Orbiter, not to be confused with the Florida metal outfit, the Norwegian stoner metal combo or the New Haven post-rock duo (all of whom bear the same name) are a collective of musicians hailing from Helsinki, Finland who jam doomy grooves blended with elements of psych and alt-metal. The band, Carolin (vocals); Alexander (guitars); Tuomas (bass) and Sami (drums) have been doing their thing since 2017 but first came to Desert Psychlist's attention via their 2020 EP "The Deluge", a collection of Sabbath inspired psychedelic tinted doom fronted by exquisite and quite unique vocals. Three years and a pandemic after "The Deluge" the band return to grace our ears off with some new music, this time in the form of a full album entitled "Hollow World".(Argonauta Records)
Beneath artwork, that reminds Desert Psychlist of paintings often found gracing the walls of British middle class households in the early 70's, lies a music that has that rare quality of being heavy yet strangely soothing. Opening track "Silence Breaks" is the perfect example of how Orbiter achieve this heavy but soothing balancing act, the songs heavy pounding rhythms and thrumming dank riffs are exactly what you would expect to hear from a band who have thrown their collective hats into the doom metal ring but are offset by a vocal that is an intriguing mix of monotonic and ethereal. Orbiter move into slightly more uptempo doomic waters for next track "Beneath" still dank, still heavy but somewhat more strident, a stridency matched by vocalist Carolin shifting her delivery up a gear and adding a touch more soaring urgency into her vocal attack. Third song "Kolibri", is a beautiful instrumental piece for guitar that works both as a standalone track and as a companion piece to title track "Hollow World" where we find Orbiter once again balancing moments of powerful heaviness with moments of lilting serenity, an element of lounge lizard jazziness sneaking into the songs undulating dynamic in places. Orbiter bring a touch of Nordic folkishness into play for next track "Raven Bones" with Sami laying down a tribalistic drum tattoo behind Tuomas' low liquid bass lines and Alexander's thrumming darkened riffs, Carolin adding the cherry to the cake with a vocal that shifts between fragile smokiness and mournful majesty . The band go down the instrumental psych route for next number "Transmissions", Sami and Tuomas laying down a circular rhythmic groove over which a variety of electronic effects burp, burble and blip, if that sounds a bit weird it's because it is, but it is also very enjoyable. It seems that everyone gets their moment in the sun on this album and "Under Your Spell" is Carolin's moment, backed by a lone guitar she sings a tale of secret passageways and tangled roots in lilting tones that sit somewhere between folk(ish) and jazzy. Closing song "Last Call" finds Carolin reverting back to the slightly monotonic delivery she employed on the albums opening track against a backdrop of atmospheric groove that in its initial stages boasts a low slow and heavy dynamic but gradually increases in tempo as the song progresses towards its dark droning finale.