Orthanc – Carnival (2019)

Orthanc hails from Belgium and was formed by brothers Geert and Marnick Serreyn (drums and guitar). They were later joined by Matthias Vanden Berghe (bass) and Ortwin Lietaert (vocals).
They formed in the early 1990s and 1993 added second guitarist Chris Borny.
In 1997 the band split and it wasn’t until 2014 they were asked to do a reunion concert with a number of guest musicians. In 2018 they began work on a new record and here in 2019 it is beinh bought to light.
Orthancs music has evolved over the years taking points from the likes of Ozzy, Metallica and Iron Maiden, today is all solid metal.
Orthanc has their new offering of a full length album ‘Carnival’, the artwork for the album is very fitting being it an old school circus tent on arid soil.
The opening track for Carnival is called ‘Liar’, with harsh growling vocal, heavy sound and a great guitar solo, it’s a beginning to smack you in the face and get you excited
The second track is the albums namesake. And true to name opens with an apt old school circus sound intro before diving into smashing drum kicks and solid guitar work.
The third song (o.d.) victim of chemical substance is where it truly was at for me. With a long melodic intro, mellow beggining luring you into a false sense of down time before ramping it up. Also the longest track at almost 7 minutes long.
The next 4 songs however lost me and I felt as though it was all starting to sound the same offering little excitement to my ear drums.
Track 8 ‘The Prophet’ draws you back in however with harsh guitar licks and fast tempo. It’s a shame it was left until last as it’s the type of song that really gets the energy flowing. However, that could be a clever sales ploy, leaving you wanting more? I don’t know could be reading too much into that.
Looking through some of the bands photos they look like a band you would see at your local on a Friday night. This isn’t a dis, to me that makes them feel local/relatable.
Although I cannot say they would be my favourite band many would enjoy their sound and I enjoyed majority of their work. Carnival is worth giving a go.
Steph Suter-James.

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