REVIEW: Orrenda Acciaieria – Orrenda Acciaieria

Band: Orrenda Acciaieria
Album: Orrenda Acciaieria
Release: 2011
Label: Cosmic Swamp Records
Genre: Experimental Stoner Metal

Some albums have this intangible ambience about them, which can give the impression that you feel under the influence despite not having touched any substances. Usually these releases have some psychedelic quality, as though traveling on a journey of some description. Italian trio Orrenda Acciaieria (translates as Horrible Forge) play a style of experimental stoner metal without vocals, but instead blend in other elements (not all musical) to deliver a strange half-hour eponymous début.

The album kicks off with a four-part movement entitled “Il Morbo” (The Disease), which starts the journey with a pleasant bluesy metal opening, naturally worshipping at the Sabbath altar but also nodding to Orange Goblin. The drums, provided by Rossi, are particularly impressive, and combined with riffs from Ferrante and basslines from Bizzozzero result in a improv-like atmosphere. This then starts a downward spiral which moves away from melody and focuses on guitar abuse and feedback manipulation, akin to Tom Morello’s RATM soloing with added weird factor. The third section is particularly interesting, mostly focusing on bass and wah-wah’d guitar with the drums stumbling in the background, before moving into a high-pitched feedback part which is painful to hear at high volume. The final section sees the instruments come back into unison for one real headbang moment before the instruments sound as though they’re being destroyed. Suddenly, the listener is left realizing they’re half-way through the album, as it passes quite quickly, and more abnormality is yet to follow.

The remaining four tracks are divided into two flowing movements, each with very different approaches. “Octopus Vulgaris” is the heavier of the two, evoking The Melvins to mind in the trippy riffing/solos and Tool-esque drum patterns, but still not losing the atonal feel of earlier. The second half appears to ‘remedy’ the first half’s chaos with something more unified in its musicianship, and a lot heavier. The latter movement, “Lento Per Sigaretta” (Lento For Cigarette) perfectly describes the song’s title with another bluesy feel in its stoner rock, before the band bring in crashing post-metal crescendo, and the second half brings it back to feel-good stoner rock before tailing off into atonal matter again for the finale. Makes you wonder what’s in the cigarette.

Orrenda Acciaieria is a strong début from a band who have their style figured out, and while it has its moments of inaccessibility, it also possesses a quality which makes me return to it quite regularly. Letting the music wash over you is the best option as they guide you through mental imagery of molten steel and acid trips in factories. Listeners of the more avant-garde end of stoner metal will surely enjoy this ride, along with fans of Orange Goblin and Electric Wizard, lightly touching on the madness of Mike Patton during the Crank soundtrack. I have high hopes for the sophomore.

Rating: 7/10

Free download here: Mediafire

Song to try here:

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