Italian stoners Oreyeon certainly know their way around a doomy riff or two. On Ode To Oblivion, the band’s first release for uber-hip label Heavy Psych Sounds, the band go through their paces with a rare sense of reverence and respect for the musical legacy in which they strive to create a name for themselves.
Theirs is a woozy form of stoner metal, heavy lidded as well as heavy metalled, but that doesn’t mean to say that it doesn’t occasionally get the blood pumping. Big Surprise is a strident blusterer, feeding off snake hipped riffs from Andrea Ricci and Matteo Signanini and some quite superb, lissom bass provided by Richard Silvaggio, who also supplies the curiously disembodied vocals.
It’s possibly these vocals which give Oreyeon an important point of difference; the least metallic aspect of the band, Silvaggio’s vocal intercessions lend the band an air of late-sixties Brit psychedelia, an otherworldly, almost mischievous feel that runs counter to the heaviness of the riffage yet complements it entirely. It’s a strange juxtaposition, but one that definitely works.
The band pack enough ideas into each track to keep the listener engaged; even the two longest songs on the album, Ode to Oblivion and The Ones, never feel as if they are about to outstay their welcome; couple this with the fact that the band manage to avoid most of the usual stoner pitfalls – sludginess for the sake of it, an over-reliance on already used seventies rifferama, extravagant beardage – and you have a remarkably fresh trundle up a well-trodden musical path.
It takes a lot for me to get excited about new bands of this ilk in 2019, and, though Oreyeon aren’t exactly encouraging the shedding of clothes and the exclamation of their name from the rooftops just yet, they are definitely heading in the right direction with Ode To Oblivion.
Ode To Oblivion is out on March 15th.