Wellington two-piece Into Orbit have been making waves over the past few years. Since debuting Caverns in 2014, the two have played shows all around the country alongside other brilliant acts, slowly building up their profile as a musical force to be reckoned with.
Unearthing is their second album. We’ve had tastes of what to expect with first two singles “Gilgamesh” and “Dark Matter”, so have known what to expect.
The Into Orbit I’m used to plays crushingly heavy atmospheric music. The sound seems too full to come from just two players, but they pull off these textures by using dense layering.
I see them as post-rock’s answer to Cairo Knife Fight. Paul Stewart lays down layers upon layers of guitar sounds to achieve complex aural textures. It’s hard to believe that waves of ambient wash, extraterrestrial squeals, filthy crunchy chugging riffs, droning distorted passages and sections of exact picking all come from just one man. Ian Moir batters the drums half to death, using his deft skills to pummel the skins into submission. Into Orbit prove that they are greater than the sum of their parts, providing soundscapes I would never thought possible coming from just two players.
‘Dark Matter’ sets the mood for the album. The guitar is played percussively by lightly banging the strings before another layer of swells are added. Repetitive drums comes in. This continues for a few bars THEN BAM! chugging riff-tastic goodness! Part drone, part metal, bordering on djent. It’s what we’ve come for!
Lead single and album closer ‘Gilgamesh‘ follows similar suit, with other-worldly guitar tones setting an ominous vibe before Moir’s busy drums contribute to the act of summoning God-knows-what to the altar of doom. It’s slower than ‘Dark Matter’, but just as heavy.
I’m not doing the music justice with these descriptions. It’s not all doom and gloom. For example, ‘Equilibrium’ offers us a peek at the lighter end of the spectrum. It’s the sound of hope rather than impending oblivion. . .well for the first few minutes anyway. Title track ‘Unearthing’, (which was previewed on the Hemispheres compilation a few weeks ago) starts in a similar way, with more focus on treble than distortion.
Buuuut, the heavy songs are just more fun. Moir is a demon who really knows how to dominate those drums. Stewart can command control over the full spectrum of sound with his six strings and many pedals, but nothing beats a good ol’ moshable breakdown.
Something that surprised me about Unearthing was the variety of emotions explored. I guess that I was just expecting an album’s worth of crushing instrumental metal along the lines of the first two singles. I was mistaken. Yes, Unearthing will generously offer you head banging opportunities, but the duo will also lead you down other aural avenues that are just as interesting.
The hard work, constant playing and hard promotion appears to have paid off. Into Orbit have already made a name for themselves, and Unearthing will only help to cement the two of them as players to take note of.
Unearthing Vinyl Pressing
Into Orbit are raising money to pay for a vinyl pressing of Unearthing. If you would like to help them do this you can visit their Pledgemusic page to preorder the record. There are other options as well, like buying tshirts, and artwork.
Album Release Show At San Fran
Into Orbit are playing their Unearthing release show this Friday at San Fran, with support from His Masters Voice. At only $11 (booked online), you’d be foolish to miss it!
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/998743256935865/
Into Orbit Links: