When you think of Nashville, Tennessee, you usually think of country music. However, Nashville-natives ORTHODOX are here to turn that assumption on its head. The nu-metal four piece’s third album Learning To Dissolve was made during the global pandemic, but it almost never saw the light of day. This is due to what happened on the final day of recording. The band were ready to drive back to Nashville from their studio in New Jersey when Hurricane Ida struck. As the rain fell, one of the spots had the hard-drive underneath. Thankfully, it got saved. Learning To Dissolve is made up of 11 songs and sees the band focusing on self-reflection in a departure from the themes of love and anger explored on their second album, 2019’s Let It Take Its Course.
Feel It Linger is a kick-in-the-face riot of an opening song. Starting off with unclean vocals that would sound at home on a CHEALSEA GRIN song, it is clear that vocalist Adam Easterling has done his homework on how to perfect the unclean vocals. Whilst the band might class themselves as nu-metal, this album leans much more into metalcore and at times even strays into deathcore. However, whilst some bands might sound like they are simply trying to copy and paste other bands’ successes in those genres, ORTHODOX take those genres and give them their own little spin.
They do this by combining genres into one song. Whilst this might sound like a horrible cluster of noise on paper, it actually works here. For example, on Become Divine, the death metal like growls work over he frantic nu-metal instruments. The production on the song means that the genres mix well together.
On the other hand, the only issue with sticking to a few metal sub-genres is that it does end up a bit repetitive. This is a shame because there are so many sub-genres to explore, it would have been nice to hear a variety. That said, it is understandable if ORTHODOX want to stick to a sound that they are familiar with. However, as this is their third album, it is surprising that they have not branched out and experimented more.
Despite this issue, Learning To Dissolve still has some unique songs on it. Fast Asleep is a frantic, angry-sounding song that turns into a soft-metal track during the bridge before building back up into a heavy breakdown. This gives the song a touch of difference that sets it apart from the other songs on the album.
In conclusion, Learning To Dissolve is a very good album. It is well-produced, the performances are fantastic and the band are clearly having a fantastic time. The album also embraces a few different sub-genres of metal. However, this is the downfall of the album, because it does not experiment with other genres. Whilst some people might be pleased that the band are sticking to their sound – as experimenting with genres is very hit-and-miss – others might be disappointed at the repetitiveness. Regardless, if you are a fan of KNOCKED LOOSE, CHELSEA GRIN or any other core-leaning heavy band, then this album is for you.
Learning To Dissolve is set for release on August 19th via Century Media Records.
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