Orne
(The Tree of Life)
2011
Turn this to 5.2 of 11
Genre:
Progressive rock
Sounds Like:
Lord Vicar, King Crimson, Opium Warlords
Orne formed in Finland and consist of six members three of which are from the band Reverand Bizarre. The Tree of Life is the band’s second full-length (and final) release. The album contains a retro-progressive feel where 70s organ and distinctive electric guitar-work as the backbone of their sound supported by flute and saxophone throughout. The instruments will take you back to the day of King Crimson and classic Genesis and are quite entertaining. The theatrical description comes into fold as the songs are very story driven and lead singer Magister Albert Witchfinder is a melodramatic baritone ham. His deep voice is pensive fueled with drama times seven. Mediocre lyrics really expose Witchfinder’s vocals and frankly get a little comical (unintentionally) at various points throughout the album.

While the album maintains a retro and dark feel, everything comes down to the listener’s appetite for the cheezy melodramatic vocals. The album gets a bit frustrating as several tracks contain some terrific Pink Floydesque acoustic guitar moments only to be drowned out by Witchfinder. We found ourselves yearning for some extended jam moments as the five other members really deliver with a terrific accompaniment. The production overall is high quality with well-balanced tones and warm acoustics. Unfortunately so is the vocal output, very crisp and clear, or should we say vulnerable and exposed. Our favorite moments are the warm and melodic guitars that carry "The Temple of the Worm" superb melancholy craftmenship. The musicianship on "Don’t Look Now" is also exceptional. We hear a Heart interlude at about the mid-mark with some very vibrant up-tempo acoustical guitar work along with some slick organ/synth virtuoso.

Track Listing:
1. Angel Eyes - 3:15
2. The Temple Of The Worm - 12:10
3. The Return Of The Sorcerer - 7:41
4. Don't Look Now - 8:41
5. Beloved Dead - 5:46
6. I Was Made Upon Waters - 6:53
7. Sephira - 5:22

Magister Albert Witchfinder (vocals), Kimi Kärki [Peter Vicar] (guitar), Pekka Pitkälä (lead guitar), Jay Lovely [Earl of Void] (drums, keyboards), Antti Fredriksson (bass), Pirkka Leino (organ, Rhodes), Jussi Lisko (soprafno saxophone, flute), Timo Oksanen (saxophone, flute), Kalle Alho (bass)

We encourage you to check-out Orne for its above average retro progressive musicianship, but we do understand that you may be cringing at the vocals. While we are fans of the flamboyant Crash Test Dummies and darkly overdramatic Type-O-Negative, these vocals grew on us over time. Whether it be supported by intelligent lyrics (Crash Test) or the dark and unusual aura (Type-O) we came to enjoy them as an acquired taste. Unfortunately Witchfinder’s chops never quench our thirst or so much warrant a nibble. Ultimately the vocal dominance really weighs down our overall rating for this album. - 3/17/2015

Standout Tracks: Don't Look Now, The Temple of the Worm
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