Gran Poder

Southern Lord 2007

Orthodox combines Granite heavy riffs and warbling soft vocals that perfectly contrast the megalithic weight of the guitars and the frailty of humanity. Each song is an experiment in minimalism and repetition.  Thundering riffs repeat and repeat like a battering ram at gates that never fall.  But the maddening fear that such an experience would result is certainly there.  Geryon's Throne is an extended experience of glacially slow and heavy riffing combined with ever changing drum cacophonies.  Oficia de Tinieblas is a welcome calm within this slow motion avalanche with its whimsical yet brooding keyboards and minimalist drumming.  And El Lamento del Cabron adds a new dimension to the crawling pace of the music with its extended and slowly building cymbal cataclysm that hearkens the arrival of more mind numbing drone.  This track also finally delivers a glimpse of one of Orthodox's root inspirations in the form of some seriously Sabbathy up-tempo jamming.  Another influence I hear throughout the album is the old Doom Death band Winter.  Of course you have to picture it with a much different vocal style.  As for production on Gran Poder the guitars are down tuned and low end as one would expect from a band whose riffs are so pulverizingly heavy.  The drums are sharp and the cymbals have a lot of hiss to them.  On problem I have is the choice of how Orthodox closes out the album with a fairly out of place cover of Venom's genocide that adds nothing to the album.  I would have much preferred it never existed.  But Gran Poder is so monstrously crushing that I am beyond all hope by albums end so it really is of little consequence to my shattered mind.  If only one word was used to describe these Spanish giants of doom it would have to be HEEEAAAAVVVVYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!