In a genre known for pushing the limits of sound and composition, With Our Arms to the Sun have created one ambitious album. Orenda is a prog metal album that demands to be played from beginning to end. Like a mellow acid trip, there are ebbs and flows, there is aggression and adulation, and it is all sewn together into a truly moving experience.
Orenda, by definition, is a supernatural force that the Iroquois Indians believe enables human accomplishment. But it is up to each person to find it for themselves. With Our Arms to the Sun have explored the idea, and they have emerged with a set of songs that project their findings and underscored their own true talents. But this theme isn’t overt to listeners. While lyrical references reflect this journey to find purpose, the album is a largely immersive experience due to the instrumentation alone.
“Disdain: Why Am I?” opens with inherently sludgy rage before drifting into layers of harmony that are bolstered by the infectious line, “I watched it grow inside of you, I watched it take over me. I watched it slowly die in you, I watched it burn inside of me. “Macrocosm: Prometheus” penetrates the ambiance with a searing, repetitive guitar lick, and the album-closing “Homebound – March of the Trees” contrasts soaring guitars and vocals with a homesick longing that is tangible.
With Our Arms to the Sun carry a heaviness with them that isn’t found in blast beats or growled vocals. It is a Pink Floydian weight that bristles with intention and realization, supplemented by instrumentation that is lush but not overwrought. While all prog musicians consistently seek stretch the rules and find their sound, With Our Arms to the Sun have found a sonic palette that is completely their own.
Orenda is out now on 11th Dimension Records. Buy it here!