Over the past decade, the number of artists self-recording and distributing their own material over the internet has simply skyrocketed. Artists who may not have ever had a chance to share their ideas with the world now have all the resources at their fingertips to accomplish this. Anton Lord, under the moniker “Orosmoln” (Swedish for storm cloud) is one of the many thousands of DIY musicians sharing his work online. Orosmoln hails from Gothenburg, Sweden, a hotbed for alternative music and just recently released his debut album Heliocentric. Orosmoln is essentially a passion project according to Anton Lord, pursued only in his spare time; so how does this part-time passion project stack up? Pretty well actually.
RELEASE DATE: 04 February 2015 LABEL: Self-released
Orosmoln combines elements of post-rock, prog-rock and even a bit of metal on Heliocentric which adds up to a very satisfying and interesting listen. Heliocentric is a concept album of sorts which chronicles a journey to the centre of the earth and the music itself does have an adventurous and expansive quality to it. “Hollow Earth” kicks things off in a mellow fashion with the sounds of blowing wind and fuzzy-sounding mission control voice overs which immediately sets the mood for the adventure that is to follow. A simple keyboard melody and military-style drumbeat build the song to a crescendo of distorted guitar rhythms and frantic drumming with accents of flanger on the guitars and soft keyboard pieces enlarging the soundscape of the song further.
“Searching for Agartha” is the first epic to be found on the album, with a running time of just over 9 minutes. Agartha is said to be a fabled lost city found in the Earth’s core and “Searching for Agartha” certainly lives up to its namesake! Atmospheric noise swells at the start of the song with a repeating, haunting arpeggio joining in. A keyboard piece is then layered on top which results in a truly haunting, yet beautiful soundscape. The song meanders in and out of this established theme, adding different layers such as angelic-like backing choirs and distorted guitars which add a welcome bite to the song. This is definitely the standout track.
“A Smoky God” starts off alien-like in its sound, with an otherworldly melody introducing the listener to the song. Strange synth-generated noises join in which add more to the otherworldliness. The song builds to a crescendo half-way through and holds this throughout the rest of the song, with a dual guitar melody and double bass drumming driving the song along to the end. “In This House of Worship” is even more alien-sounding than the previous song, and is more of a collection of atmospheric sounds rather than a traditional song. This works well though as it serves as an effective album interlude (and as a stop-over of sorts on our journey towards parts unknown in the earth!). An acoustic guitar piece does kick in towards the end with some electronic, Nintendo-type melodies played atop which flow seamlessly into the next song, “I’m a Stone”. “I’m a Stone” has a trippy, psychedelic feel to it and reminds me of recent releases from the psychedelic post-rock groups Watter and Date Palms. The song ends strong with some heavy distorted guitar rhythms which have a great 70’s prog-rock feel to them.
Heliocentric ends off with the final epic of the album, “Pyramid Escape Plan” which clocks in just under the 17 minute mark. The song begins with some exotic sounding flutes and what sounds like a melody played on a sitar; which is very cool indeed (Anton states on his Facebook page that a xylophone was used somewhere in this song, I sure as hell couldn’t make out where it was used!). “Pyramid Escape Plan” soon kicks in into a more modern sounding direction with some rocking guitars and drum work. Some excellent prog-rock style guitar riffing and organs can be heard throughout which harkens back to bands such as Pink Floyd or more recently, Steven Wilson or Riverside. The song changes up around the half-way mark with a slower approach to the instrumentation. The exotic sounds return and build the song up to an explosion of excellent sounding guitar riffs and solos, which also highlights Anton Lord’s great guitar playing chops. The final stretch has a certain “happiness” to it and definitely leaves the listener feeling up-beat and even wishing to travel once again with Orosmoln to the deepest reaches of the Earth!
Orosmoln has definitely shown some great potential on Heliocentric. The songs are fun to listen to (albeit a tad too repetitive in places) and the instrumentation and soundscapes formed can be haunting, mysterious and just plain old awesome (albeit with some cheap sounding guitar effects and synths thrown in). So, Heliocentric is more a rough diamond than a finally polished stone. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Heliocentric, I think Anton just needs to hone Orosmoln’s sound further which will happen with time and further experience. Anton definitely has the talent to craft something special in the future considering he wrote the entirety of Heliocentric himself! I will be keeping my eye out for future releases and I urge readers to give Orosmoln and Heliocentric a shot; support a talented, do-it-yourself up-and-comer!