Looking for reasons to be cheerful this January? Then you’re very probably reading the wrong website. You might want to try typing ‘funny cats’ into You Tube instead. But if that prospect fills you with hatred for mankind then maybe you are in the right place after all. Because someone slipped in a bit of doom into the Ave Noctum postbag that has gloom written through it like a greying stick of Blackpool rock washed up on a windswept beach with its former owner’s hand still attached. Orphans of Dusk is the side project of Chris G from doomsters Mesmur – whose first album was reviewed here last month as a more than respectable slab of classic funeral doom. First off, Orphans of Dusk’s first EP is perhaps a little more tricky to pin down than Mesmur with its influences ranging from While Heaven Wept, doom-death bands of the Swedish kind (Draconian, Doom:VS) and 90s goth metal thrown in with those reverb heavy vocals, wailing synths and instantly catchy melodies.
Orphans of Dusk also has the same grand visions as many of those bands. All encompassing melancholy mixed with giant riffs and sweeping keyboard vistas. In short, even in these four tracks there’s plenty to get your teeth into. When compared to Mesmur’s perfectly executed but purist take on the whole funeral doom thing, Chris G and his growing band of gloomy Southern Hemisphere pals have spread their wings a bit more on Revenant taking to the skies to survey what turns out to be a pretty miserable place indeed but with more than enough frills to keep listeners attention beyond the compulsive death-doom addicts.
In fact things come together on pretty much every track with slick rasping doom, WHW-style chugging in just the right quantities and some adventurous meandering on the edges of infectious My Dying Bride territory, at least in overall sound. While Orphans of Dusk never reaches levels of total immersion of those Bradfordian goth masters they’ve definitely captured something concretely individual and atmospheric. Mournful choruses that will sit in your head for days on end and lugubrious keyboard strains drenched in despondency. So if wallowing in melodic melancholy is your thing then this indeed is the right place for you. So settle back with your favourite bag of confectionery on the shores of a beach of your choice and wait for those waves to wash over you.
(7.5/10 Reverend Darkstanley)