3. Why Are You Here?
4. Leave
5. I Can Show You God
6. Cut
7. Look At Me
8. Then It Ends
9. Let It Take Its Course
10. The Presence
11. Wrongs

Let It Take Its Course” by Orthadox is out 7th February via Unbeaten Records and is available for pre-order here

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