Orissa are a progressive rock/metal band from New York that leans on the heavier side of things. How heavy? Heavier than Opeth’s recent records, and for me, more interesting. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a fan of proggier music and Orissa are creating music that speaks to my heart in that regard.
Orissa‘s debut LP, Resurrection is nine tracks (eight minus the intro) and it’s one of the more interesting releases I’ve heard in some time. The band is essentially one guy, David Dodini, and he’s done pretty much everything on the release minus the drums (and keys?). This EP isn’t perfect, but it’s a really nice listen for anyone into prog.
Starting with the positive: the music has a really nice flow to it, and the mix compliments that feeling. It’s a testament to the arrangement being carefully considered and this is something I think a lot of bands forget. This is one of the positive sides of having one person in control of the overall sound of a band and I think it paid off here.
There are some really cool guitar parts throughout the record, and a varying number of emotions being portrayed with them. There’s also a lot of really beautiful guitar solos which hit the spot without being too wanky. They’re sort of tastefully applied in the right way. I don’t know if that’s a good thing for some prog fans because I know a lot of them really like prog bands to be a fucking wank fest, but for me, this is done really well.
On the negative side, I’m missing a proper prog bass player. There are some interesting things here and there, but it’s obvious these parts are intended to back up the guitars most of the time. In a prog band I have an expectation that the bassist is going to have a lot of beautiful details and that’s missing for me on this LP. As a bassist myself I take this one personally so maybe it’s just that I’m listening for something that doesn’t need to necessarily be there. It’s just my personal taste.
On several songs there are parts that have a weird hesitation in the tempo and the tracks are just a little too slow. I get that you want a song to breathe, but there’s this awkwardness to the space in a few places. It feels like the song wants to push but it just doesn’t and it’s pretty disappointing.
Weighing the good vs. bad, Orissa‘s, Resurrection easily comes out on the good side. I would highly recommend this EP to any fans of progressive music, or anyone looking to hear something a little different.
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Orissa, “Blue Communion”