Written by: Carlos Balmaceda
Orphans of Doom is a Kansas City based metal band that offers a refreshing mix of familiar genres. Combining elements of thrash, sludge, and a decent coating of crossover, has helped them out a stamp on their local and regional scene. The band formed in the summer of 2016 and consist of Jeremy Isaacson (Bass/Vocals), Bryan Sedey (Guitar), Greg Koelling (Drums) and has since released released two full length albums. Their first album, Strange Worlds/Fierce Gods, came out of the gate hot and made for a strong debut. Strange Worlds/Fierce Gods was an intense ripper that kept your head banging through the entirety of its run time, and is a great foundation for what could be a very strong career in heavy music. The question is, “Does this new album keep that fire rolling?”
The short answer is yes, yes it does. II is a return to form for Orphans of Doom, but that isn’t such a
bad thing in this context. II is refined and mature, with some hair on its chest. It’s the best parts of
puberty without the accidental awkwardness of calling your teacher "Mom." If you were a fan of anything
the group has done up to this point, then you’re in for a treat, and I hope you have a sweet tooth. This
thing is sticky. Riff candy on every song and in spades, maybe call your dentist after this one. Seriously,
there’s a riff here for everyone. From chug centered sludge riffs, to classically written thrash riffs, and
even a couple 2-step riffs(that caught me by surprise). The guitar has that perfect mix of grit and clarity
that I love so much, and that many bands get so wrong. Couple that with a bass tone as thick as
molasses and Greg’s absolutely insane stamina on the drums, and you’ve got yourself the recipe for an
album not worth the shame of missing.
However, as many rippers as there are on II, there are a similar amount of duds. I wouldn’t say there is
a one song on here that has nothing to offer the album as a whole, but at some point during most songs
it starts to feel, redundant. If you’re familiar with the metal genre as a whole, there isn’t anything here
you haven’t heard. Twin guitar melodies, thrash solos, and chugs. You can count on all three being on
almost every song, and although it’s all performed with a lot of skill, it just isn’t inspiring. Other than
that, my main complaint is that the drums get a little muddied during most fills, it’s like the toms
disappear completely out of the mix. Oh and I can’t forget the weird electronics freak-out solos, not only
are they completely out of place, but the mix on them forces you to really listen for it, just to end up
asking yourself, why?
All told, this is a solid album. II is a no-frills, relentless release with a lot of ear candy perfect for your
daily worship of the riff. These guys get better with every release, and I hope they don’t plan on slowing
down anytime soon. Check it out on streaming platforms or buy up one of their stunning presses of the
album from their label, The Company.
Favorite track? "Rust."
Orphans of Doom - II was released Feb. 28th from (the illustrious) The Company
Providing thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy, and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a groggy-eyed, highfalutin peasantry.