Orphans of Dusk – Revenant

Ah, Solitude Productions, what good can't we say?  Without wasting too much time, it's enough to simply state that when you see the logo or hear the name, you know it has to do with doom metal.  Hypnotic Dirge Records, hey, what can't we say about them as well?  Though not known strictly for doom, said name and/or logo comes with an expectation of things of the eclectically dark (ambient, dark folk, etc.).  HDR is the official distributor of Solitude Production's releases here in America, but this is something a little different, because it's a co-release from both.  So seeing both of their logos on the same release was like opening a cathedral in which a funeral was taking place with everyone staring down at their shoes.  Such a mixture of ideas and potentialities comes into the head it is almost impossible to conceive of the result without first experiencing it, which was much like listening to Revenant was like.  In fact, at first, it was almost too much to comprehend, too many ideas coming together that were seemingly too simple, but with each listen another veil was lifted from the body lying in repose.  Now it is time to cover it in flowers.

  

Orphans of Dusk have come out of nowhere with this one, their debut EP, because they don't even have a demo before this, or at least one that's possible to find.  Let's just say if you can't find it these days with everything else on the Internet, it probably doesn't exist.  That being said, this trio comes from the region of New Zealand/Australia, and it's clear with the first fact presented here that they obviously got the attention of these labels with something deemed worthy and fitting for the aesthetics of each, which Revenant most certainly is.

 

The basic structure brings us back to our analogy used above.  The general presence of Orphans of Dusk is one of massive poetics.  Keyboards with a focus on strings and organs, listless main passages, and vocals that roar yet also move into clean regions with a lament-like quality to their echo.  So, in spite of how obvious it was, a classical funeral is exactly what the listener will envision upon listening to Revenant.  At times it drags like a forsaken lover, at others it speeds up like the heart of a suicide staring over the edge of the cliff at the very moment of choosing death.  This, thus, brings up an important point.  Orphans of Dusk, at first, progressively come off as that Goth kid dressed in stereotypical black, with the stereotypical spike collar, the stereotypical black hair, and yes, the stereotypical love of literature that leans towards the vapid.  However, the true beauty in this band and this release are the layers of meaning and sound to be discovered.  After the first listen, suddenly there's something poetic, it still seems trite but it's there, and then the third listen comes and the atmosphere of the guitar work strikes one as touching, even meaningful, and the further you go the more you discover.  But, don't get us wrong, this isn't a "grower", it's more like immutability.  It's constant, authentic, merely hindered by preconceptions, if you have them at all.  It's Gothic in the classical sense, but more Radcliffe than Walpole, literally packed with decades of development in only four songs.  So, don't be dismayed at first, give it a listen, and then perhaps two more if necessary, and soon you'll understand why sometimes a funeral can only be described as it always has been, if done skillfully.  So breathe the scent of that melancholic corpse and enjoy it for once.

 

Orphans of Dusk Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Orphans of Dusk: Revenant
Hypnotic Dirge Records, Solitude Productions
4.7 / 5