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7 out of 10
Blimey, that was exhausting. A Dark Orbit, a five-piece heavy hardcore outfit from St Louis, Missouri, aren't for easing us into the new year gently: unemployment here, three wars in the Middle East, climate change and economic collapse everywhere, and now we've got hyper-intense, ear-crushing metalcore to contend with too. ADO draw upon the kind of heaviness that labels like Hydra Head and Southern Lord drag up from bottomless pits and dark wells, except their bands tend to be instrumental and play kinda slow - ADO are fast; kicking up near impenetrable storms of noise led by the voice of Chad Kapper, whose scream is so powerful it probably has its own muscles.
This isn't just volume, though. ADO have quirks and textures, such as on the dramatic math-rock of 'Our Firestone', and a sometimes reminiscent of a less complex Botch, as on 'Grey Film' and or 'The Waters' with it's use of FX and the multiple modes of attack on guitar. Drummer Geoff Sprock slows down the blast beats so that they can breathe amongst the noise.
It's on final song 'Voyager' that ADO are at their most experimental, although the metallic, electronic bubbling is as much dodgy sink as space age - but whoever said, 'In space, no one can hear you scream,' obviously hadn't heard Chad Kapper. His growl works its way from down in the mix to the fore and then back again, as his band use their instruments to create a heavy soundscape rather than a barrage. Given that they've only been playing together for 11 months, the potential here is massive.
1. Grey Film
2. Radio.The Dead Eaters
3. Our Firestone
4. The Waters