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Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • United States

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Orthrelm biography
ORTHELM is an extreme avant-garde metal band formed in Washington, D.C. in 2000. The band is a duo consisting of guitarist Mick BARR and drummer Josh BLAIR. BARR is well known in the musical underground for his uncompromising agility and unconventional compositional style (or lack thereof). Mainly consisting of grindcore-esque extreme metal passages with free-jazz mindset, ORTHELM's songs tend to be short, concentrated, intense, and complex. Musician Weasel Walter has described the music as "densely packed with musical information: with little or no structural repetition, discreet cells of notes are often frantically reconfigured into every possible permutation with staggering speed, revealing a fractal-like inner logic that is both chaotically asymmetrical and perfectly ordered at once."

The band has released a number of releases since their inception, and the very principles of those releases show the band's ingenuity and experimentality. The band's debut full length album, "Iorxhscimtor," was released in 2001. Their second release, the EP "Asristir Vieldriox," was a 13 minutes long yet contained an impressive 99 tracks, each running at about an average 15 seconds. This was followed the same year with a split album with the band TOUCHDOWN. The band also released their second studio album, "Norildevoth Crallos Lomrixth Urthilnv," in 2002. They then took a short break before releasing their third studio album, "OV," in 2005, and a split with experimental metallers BEHOLD... THE ARCTOPUS in 2006.

:::Andy Webb, Andyman1125::::

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Three-One-G 2002
Audio CD$4.38
$3.99 (used)
Audio CD$3.66
$1.16 (used)
OV by OrthrelmOV by Orthrelm
Ipecac Recordings
Audio CD$49.05
Split by Orthrelm (2002-07-30)Split by Orthrelm (2002-07-30)
Troubleamn Unlim
Audio CD$33.44
2nd18/04 by Orthrelm2nd18/04 by Orthrelm
Audio CD$32.72
Behold... The Arctopus by OrthrelmBehold... The Arctopus by Orthrelm
Crucial Blast
Audio CD$58.76
Split by Troubleman Unlimited (2002-07-30)Split by Troubleman Unlimited (2002-07-30)
Troubleman Unlimited (2002-07-30)
Audio CD$33.44
Audio CD$29.95
UgExplode 2010
Audio CD$3.88
$2.99 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
ORTHRELM - OV USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $9.39 Buy It Now 13h 47m
Zach Hill Mick Barr CD Shred Earthship 2005 5 Rue Christine Hella Orthrelm Octis USD $0.68 [0 bids]
1 day
Ocrilim ?- Purging Trilogy (limited ed 3xLP, 2010,Mick Barr, Krallice, Orthrelm) USD $24.37 [0 bids]
1 day
Orthrelm / Behold... The Arctopus - 7in - Red Vinyl USD $6.76 [0 bids]
2 days
ORTHRELM - Behold... The Arctopus - CD ** Brand New ** USD $40.95 Buy It Now 3 days
Orthrelm OV CD FASTPOST USD $4.00 Buy It Now 4 days
Orthrelm ?- Asristir Vieldriox Vinyl, 12", Etched, Single Sided, EP, White USD $17.95 [0 bids]
5 days
Orthrelm - OV - CD (Ipecac IPC64) USD $15.87 Buy It Now 8 days
ORTHRELM s/t CD prog metal octis krallice flying luttenbachers ocrilim kayo dot USD $9.98 Buy It Now 8 days
ORTHRELM 22nd18/04 Norildivoth Crallos Lomrixth Urthiln LP krallice BRUTAL PROG USD $15.98 Buy It Now 9 days
CROM-TECH self-titled (2nd) LP slowdime Mick Barr of Orthrelm, Krallice, Octis USD $10.99 Buy It Now 10 days
Orthrelm - Ov [New CD] USD $10.89 Buy It Now 11 days
CROM-TECH self-titled LP prog-thrash /hardcore Mick Barr Orthrelm Octis Krallice USD $11.99 Buy It Now 13 days
OCTIS Ocrilim CD mick barr orthrelm krallice crom-tech flying luttenbachers NEW USD $9.98 Buy It Now 13 days
Orthrelm - Ov [New CD] USD $11.52 Buy It Now 13 days
BARR / SHEA / DAHL s/t CD brutal prog orthrelm krallice Last Exit child abuse USD $14.99 Buy It Now 15 days
CITY OF CHURCHES Memelust 7" EP tech-noisecore orthrelm seven minutes of nausea USD $4.99 Buy It Now 15 days
FLYING LUTTENBACHERS Gods Of Chaos CD avant thrash no wave magma orthrelm PROG USD $14.99 Buy It Now 17 days
FLYING LUTTENBACHERS Revenge CD avant thrash no wave magma orthrelm hatewave NEW USD $14.99 Buy It Now 17 days
(GX888) Orthrelm, Orthrelm - 2010 CD USD $8.11 Buy It Now 18 days
M.N.D.L.S.B.L.S.T.N.G. Infinitum A.D.D. Nauseum LP speedmetal prog Orthrelm NEW USD $15.98 Buy It Now 20 days
KRALLICE Ygg Huur CD DIGIPAK math/prog metal orthrelm behold the arctopus geryon USD $15.99 Buy It Now 20 days
KRALLICE Prelapsarian CD blackened prog metal orthrelm behold the arctopus octis USD $16.98 Buy It Now 21 days
INVISIBLE FROG Space Makes Noise CD Belgian guitar/drums duo prog-grind orthrelm USD $4.98 Buy It Now 21 days
THE FLYING LUTTENBACHERS Trauma CD no wave/jazz/thrash orthrelm borbetomagus NEW USD $13.98 Buy It Now 21 days
Orthrelm-Ov (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $11.20 Buy It Now 21 days
ORTHRELM Iorxhscimtor LP octis krallice ocrilim flying luttenbachers PROG THRASH USD $14.99 Buy It Now 22 days
OCTIS Ocrilorx-2 7" EP mick barr Orthrelm / Krallice / Ocrilim extreme prog NEW USD $5.99 Buy It Now 22 days
OCRILIM Annwn CD mick barr orthrelm krallice octis crom-tech Mossenek angelblood USD $13.98 Buy It Now 22 days
OCTIS Navlt 7" EP mick barr Orthrelm / Krallice / Ocrilim / Oldest extreme prog USD $8.50 Buy It Now 22 days
UPSILON ACRUX Galapagos Momentum CD virtuoso heavy prog / math rock orthrelm NEW USD $15.98 Buy It Now 22 days
Ov - Orthrelm (CD Used Very Good) USD $9.47 Buy It Now 24 days
ORTHRELM - OV NEW CD USD $10.88 Buy It Now 25 days
LP : Orthrelm - 2nd 18/O4 Norildivoth Crallos-Lomrixth (2002) NEW sealed USD $29.99 Buy It Now 26 days
Orthrelm-Ov CD NEW USD $13.09 Buy It Now 27 days
CROM-TECH s/t CD prog / hardcore Mick Barr Orthrelm Octis Ocrilim Krallice NEW USD $9.98 Buy It Now 28 days
ORTHRELM " Iorxhscimtor " OUT OF PRINT LP 2001 Tech Math Metal Experimental USD $16.00 Buy It Now 29 days
Orthrelm by USD $3.89 Buy It Now 29 days
ORTHRELM Asristir Vieldriux OUT OF PRINT Colored Etched LP 2002 Tech Math Metal USD $13.00 Buy It Now 29 days

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ORTHRELM discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

ORTHRELM top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.33 | 3 ratings
5.00 | 1 ratings
5.00 | 1 ratings
5.00 | 1 ratings
3.67 | 3 ratings
Norildevoth Crallos Lomrixth Urthilnv
5.00 | 1 ratings
Touchdown / Orthrelm
2.93 | 14 ratings
5.00 | 1 ratings

ORTHRELM Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ORTHRELM Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ORTHRELM Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ORTHRELM Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 3 ratings
Asristir Veildrioxe
4.00 | 2 ratings
Orthrelm / Behold... The Arctopus
5.00 | 1 ratings


Showing last 10 reviews only
 OV by ORTHRELM album cover Studio Album, 2005
2.93 | 14 ratings

Orthrelm Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by frippism
Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

4 stars WARNING: I feel that maybe reading this review can spoil the very unique experience (either good or bad) that this album delivers, particularly on the first listen.

I think that in general, when I find an album that I like, I generally know why. Moreover, I don't understand how can someone else can't like it (my mean mean brain works that way).

This album does neither. I don't understand why I like it so much, and I do understand why so many people hate this.

But the truth is, that I love this album dearly. It is a meditative experience that in the purest ways, cleans the body out of all toxic waste, while leaving it drastically altered and disturbed. So yes, rather a paradoxical experience.

There really isn't much to say about the album. It is more or less, minimalist complexity. One 45 minute song. Mick Barr, the insane shredding monster that he is, pretty much exercises the same insanely dissonant, shred-type riff, for about 17 minutes. It is in a way the ultimate test of patience the first time around. Josh Blair's drums just drive this riff forward,- rolling tom tom and bass drum grooves that are hypnotizing you and putting you in some demonic state.

Every time there's a drum fill, you expect something different. But no! You will get the same repetitive riffing, again and again and again. When in the 17 minute mark, the drums finally stop and Mick Barr changes riff, it is almost like bliss. It almost like finishing a hard work out and the great feeling after it- a feeling of achievement as much as pleasure.

But pretty quickly Mick Barr does different riffs, but constantly repeats them once again. You cannot say, that this man doesn't have stamina. To be able to be treble picking straight for 45 minutes, is quite the achievement.

The riffing goes on and on and on.

When you listen to this album, while knowing what to expect, it not only becomes easier, but rather enjoyable in a way. You get hypnotized from the whole ordeal. The fact that this album can rather easily be shortened to a 5 minute version, and still have all the riffs in there, can actually make the album go by incredibly fast. It's the ideal way of time travel, sort of. It shows you how 45 minutes can feel like 10.

So, while I love thing, I don't find it remotely essential, for anyone, as most will definitely hate it, understandably so. It's repetitive, exceedingly dissonant, headache inducing at times. But if you want one of the more bizarre experiences of your life, listening to this. Whether you like or not is to be seen.

 OV by ORTHRELM album cover Studio Album, 2005
2.93 | 14 ratings

Orthrelm Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Negoba
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Shred Noise Experiment with Very Narrow Use

Intentionally abrasive noise experiments always tend to split listeners into a majority that never get past the noise, a small number of fakers who cry "Genius!!!" just because it's wierd, and then the minority of people who have enough experience with extremely (and I mean extremely) challenging music to actually given both a fair listen and proper criticism. Though I do not consider myself a noise expert at any level, I have a little experience with other works in this strange category. But more importantly to this particular group, I have alot of experience with shred guitar. The fact that I have myself spent hours upon hours working on picking patterns means I have a few circuits in the musical parts of my brain not everyone has. This is not necessarily anything to be proud of. It just alters my experience of this disc.

This disc simply consists of extremely accelerated math rock styled drumming (organic, loose, but complex) with repetitive shred guitar patterns played over the top. Imagine taking a measure of "Flight of the Bumblebee" played by John Pertucci and having him playing it 100 times, then playing the second measure 50 times, and then each subsequent measure 25 times. The intention seems to be to let the brain get accustomed to the abrasive sound and then to alter the pattern and then let the brain settle again, switch, repeat. Some have said this is good meditation music, and it might be for some people. It is completely different from the oceanic, sleepy sounds we usually associate with meditation. However, it might actually work to anchor the mind in the moment and allow one to tune it to the nuance of the now.

The guitar has a small slap-back delay that makes it sound double tracked which would have been absolutely impossible to actually do. But the result is that we get a feel of multiple guitars playing in unison over the pulse of the drum. The patterns themselves are circular, some more straightforward than others, but all about half a second long. Some are pretty boring, some a little more chaotic, and a few are complex and interesting of their own merit. The pick rate is not mechanical, and the human variation in the regularity of the constant stream of notes is where the interest seems to come. In addition, there are little pulse beats that appear due to the slight variation in synchronization between the drums and guitar.

In the end, I appreciate what these guys were trying to accomplish with this disc. I sampled some of their other albums, which typically had numerous small sketches with a similar sound. Those works did absolutely nothing for me because the meditation-like angle was completely gone with the short time frame. I could not listen to one of those albums all the way through, where I was strangely able to listen to this continuous 45 minute hailstorm twice.

To be sure, this is an endurance test. If you make it 15 minutes into the piece and think "surely something else is going to happen," the answer is "not really." There are a few sections with short open spaces but for the most part the intention of the music doesn't change. I think by that point if you were going to be able to get something out of it, you would know.

This is the defintion of a niche project, "fans only." For a very few, it will have some value. But it is mainly a curiosity, an extreme digression in a world where it is nearly impossible to do something unique. This is unique. But I could frankly imagine it being used for torture.

 OV by ORTHRELM album cover Studio Album, 2005
2.93 | 14 ratings

Orthrelm Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

1 stars 'OV' - Orthrelm (2/10)

Although it is obviously my number one goal in music to find the best work and new sounds to digest, a side-project of mine has also been to fine albums that either completely contradict my concept of taste, or strike me as not only being bad, but downright unlistenable. Although Orthrelm's 'OV' has quite a few people who have found something 'great' in it, it is one such album that completely goes against how I enjoy music. Of course, the possibility is always left open that an album of this nature will revolutionize my views on music. In the case of 'OV' sadly, shred drone metal is not the pick of the day, or tomorrow, or probably ever. Comprised of a single forty minute composition, Orthrelm takes a handful of sloppy shred metal ideas, and draws them out to such a length and level of repetition that sanity may be lost half way through.

Usually, I would have plenty to say about the slight nuances and themes that pervade a forty minute piece. After all, they are usually a work of labour and love, and often meticulously crafted. Orthrelm may have put a lot of effort and care into creating 'OV', but my concerns lie with how the music has translated into the result I have heard, and am hearing. A two man group armed with nothing more than a handful of guitars and a drumkit, Orthrelm is not aiming for the lush arrangements and instrumentation that a typical progressive metal band has. You either have the chaotic drumming, or an unrelenting shred pattern that does not seem to give up. 'OV' opens up promisingly enough, with a bass note that pumps along, as if it were building up to something epic. By the time the overdrawn intro is up, a listener will have been filled in on virtually everything that transpires within the album. The bass disappears, and in its stead, there is an ear-piercing guitar shredding pattern. I cannot say it is even a 'guitar lick', because what comes out from the guitar does not sound like notes. Instead, three, or five, or <.i> ten minutes into hearing the exact same pattern sweeping up and down, Orthrelm's guitar sounds much less like an instrument, and much like a winged insect with baby-making on its mind.

I could say that there are more ideas to 'OV' than the shred idea, but that might imply that there is any sense of variety to this. Occasionally- and I do mean only occasionally- Orthrelm will break out of the shred to amp up the noise with some chaotic riff-chugs plucked right out of the math rock handbook. After being virtually condemned to the notion that nothing else would ever change in the sound, it is a pleasant shock to hear them do something else, but after a few seconds, the listener is treated to a variation on the same bloody shredding . By the end of this catastrophe, headaches were inevitable. Now, to those listeners who have found solace and enjoyment in 'OV', I do understand that the seemingly endless repetition does attempt to reach that feeling of being lured into a trance and hypnotized, and as unlistenable as this entire album was, the drumming remained fairly intense. However, when an album becomes a labour of willpower to properly sit through, it becomes clear that Orthrelm's music won't be appealing to me any time soon.

 OV by ORTHRELM album cover Studio Album, 2005
2.93 | 14 ratings

Orthrelm Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Smegcake!

4 stars A radical departure from their previous work and most likely the most challenging. For me, it feels as if it is the anti-thesis of prog music in a way - despite the progressions in the music, they come after indefinite periods of time, where most of the record feels it is spent in an almost endless loop of minimalist repetition, played over and over and over again, yet placed in the strange and uncharted territory of minimalism; loud rock music. I doubt this will ever be replicated, as it is noisy, abrasive, seemingly endless, and quite honestly, hard to enjoy at times. At other times however, it is almost hypnotic, though there is always the noise acting to distance and disorient any sense of calm or peace one may associate with hypnotism. Running the mammoth length of 45:43, the single song album represents the pinnacle of challenging music, strictly for those whom wish to tap the deepest pits of challenging music. It reminds me of Naked City's controversial album, Leng Tch'e, based on the concept of the chinese torture method of 'death by a thousand knives'. That album's concept was to create a soundscape to replicate that ordeal from the perspective of the victim, and in that respect, I could appriechiate and admire the work, albeit distantly. Its short length ensured it did not overstay its welcome, however bleak and nihilistic it was. Here however, OV represents a minimalist concept that I find to be both alien and familiar. It builds off of familiar ground, repetitions which act to reinforce and build upon themselves to entice the audience into a lull. However, Orthrelm does not progress 'naturally' with OV, instead, pulling the carpet from under the audience every few minutes to begin with, as soon as the pattern begins to be settling as a flowing repetition, a split moment interval segues into a new, unexpected pattern which continues again, forcing the listener to orient their attentions to the piece once again. TO conclude. This is harsh, tough stuff people. Like Leng Tch'e, I appriechiate the concept. It is successful, I feel it will unlikely ever be repeated again, in rock, or music in general. Because of that, it is a standalone piece, unique and thus, worthy of four stars. Whenever you need a reminder of how far post-modernism has pushed the music as an artform, look no further then OV. Just remember, it's a long, hard trip to revisit more then once. Even once may be too much for some of you.
 Asristir Veildrioxe by ORTHRELM album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2002
3.00 | 3 ratings

Asristir Veildrioxe
Orthrelm Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Smegcake!

3 stars Now this is maddening music. I think the runtime in total is just over 11 minutes for this EP... yet there are 99 (!) tracks. Each has a small, jazz/avant fueled spasm of riffing and drum beats, some that last barely a second, with others that run for up to twenty. The thing is's not very continuous. Well, to be honest, every track is seperated by a second of silence, which makes calling this 'progressive' very hard. Within the short tracks however, there is no sense of structure or form, just a burst of quick, unfiltered music which disappears as quickly as it comes. Then, in the same way, this happens another 98 times. Unsettling, abrupt and only for those who appriechiate the extremes of music, Orthrelm's EP is definitely a very polarising first effort, as their latter works became so well known for amongst their math rock fan base.
 OV by ORTHRELM album cover Studio Album, 2005
2.93 | 14 ratings

Orthrelm Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Renkls

5 stars Now this is a monster of a piece of music. I am sort of surprised to find this on here. But it is progressive, certainly, as a single 45 minute, progressing math rock ASSAULT, with emphasis on assault for good reason. For those not familiar with Orthrelm's musical work prior to this, it is often jazzy, fast paced and short running bursts of avant madness. This is completely different. If you don't make it through the first fifteen, hell, even ten minutes at first, then that is to be expected. It's an audial affront, avant grade at its most powerful and confronting. But that doesn't make it any less then a masterpiece. I haven't explained what it actually is yet. OV is essentially based on repetition. A hell of a lot of them. For the first seventeen minutes, the guitarist Mike Barr is caught in three note guitar riffing which changes about six or seven times in those seventeen minutes. The drums don't change, except with the guitar. There are no vocals over the entire length. To call this an endurance piece is mandatory. What you find however, is that under the unceasing noise is human error. There are times where the drums and guitar touch each other in perfect duel pacing, and others where the guitar plays at a different speed, etc. The riffs go faster and slower. There is a lot of depth in the segments which run up to three or four minutes before a half second segue links to the next marathon riff. At times it sounds like there are up to four guitars going at once. I have heard on other reviewing sites that this is great music for meditation. If anything, it is fantastic for learning to transcend audial assaults. It is a subjective five star rating. I expect, if people review this aside from me, it will garner many one star ratings. I think that all music stands outside rating confines, and this is one shining example of 'you either love it or hate it'. By the way, it does get shorter half way through, changing riffs unexpectedly every now and then. If you make it that far, it may be your cup of tea. I seldom listen to it, but I admire the concept, and for that, I give a subjective five stars. It probably took less time for Orthrelm to come up with the riffs then it did to write the review for this.
Thanks to Rune2000 for the artist addition.

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