Orne - The Tree Of Life

(CD 2011, 49:51, Black widow Records BWR 134)

The tracks:
  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)

Orne Website        Black Widow Records

You like Mellotron? Oh...this one has lots of it. You like Hammond organ? Oh...this one has lots of it. The Mellotron sounds like Mike Pinder (The Moody Blues) and the organ has a Julian Jay Savarin (Julian's Treatment) meets Richard Wright (Pink Floyd) thing going on. Not a lot of flashy chops, but definitely intense and with a pervasive early seventies British sound. Bands like Black Widow, Pink Floyd, and even VDGG come to mind.' Well, these lines are not mine, but I read them in the info sheet referring to the Finnish band Orne. Anyway, these words certainly made me curious to the music of this band.  

Orne consist of musicians that were once members of the doom metal band Reverend Bizarre. However, this time they got their inspiration from the English progressive rock movement of the early seventies. They describe their sound as dark progressive rock in the vein of Van der Graaf Generator (VDGG), Black Widow, King Crimson, Genesis with Peter Gabriel and Pink Floyd. The Italian label Black Widow discovered them and signed them to their label. Orne's first album Conjuration By The Fire was released in 2006.

On the second album The Tree Of Life (2011) the band consist of Sami Albert Hynninen (lead vocals), Kimi Kärki (electric and acoustic guitars, Mellotron), Pirkka Leino (Hammond organ, Fender Rhodes electric piano), Timo Oksanen (flutes), Jaakko Penttinen (bass guitar), Pekka Pitkälä (electric guitars), Jari Pohjonen (drums, percussion) and guest musician Lea Tommola (saxophone on Sephira). It's not that often that a press info sheet tells the truth about the music you can expect on an album. However, this time the information truthfully reflects the contents of the album. The influences from the early seventies progressive bands as VDGG, early Genesis, early Pink Floyd and Black Widow are clearly present.

The Tree Of Life is quite an intimate album containing memorable and unique music. I would like to describe their music as slow atmospheric doom with mellow psychedelic hints and retro-progressive rock with an occasional touch of folk. You'll mostly hear slow and broody tracks filled with classic organ, Mellotron, acoustic guitar and sometimes hard rock riffs. The acoustic guitars play frequently beautiful melodies over the organ; it sounds rather mellow with psychedelic hints. Most of the time these patterns slowly change into more hard rock passages with distorted power chords, organ and pounding drums. I think the album's highlight is the twelve-minute piece The Temple Of The Worm. It has some fine flute and organ playing and melancholic guitar parts, while the lead vocalist sings very calmly, which sounds really beautiful. Another fantastic piece is Beloved Dead with some outstanding Mellotron-parts. However, if you want to hear some more aggressive parts you better listen to Don't Look Now. On this track the link with doom metal band Reverend Bizarre is most obvious.

People who are fond of the aforementioned early seventies progressive rock bands will find some musical satisfaction with this release. I certainly did!

*** + Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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