Orthrelm OV

The fact that Washington, DC’s Orthrelm pumped out 99 tracks in just over 12 minutes on their debut album, should give any stranger an idea of just how impulsive and eccentric this two-piece is. Guitarist Mick Barr and drummer Josh Blair have turned the tables on their course of action with their third full-length and first for Ipecac. OV finds the noise metal duo offering a single track that spans more than 45 minutes for their first real foray into manic repetitive chops and pounding. Like their contemporaries Lightning Bolt and Hella, Orthrelm are all about playing at a deafening volume with convoluted techniques that borrow time signatures from free-jazz, riffs from metal and designs from prog rock. Barr hacks away at his guitar like a lunatic, generating screeching riffs that would make dogs run, while Blair plays like a drum machine caught in an endless loop, matching every single note with a beat. OV isn’t merely some extremely long jam session that doesn’t know when to quit; it is an extended piece that works in bursts of repetition. There are changes aplenty throughout its life and even though it appears to rely quite heavily on improvisation, Barr and Blair are so frighteningly in sync their chemistry will scare you more than the destructive nature of the music itself. (Ipecac)