For Fans Of
If anything is currently booming in the Australian heavy music scene, it is the uprising of progressive rock and metal acts. Home-grown artists such as Ne Obliviscaris, Voyager and Caligula’s Horse have continued to dominate the local scene and smash through the boundaries and constraints of the genre, even managing to breakthrough to the mainstream. More broadly, acts such as Dead Letter Circus and the mighty Karnivool head the pack with support from noted record labels such as UNFD and Sony BMG. If that doesn’t say Australia loves ‘prog’, then we don’t know what does.
Breaking Orbit is one of the bands we see transcending (album pun alert) beyond the rest of the local scene to join the rest of these artists, as some of the finest Australia has to offer. The Sydney based quartet has received praise during their career, recently supporting progressive/sludge champions Mastodon at the Big Top, Luna Park back in March, as well as providing support to the aforementioned Caligula’s Horse and Voyager.
The band’s sophomore album ‘Transcension’ is a continuation of their 2012 debut, ‘The Time Traveller’, which was met with acclaim, and this eagerly awaited follow-up definitely delivers on the promise to continue the spacey, melodic journey.
Opening track ‘Transcension Pt 2’ welcomes the listener with open arms. Atmospheric and rich in uplifting melody, the track serves to build expectations. The full-length itself is full of palm-muted riffs almost bordering on the ‘djent-y’ side; however, it has more grace than your typical progressive metal album, more finesse. Guitarist Dylan Mitrovich certainly proves his abilities as a virtuoso not only in his playing, but also in his abilities as a songwriter; some of the riffs on this record are simply memorable.
Equally, the vocals are superb, everything from the way the lyrics are phrased, to the melodies, to the slight effects placed on certain verses; it all flows so well with the instrumentation; a true example of this is on ‘Song of the Sea’. The song breaks down, with tribal percussion, thumping bass and eerie guitar lines setting the mood for something grand. Vocalist Matt Quale quietly engages the listener with haunting melody reminiscent to something off Opeth’s Watershed album. The is before the song builds up and climaxes into a full progressive bomb, with each member of the band showing their proficiency at their respective instruments. Following track ‘The Glitch‘ sets the mood for the album and helps you calm down. However, this is merely fleeting with Breaking Orbit’s unique brand of alternative rock never far from the fore.
To reiterate and push the point further, the instrumentation of ‘Transcension’ is phenomenal, a true testament to the skill of a competent band. Drummer Mark Tyson creates blistering and pounding beats that complement the overall feel of the album. He can be heavy as all fuck or he can quickly change it to a soft, jazzy feel – well showcased on track ‘Namaskar’. ‘Transcension’ is a record in which the bass is turned up, which allows groove to mix well within the prog blueprint.
Everything about ‘Transcension’ just proves how professional a band can and should be, and, similarly, just how well Breaking Orbit have found the perfect balance. The stellar quality and its production is on the list of impressive attributes. The production is an audiophile’s dream, while the accompanying artwork is an ideal visual interpretation of the band’s musical journey.
The purest moment is found on the album’s climax, ‘Transcension Part 3’. The track has a slow, hopeful and uplifting feel to it, it changes the album’s tone before building up; leading to a monolithic ending. The serenading lines, “I stare at the light, that wasn’t there before… the light is divine,” add to the album’s inner narrative. Breaking Orbit are finally transcending.
Breaking Orbit have truly delivered on their sophomore release, ‘Transcension’. It is an obvious cut above the rest of the local Sydney metal and hard rock scene, and is a testament to how far these fellows will go. We have high hopes for Breaking Orbit, let’s see if they can continue to produce music of this quality.
1. Transcension Pt 2
2. When Isis Starts To Cry
3. Become The Light
4. Song Of The Sea
5. The Glitch
7. Another Race
9. Transcension Pt 3