Beware Of Darkness - Orthodox
Orthodox, debut album from LA band Beware Of Darkness is a clever mix of The Beatles, blues-based 70s guitar rock and 90s grunge. Opening track and lead single 'Howl' crashes forth from the speakers with Zeppelin-esque drums, soaring guitars and Kyle Nicolaides' wailing vocals. In addition to the obvious Zeppelin references, there is also a nod to Jane's Addiction, especially in the beautifully sinister 'Ghost Town'. The songs focus on such heady subjects as mortality, life and death. After the moody reflection of 'Amen Amen' you have the low-key musings of 'All Who Remain' and the sombre 'Life On Earth' with just Nicolaides at the piano asking the big question "Is this all there is to life on earth / There must be something more".
Though the album never quite fulfils the promise of 'Howl', it is still a interesting collection of tunes from a talented band who are at least attempting to add a different spin to the big rock influences of the past, rather than merely regurgitating them. Sometimes it works a treat (as with the cool rocker 'Salvation Is Here'), sometimes not so well (the rather clunky 'My Planet Is Dead'), yet Orthodox is an impressive debut with the promise of more interesting things to come.