Fireworks Magazine, UK
Orphan Bloom (2010)
This is the breathtaking hugely enjoyable new twelve track album from Madison based classic retro/prog rockers Orphan Bloom. This album has all the fundamentals I like about classic rock albums with a diverse prog/fusion edge that strikes that chord with me for it's rich diversity, fun energy and passion.
A lot of care and attention has gone into the creation of the album, especially with the production and eye-catching artwork and it baffles me as to why bands like Orphan Bloom are not huge. This record have all the hallmarks that fans of catchy, hook laden rock music will fully enjoy. The band are: Alex Kress, Saigopal Nelaturi, Nathan Wiswall and Travis Drumm
'Burning In The Rain' is a strong catchy track with a 70's vibe that reminds me of Eric Johnson and Robin Trower. The groovy powerful 'Indra's Web' is excellent, the performances from all the band are first rate and the track mixes classic rock with prog fusions, a little Genesis, King's X and even some Alice In Chains, marvellous track. The gentle acoustic 'Brindle' really shows how powerful a singer Alex Kress is. It's a lovely strong song, very melodic and makes me think vocally of Kip Winger and the Winger track 'She's The One' crossed with Extreme's 'Midnight Train' and a little Black Stone Cherry, superb song. Next track for me is 'Until Dawn', the track starts with some soundscapes and grows into a fiery number with hard hitting vocals, a catchy sturdy guitar fuelled rocker. There are some instrumental tracks on the album like the inspiring and beautifully performed 'Sepia', the frantic, 'Immune' and the rocking 'The Duel' being the best adding diversity to the record.
Musically it's all here, there is something for everyone to enjoy throughout the record, we couldn't ask for more really an this is one of those albums I can play forever. Watch out for Orphan Bloom, one to look out for in the future and an artist who plays with feeling and style, and that’s a rare thing.
The Wary Traveler (2011)
Helping to fill in that less-than-overflowing niche of underground prog metal comes Wisconsin’s Orphan Bloom, mixing together just about every type of music imaginable. Held together by a heavy atmosphere and a love of the psychedelic, Orphan Bloom’s “The Wary Traveler” EP offers up a strong blend of metal, jazz, and old school rock across four ever changing tracks.
The opening song “Hole in the Ocean” has it all, starting with an ominous and foreboding guitar tone that progressively gets more psychedelic until the full-blown funkiness breaks out and the bass shows up in force. The sounds are bizarre but still melodic, the guitar is all over the place, and the vocals are clean but still slightly gruff and brimming with emotion. In other words, it’s everything a proper proggy metal track should be. A fantastic transition also pops up as the title track seemingly ends mid-note without a proper ending, and then unexpectedly picks up again immediately on “Vanity’s End.”
The grunge-tinged vocals may not fully work for everyone, especially those hoping for something a little more on the extreme end, having a nasal tone and constantly being subjected to distortion effects. Although a bit of an acquired taste, this higher pitched rock type singing is actually a good match for the surrounding music, as completely clean vocals would be a bit too ordinary for the avant-garde music and death growls would be out of place.
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All Media Reviews
Orphan Bloom (2010)
Wow, over the last week I just can't seem to get enough of this album from this Madison, Wisconsin based progressive metal band Orphan Bloom. It's ballsy, riffy, bluesy, technical, groove metal. This record has these thick yet catchy guitar hooks at times that never leave your head. "No Ever After" and "Until Dawn" maybe being the most memorable. Some other standouts include the epic "Indra's Web" the opening cut The Waterway" and the closer "Frail Hand." Along with some songs with these nice acoustic ballady sections in "Brindle" and "Veil."
I am really loving this album a ton, and probably a bit more with each listening. These guys have the chops, the memorable melodies, the riffs, the molding of influences...Really badass, groovey blues metal, that is progressive rock of a kind, but really never is guilty of excessiveness.
And one other thing that I can't help but think about is at the show I saw them a few weeks ago in Minneapols at the "Progasm" at the 400 Bar, they played some new material. In other words, their next work may not be far away, and could be even better, as they clearly were the band I was impressed by the most that evening.
I think one of the biggest parts of what I love about them is the guitar tones they use and the tasteful guitar solos. Their lead guitarist Saigopal Nelaturi brings influences that are non-traditional-to-many-hard-rock/metal bands. As shown at the beginning of "Indra's Web" among other sections. I think among other things, his guitar work and style, makes them stand out over so many other "prog" and "prog metal" bands trying to do something significant now.
I probably would call this among if not the best 2010 record I've heard in 2011 thus far. Those are the kinds of albums I look forward to every year, even if I'm not around during the initial release period/year.
I can't wait to hear what they do next and see them live again.
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Progression Magazine Review
Orphan Bloom (2010)
Genre Bending Orphan Bloom won't be pegged
Orphan Bloom's debut album has been listed among the top 10 albums released in Madison in 2010 !!! Read the article here
Orphan Bloom CD Release Party @ High Noon 7/29/10 with Guests Kitty Rhombus and Helliphant
I’ve just seen one of the best bands to ever come out of the area and their name is Orphan Bloom. Remember that name, you’re going to hear it again.
What if you took Mars Volta, fronted them with (a young) Robert Plant and put, I dunno, frickin’ Jaco Patorious on bass and Neil Peart on drums? God these guys are good and I don’t know that I’ve ever felt so stunned after a performance by a local band....
Bands like this come along about once in a lifetime.
-Rick Tvedt , Local Sounds Magazine
One can hardly wave a wicked scepter these days without hitting a modern band drawing influence from classic psychedelic rock. But when it's done well, it pleases the court as well as the masses—as with the castle-storming, metal-informed rock of ages plied by Madison's Orphan Bloom. Scattering its noodling guitar lines and easy vocal harmonies to the wind over labyrinthine compositions like "Indra's Web," the band weaves the best elements of black-magic rock sorcery while avoiding typical genre trappings such as ludicrous lyrics and falsetto abuse—which suggests that its debut album could end up being one of the bigger surprises of the year.
- A.V. Club, The Onion
ORPHAN BLOOM – Orphan Bloom
It’s not often a young group that offers so much promise comes along. Orphan Bloom’s debut CD is an aggressive, psychedelic composite of the best rock attributes from the last five decades. Each member brings talent to the table that, added up, is greater than the sum of its parts. The rhythm section of drummer Travis Drumm and Nathan Wiswall is an indomitable force, driving these songs with conviction. The guitars of Alex Kress and Saigopal Nelaturi dance like demons on a mission from hell. Kress’s vocals are tough, gritty and sung with the unbridled enthusiasm of early Robert Plant.
It doesn’t take them long to kick some serious ass as the opener, “The Waterway,” begins like a Mars Volta song in mid-sentence. The catchy, melodic chorus gives way to a Zeppelin-worthy riff. Drumm displays his chops with a brief, sprite drum fill that provides the basis for a very effective coda.
Orphan Bloom utilizes the heavy riffing throughout most of the album. The arrangements are inventive enough, however, to keep the proceedings from going stale over this one-hour-long release.
Nelaturi makes a blistering entrance on “Immune,” his solo building into glorious cacophony. He plays with a great deal of inspiration and really impresses, especially when he strays out of his favorite modalities.
“Burning in the Rain” may be the album’s most engaging song with Kress singing, “If I have to believe in something, it might as well be a lie…If I have to believe in someone, it might as well be me” “Atonement” /“Indira’s Web” are the album’s most psychedelic moments. The former is an instrumental track with an underlying hurdy-gurdy sound that carries over into the latter’s trippy groove. The harmonized vocals invoke late sixties psychedelia. Suddenly, you’re in the middle section and the band sounds like the Allman Brothers on acid. An ingeniously placed key change brings the song back around.
There are three tracks that hit the seven-minute-plus mark. “Immune,” with its largely instrumental arrangement; “The Veil,” which lurches from breakneck speed into a Beatle-esque, mid-tempo waltz and a long section highlighted by Wiswall’s bass soling; and the closer “Frail Hand,” which incorporates a Drumm solo.
While the emphasis is on rocking hard, the band also has a gentle side that comes out in the latter half of “The Veil.” “Sepia” is also an acoustic guitar-centered instrumental. “Brindle” is another breezy acoustic guitar song, reminiscent of early-seventies rock a la Led Zeppelin III.
Paradyme Production’s Bill Maynard recorded this album and has succeeded in capturing the personality of the band while not cleaning it up to the point of sterility. Thus, while it sounds fresh and experimental, it also sounds retro and authentic....
-Rick Tvedt, Local Sounds Magazine