Zero Budget Records 2009

Wisconsin is not really known as a haven for metal but Orwell are doing their best to change people's minds with their second album, Endeavors.  Their penchant for writing catchy melodies is immediately evident as Dictators in Disguise gets the ball rolling.  But one of my problems with this album is also immediately evident, the drum production buries the guitars when things get going.  As Orwell are a melodic metalcore band, it is nice to see them utilize a more subtle approach when it comes to employing breakdowns in their song, sprinkling them few and far between.  On Tempting our Damnation flying melodies spew out of the fret boards like fireworks, exploding in different directions, creating layered emotions and textures.  Walking Ghosts treads a nice middle ground of fat In Flames melodies and the intense At the Gates style.  A couple of well muscled breakdowns flex during the song to add a beefy texture to the track.  Accoustic strumming and a playful guitar lead build on the instrumental Anticipation which seamlessly egresses into Consumed for some of the album's most intense and flowing melodies, and at times brings to mind Dark Tranquillity's intricacies.  The CD's catchiest hook belongs to the track Chasing Illusions.  The opening riff pulls you in with a captivating melody.  But the cymbal production on the track sounds extremely digital and is luckily hidden by the crushing breakdown stomp of the guitars.  Endeavors will certainly appeal to the melodic metalcore crowd this album is aimed at.  Especially if the listener is tired of the constant over-the-top breakdowns that so many of Orwell's peers employ.  With that said, Orwell isn't breaking any new ground here.  They are just slightly altering the tried and true formula of the melodic metalcore genre.