Premiere: Orphalis – ‘The Stench Of Human Failure’
A bit brutal, a bit technical, a bit… toxic? Damn this Orphalis is some strong shit.
Before the first skyscrapers appear in the distance, the smells have already infiltrated the car—the must of damp newspapers, chemicals flowing through drains, the breath of a million machines. The bouquet catches in your throat, mucus membranes crying out in distress. Cities may be centers of culture and ingenuity, but their existence comes with a heavy tax on the planet. Any large group of animals is bound to emit an unpleasant odor, but our pollution is unparalleled in its impact. You can lessen your carbon footprint or fly across the world in a private jet, but “The Stench of Human Failure” will find you on any continent. Take a deep breath—Orphalis is here with an exclusive streaming track, and things are about to get pungent.
Blasts that make the metronome break out in a cold sweat? Vaguely alien landscape with at least 6.66% of the artwork devoted to various shades of purple? The signs all point to Unique Leader-bait, but Orphalis break free from that mold seconds into “…Human Failure.” The knotted tech death riffing that introduces the track quickly untangles into something more atmospheric; after the initial claustrophobia, simple tremolo riffs from Jens and Morten open up the structure of the song. The band’s ability to condense and expand their sound with transitions between tempos and genres sets them apart in a scene unaccustomed to subtlety [diminished sweeping intensifies].
From the reek of metalcore breakdowns to the acrid bite of pistons running hot (check out the industrial Fear Factory groove at 2:18), there are smells here that will appeal to even the most ornery olfactory organs. Thomas handles vocal duties throughout, ranging from a high snarl (reminiscent of Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder, if he sounded a bit less like Jack Black) to a hollow growl that could only come from a diaphragm in the late stages of putrefaction. The production is the cleanest thing about this band, allowing the solo work (Andreas’ bass in particular) to sit atop the garbage fire like a rotten cherry. They even use a real drummer (Phillip) instead of that old typewriter that tech bands have been using since Planetary Duality came out. With “…Human Failure,” Orphalis have fought their way to the top of the landfill, wafting their unique stink in the general direction of our nostrils.