Orochen - ‘Thylacine’ (EP)
We’ve written about Swedish rock 'n apocalyptic post-industrial neofolk rockers Orochen previously, and maybe their dark perspective on the world is suitable for a day where the ‘human news’ seems a little gloomy to say the least. For some reason I can’t help but wonder what the rest of the animal kingdom think of it all.
Whilst their output might be dark I do feel they’re a band that are able to hit the mark more often than not. Not afraid to launch into thumping black riffs and bombard the listener with relentless drum rhythms, they maintain an intensity which demands attention, and there’s enough melodic intent to keep it interesting, even if there’s not a huge amount of variation – partly to do with the vocal delivery.
Their new EP is a fairly good demonstration of their style, and actually I like it more than most of their previous material. Entitled ‘Thylacine’ (the ‘Tasmanian Tiger’, which isn’t really a tiger and is possibly extinct) it opens with the typically cheerless and frenetic ‘Burial Mounds’, before single ‘Drift Away’ imposes it’s shadowy authority on proceedings. It’s a track they describe as “dark gospel combined with folky vibes…. telling a story about religion, and how humankind always have put their faith in higher powers and that this sometimes has been a uniting force but more often leading to chaos and disorder.”
Orochen do like a little bit of chaos and disorder, or at least pointing out that we’re all heading in the direction of it.
But actually it’s ‘Inside The City’ that appeals to me most musically, mainly because of the way it builds to a huge climax of wailing guitars, it is both powerful and uncompromising in its delivery. I love the contrast into ‘The Jonestown Deathtape’, which opens with surprising subtlety before screamed vocals are introduced that inevitably don’t quite appeal to my personal taste.
‘Thylacine’ is pretty bleak stuff of course, but I have a lot of time for Orochen and their musical and lyrical perspectives. I can’t imagine them changing their style much, but musically they do enough to ensure they don’t repeat themselves.
I’m sure we’ll hear more from them again in 2021. Maybe post-Covid they’ll have cheered up a little. But maybe not.
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