Album #100: Cold Body Radiation – The Orphean Lyre

  • Released: 2017
  • Origin: Netherlands
  • Label: Dusktone
  • Best Track: The Ghost of My Things

Woo-hoo – 100 albums! Alright, I’m a bit behind where I should be with today being the 110th day of the year, but not drastically so. Keep doing one a day, and I should be able to find 10 days between now and December 31st when I can bash out a second.

Today’s album is a mysterious one from Dutch one-man project Cold Body Radiation. The man behind it goes only by the name M, and I can’t even found out what part of the Netherlands he’s from. As for the music, it’s the type often described in terms like ‘blackgaze’ or ‘darkwave’ – basically post-punk/shoegaze with a gothic or metal influence.

I thought I would really like this. The name is cool, and so are his album covers, so he has a good aesthetic going, plus opening track ‘The Ghost of My Things’ sounded promising.

Sadly, The Orphean Lyre is pretty flat, in truth. I don’t like to have a pop at a little-known artist, but I can’t imagine he can be happy with the way these songs have come out.

The production doesn’t do him any favours. I know budget is a factor and I’m not a fan overproduction anyway, but this sounds terribly compressed, single-volume and almost tinny – none of which are conducive to the sort of music you’re supposed to lose yourself in as it washes over you.

But I’m not sure even the best sound engineer could rescue this album. Every song sounds like it might be decent only to fizzle out once the vocals, guitars and occasional keyboards all mould into one uninteresting vacuum. ‘Sinking of a Wish’ is as turgid as anything I’ve ever heard from this genre. Some credibility is restored as he ups his game with ‘Spiral Clouds’ and ‘You Where Missing’ (not sure whether the grammatical error is deliberate), but any hopes of salvaging the album are quelled with a real snoozer of a final track. At 5:54, ‘The Forever Sun’ is about six minutes longer than it needed to be.

So, not the best album to be hitting a milestone with, but the decimal counting system is pretty arbitrary anyway, and it can screw itself.

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