Another in my intermittent series of music reviews spotlighting Lehigh Valley-based bands.
Listening to thrash metal — or grindcore, or metalcore, or just about anything ending in “-core” — is, for me, an experience roughly akin to listening to numbers stations.
I can sense that something of great urgency is being communicated. And while I can never seem to decode the message, I kinda enjoy the experience just for the raw sonics.
Which brings us to Empty, an eight-track EP of Mike Echo Tango Alpha Lima released earlier this week by Allentown-area band Orphan Donor.
Opener “You Can Buy Perfect” roars out of the gate in a pounding, shrieking, incoherent frenzy. (Again, it might only be incoherent to those, like me, who are not naturally tuned to its frequency.)
And from then on out it’s either fast bludgeoning crunch or slow bludgeoning crunch.
I could say “Somebody Put A Knife In This Envelope” is my pick hit off Empty, based on … well, its particular combination of fast and slow bludgeoning crunch. But really, all the songs are pretty consistently cut from the same cloth.
(The title track is noteworthy for the way it ends the EP with five minutes of grinding, semi-industrial slow burn.)
According to Bandcamp, this eight-song package took Orphan Donor more than two-and-a-half years to finish.
And for all that time, they came out with a pretty good product. It’s well-produced, and flawlessly played, and it has all the power and adrenalin and intensity the music requires. If you like this style, these guys will definitely scratch your itch.
Personally, I enjoyed listening to it, and I would listen again — even if it’s not on my usual wavelength.
Orphan Donor’s “Empty” is available as a name-your-own-price download on Bandcamp here.