A horrible hack



Year Released: 2019
Format: CD
Label: Czar Of Crickets
Reviewed by Samuel Rogers on Feb 29, 2020
This is the debut album from a Swiss post-metal act, consisting of three guitarists, a drummer, and a bassist. The record is a great example of what some people call “atmospheric metal”. Although the tracks range from two to twelve minutes, spiritually they stretch out towards infinity. Heavy, doom-laden passages of instrumental metal relent into sombre interludes, then climb back up in textured layers. At brighter moments of respite, the guitar work creates a vibrato wall of pure timbre. Then the expertly plotted lines of rhythm and melody kick in, and off we go again. Personally, I’m not a fan of crescendo-driven post-rock. Fans of that style will enjoy this, but Orso do offer something bigger and better. If you imagine an album like Neurosis, A Sun That Never Sets (2001) with no vocals and a cleaner sound, that’s roughly Orso’s territory. The band also have another aesthetic, suggested by the title Paninoteca (“sandwich shop”). The front and back artwork is a close-up of bread. The interior panels are ketchup and mustard, with the CD masquerading as a slice of onion. All ten tracks are named after sandwiches. We’re not talking about boring lunchbox staples, but everything from a Belgian dagobert to an American fluffernutter. I heard on the grapevine that the vinyl release includes recipes. You may ask what filled bread has to do with post-metal. I don’t know, but it singles Orso out as a hungry band with a sense of light-hearted fun.

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