There’s not many things I love more than an awesome Scandinavian rock band, so it brings me great pleasure to introduce Sweden’s Orbit Culture.
The quartet of Niklas Karlsson (guitar and vocals), Richard Hansson (guitar), Fredrik Lennartsson (bass) and Markus Bladh (drums) emerged from Eksjö, in the deep forests of southern Sweden, in 2013. After previously releasing an EP and a debut album, the band have delivered their finest work yet in this year’s hugely impressive album Rasen.
In the ilk of fellow Scandinavian metal bands like In Flames, Orbit Culture combine big screamed vocals with lighter, clean choruses. But that description is far too simplistic to describe the brilliance of this band, with their haunting synth noises, huge low-tuned guitars and wild, fast-paced drums.
Rasen delivers a more powerful approach than their debut offerings. It kicks off in fine style with opening track Svartport, which begins with big drawn-out guitar chords and smashing cymbals and drum rolls then a huge fast-paced guitar solo, which feeds into Karlsson’s screamed vocals. Huge screamed sections are intertwined with low-tuned big guitar chords and wild bursts of guitar riff, and all-in-all it’s a superb introduction to the band.
This is followed by Sun Of All, which features choppy guitars and doomy synth sounds over some incredible drum action and haunting vocals. Then the huge Rasen features wild chunky guitar riffs that you can’t help but bang your head along to alongside the haunting synth sound – this is a truly exceptional metal track. Watch the video for the former below:
Even better is Wings of Dragons, which starts out with laboured chords, a scream and then a burst of muted guitar chords. The pace picks up as we dive into a heavy opening verse but the best thing about this track is the epic guitar riff that closes the track with some wild drumming in support.
We spoke to lead singer Niklas this week to find out more about Orbit Culture, beginning with how the band got together.
Niklas told us: “Originally, we started out as a small jam group with different people playing different instruments. It was not until I started to record some demos on my computer, and old guitarist Maximilian and I decided to form a band. We got two more guys onboard, Christoffer and Markus and that’s when we officially were a band.”
Like so many bands out there, Metallica have been a key influence on Orbit Culture. Niklas got hooked on metal music after seeing a video of Metallica live in Seattle in 1989, and they’ve now released a video cover of Hardwired. Check that out below. They also name Joseph Duplantier from Gojira and Behemoth’s Nergal Behemoth as important imprints.
Niklas told us: “Initially, it has to be Metallica inspiring us the most. But I think what makes us different is the blend of so many different metal genres. If a rock’n’roll-riff would suit a song, we’d definitely put it in there. It’s nice to not have extreme genre-based boundaries.
“Right now, we’re very into the topics of anxiety and that sort of thing. It’s very interesting because so many feel it, but not many people want to talk about it.”
If big guitars, insanely fast
Orbit Culture are currently working on several songs that they hope will form a new EP in 2017, so keep your eyes out for that, while they’re also rehearsing hard to hopefully play some live shows next year as well.