Tuesday 31 March 2020

ALBUM REVIEW: Orphan Donor, "Old Patterns"

By: Peter Morsellino

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 13/03/2020
Label: Zegema Beach Records

“Old Patterns” CS//DD track listing:

1). Hamsteria
2). Salvia Is A Beach
3). New Patterns
4). Pole Disdain
5). Mind State Dependency
6). Old Stains
7). Planks
8). Body On Fire
9). Profound Loss

The Review:

Allentown's Orphan Donor brings noise music to uncharted territory with “Old Patterns”. With a dense, unforgiving atmosphere and breakneck speeds, Orphan Donor offer up the perfect record for present times.  Give a listen. I think you'll understand.

From the first moments of album opener “Hamsteria”, Orphan Donor's intentions are clear.  Grating feedback is quickly met with a chaotic drum solo before coming together in a fast paced cacophony.  “Salvia Is A Beach” offers up the same onslaught of sound while offering up a little more structure and melody.  This is one you can move around to a little better. “New Patterns” is generally a more mid paced number, which makes the return to the albums brutal speed all the more appreciated. Other stand out tracks include “Planks”, with its slowed down doomy atmosphere standing in stark contrast to the rest of the album, “Old Stains” with a breakdown that allows the bass to stand out in the mix, and the impressive closer, “Profound Loss”.

“Profound Loss” is at once the most dissonant piece on the album, while also showcasing a lighter sound, with much cleaner guitars being picked throughout it. The sad plucking of these strings provides the perfect backdrop for the continued driving pace of the album. They break the tension and provide “Old Patterns” with the perfect ending.  Like a bleak acceptance after you've burnt through your angry energy. Truly beautiful song writing there.

Musically, this album truly is something to behold. With a sound reminiscent of the modern black gaze movement, Orphan Donor chooses to not contrast their dirty sound with a beautiful melodic piece, but rather with slowed down passages.

Throughout these tracks, one constant holds true. That is the beauty that can be found in dirt and disharmony.  This is loud, abrasive music, yes, but it's true beauty lies in its representation. Not everything ugly has a beautiful counterpoint. Not every low is resolved with a high.  Sometimes things are just bleak.  It's not a fun thought, but if you can rationalize it you are in the perfect space to appreciate the music that is presented here. Orphan Donor gift us with a soundtrack to our despair without offering any false hope, and in a world full of false hopes and promises, I am grateful for that.

“Old Patterns” is available HERE

Band info: bandcamp || facebook