ALBUM: A Walk in the Dark
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
The debut release from solo artist Orpheos is a solid foray into dark, moody synthpop augmented by gritty trip-hop rhythms and just a hint of rock guitar. As the EP opens with "I Won't Look Back," the first thing you notice is the voice: it's a rich croon imbued with a world-weary vibe that recalls a young David Sylvian (of seminal New Wave act Japan). Where Japan roughened up the edges on Sylvian's voice with jagged fretless bass, Orpheos does the same thing with a distorted guitar effect and rumbling, low-end trip-hip beats. Title track "A Walk in the Dark" adds more guitar, but again it's the interplay between gritty rhythm section and melodious voice that stands out. With "On the Run," the beats get slicker and the vocals more full of brooding intensity; it's perhaps this EP's most professional-sounding track. Finishing things up are a pair of songs that expand somewhat on the formula established by the first three tracks; "Kiss These Chains" is more upbeat, even funky, thanks to a classic electro breakbeat, while instrumental "Heute Abend Ist Schon" sees Orpheos moving into more experimental territory with dub-flavored bass lines, industrial clanking, and a sprinkling of animal sounds and insect buzzing for added flavor. With just five songs, this is little more than an appetizer, but it promises bigger, better, tastier things yet to come.
Check out Orpheos on MySpace at www.myspace.com/orpheos.
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