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Album Reviews : Orpheus Omega – ResIllusion

By on May 2, 2013

Orpheus-ResIllusion-1024x1024Melodic death metaller’s Orpheus Omega (formerly known as Orpheus) made quite a splash when they first released their debut full-length Bleed the Way back in 2011. Released to substantial reviews, it certainly turned heads to this young and new, small act from Melbourne. Naturally, when news was released that their sophomore full-length album ResIllusion (not a misspelling, I assure you) would soon be released, expectations were already at a certain height. I’ll get this out of the way now, ResIllusion does not disappoint.

Melodic death metal can be a somewhat hit-and-miss genre at times. Though many excellent bands have emerged from it such as Hypocrisy, Dark Tranquillity, and In Flames, melodeath can occasionally become drowned beneath an overuse of keyboards and distortion which, needless to say, can lead to a rather unpleasant listening experience. It is refreshing to say then that Orpheus Omega has managed to find that desired point in their music where this isn’t the case. ResIllusion is melodeath in its purest form; akin to the likes of Dark Tranquillity’s Character album, and the works of early and recent In Flames.

Opening with a haunting harmonic, “The Deconstruct” wastes no time thundering into an excellent double-bass groove and a riff so dark and bleeding that you can feel it resonate in the music as it perfectly weaves its way around the drum and bass lines.

I’m still astonished at the power in Chris Themelco’s vocals. For someone still fairly young, there is a power in his growls that recalls the work of Anders Fridén (In Flames) and Ville Viljanen of (Mors Principium Est).

There is a fantastic blend of traditional and current European melodeath styles on this album. As you listen through, you can hear influences from the early days of In Flames (I’m talking The Jester Race years here), as well as their more recent styling’s, and the works of Dark Tranquillity (both old and new). For those who prefer the older years of any of these bands, fear not, the use of newer elements on ResIllusion is both subtle and amazingly produced. Speaking of the production, ResIllusion has honestly some of the best production I’ve heard in years. The sound rings through clear and heavy, and each instrument complements the next. Orpheus has managed to pull off here what many other melodeath acts have struggled to do in recent times: provide an aural assault and an experience that makes you want to come back for more. The tracks “Corridors”, “The Abhorrent”, and “Elegant Deceit” are all fine examples of where you can hear this great conglomeration of musical styles come together.

Another aspect of this album that is noteworthy is the lyrics. There is a real passion and meaning behind them that is prevalent as you listen through, and it only serves to further empower the album.

Transitionally beautifully into the title track from “Elegant Deceit”, “ResIllusion” is a fine slice of pure melodic death metal. Solid riffs (provided courtesy of João Goncalves and Chris) accompany a chunky bass line from Milky, the excellent keyboard work of Keswick Gallagher, the deep growls of Chris, and the fine drum work of his brother, Matt.

In the first minute of “De6enerate” you’re exposed to a progressive section with clean vocals that recalls In Flames’ Sounds of a Playground Fading album before the track explodes into familiar melodeath territory with an impressively prolonged growl by Chris. Followed by “Sans Memoria” (which is both an excellent track, and a great demonstration of this band’s versatility) and “The Hypocrisy”, the formula stays consistent and enjoyable. Each track flows into the next and the mid-section of “Fragments” is incredible.

“Archways” closes the album perfectly with a great track that has you headbanging before trailing off into a haunting, melodic abyss. If you picked up the limited edition, however, you’ll be treated to one final slice of melodeath with “Windfall”, a track both heavy and well arranged.

For those who enjoy their melodeath just that – melodic and deathly – you’ll be able to find a lot to enjoy about this album. For the others who just enjoy some heavy shit that they can head bang to without too much overexertion of listening on their part, there is a fair amount of that, as well. I can say with confidence that this definitely won’t be the last time this album blasts through my speakers.

Band: Orpheus Omega
Album: The ResIllusion
Year: 2013
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Label: Independent
Origin: Australia

1. The Deconstruct
2. Corridors
3. The Abhorrent
4. Elegant Deceit
5. ResIllusion
6. De6enerate
7. Sans Memoria
8. The Hypocrisy
9. Fragments
10. Archways
11. Windfall (Bonus Track)

Pre-0rder your limited edition copy now via the link below.


Jonathon is an aspiring fantasy/sci-fi novelist and music journalist. Thanks to the influence of the music he grew up with, he has always possessed a keen interest in metal and rock. He is also a huge fan of mythology, legend, and folklore from all across the world. You should follow him on Twitter.