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BREAKING ORBIT

Heavy Prog • Australia


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Breaking Orbit biography
BREAKING ORBIT is a heavy progressive rock band formed in 2009 by guitarist and vocalist Matt QUAYLE, drummer Mark TYSON, and guitarist Dylan MITROVITCH in Sydney, Australia. The band formed originally under the moniker "NUCLEUS," and in 2010, after a period of writing and practicing, the band began an intense touring regiment around Australia, touring with the likes of DEAD LETTER CIRCUS, COG, and more.
The band entered the studio in mid-2010 to begin work on their debut album. The band, over the course of a number of months, released two single/EPs, "My Direction" and "Callsign" in late 2010. By 2011 they had attracted a large local following, and by the end of 2011 the band had began touring again as they prepared for the release of their debut full length album.
The band has a sound very reminiscent of the Aussie heavy prog rock scene, utilizing heavy percussive-based and bass-heavy beats, post rock elements, and a hard alt-metal and hard rock atmosphere. The band will appeal to fans of KARNIVOOL and other related bands.

::::Andy Webb::::


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Time TravellerTime Traveller
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BREAKING ORBIT discography


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

4.15 | 25 ratings
The Time Traveller
2012

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

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
My Direction
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Callsign
2010

BREAKING ORBIT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Time Traveller by BREAKING ORBIT album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.15 | 25 ratings

BUY
The Time Traveller
Breaking Orbit Heavy Prog

Review by bonestorm

5 stars Breaking Orbit have surged to the forefront of Australian prog with the 2012 release of their debut album "The Time Traveller". It's a consistently good collection of songs with great production values.

On first listen I was struck by the similarities with Tool, especially in the more rhythmic sections, and with other Australian acts such as Karnivool and The Butterfly Effect in terms of vocals and the use of delay on lead guitar. This is not to say the band sounds derivative - in fact Breaking Orbit effectively carve their own niche with, in particular, some inventive lyrical structure.

The album begins with the the brooding "Echoes" before moving into one of the feature tracks "Conscious Self". There's a great build-up of effects and that familiar echoing guitar before percussion kicks in with devastating effect. And then, it's all stripped back to just the rhythm section and vocals during the verse. It's a nice melody that is delivered with great effectiveness. The chorus brings in power chords and a strong, memorable vocal perfomance.

The title track "Time Traveller" is my favourite on the album. The intro features a lovely echo-laden guitar riff, punctuated by some very heavy sounding detuned power chords. There are some bands who use heavier tunings such as B and still don't sound heavy because the songwriting doesn't utilise it effectively. There are no such concerns for Breaking Orbit. It sounds heavy and deliciously so.

There is a spoken word component in the breakdown as the time traveller itself is encountered. I wish I could make out more of this exchange but it's buried under layers of guitar and percussion and so the specifics remain tantalisingly out of my reach.

Also of note is "Cassandra Syndrome", a throbbing, rhythmic song that chugs away with muted guitars for much of the duration. "Orion" is a good song, although lyrically not as strong as the rest of the album. The album closes with "Silence Seekers", a more melodic track with some great heavy, syncopated chords thrown in. The melodic guitar at around 4:30 is gorgeous and really helps to usher in the powerful finale.

The artwork is beautifully done, also evocative of Tool, with the time traveller on the cover very reminiscent of Lateralus.

Overall this is some easily accessible heavy prog that also retains complex time signatures, rhythms, and some inventive lyrical ideas. It's no mean feat to bring it all together this well.

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 The Time Traveller by BREAKING ORBIT album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.15 | 25 ratings

BUY
The Time Traveller
Breaking Orbit Heavy Prog

Review by Gallifrey

5 stars Breaking Orbit - "The Time Traveller" 14/20

41st place album of the year 2012

Over the course of this album of the year listmaking, I have often remarked the negative aspects of playing albums multiple times in order to make the ranking accurate. I have found how easy it is to start to hate an album after only 5 or 6 listens. Breaking Orbit's "The Time Traveller" is not like that. I have played this album a full 10 times, and I still don't really know what to say about it. It is as fresh on the 11th listen as it was on the first. And from all I know, this is the sign of a very unique album. Although my ranking of 41st may not seem excessively flattering, this is one of the few albums from this list I will actually come back to in the future. I do hope to revisit this list in a couple of years time, and see which ones I still want to listen to, and make a second list, based on how well it fared in time. And I believe this album will do very well.

It may be initially because this album doesn't really fit in any real box. On progarchives it is listed in "Heavy Prog", halfway between prog rock and metal, which is essentially accurate, but yet it isn't. From the moment I saw the album cover I immediately associated Breaking Orbit with deathcore. I apologise to the band for this horrible misunderstanding, but it really shows how important image is to how people judge you. And a cover that immediately reminds me of Born of Osiris isn't good. I actually like the cover, a lot, but it rings pretentiousness and tech 'brootalness', simply because of the bands that use that imagery. So naturally I was pleasantly surprised to hear the melodic atmospheric soaring of "Echoes". The band utilises atmosphere a lot, drawing immediate comparisons to Devin Townsend, the master of ridiculous numbers of vocal layers, but again it isn't that simple. There's also a strong use of post-rock tendencies, specifically reverb and delay on the more technically inclined guitar parts.

Despite definitely being within the 'progressive rock' label, most bands in the modern prog tend to ignore the 70's traditional prog, focusing on being progressive in rhythm, meter and structure only. But Breaking Orbit take it head-on, with many moments, specifically during "Machiguenga", but moments throughout the album bringing straight back to 70's prog with strong use of flutes and other wind, unusual in modern alt-rock. "Machiguenga" is also named after a South American tribe, so that may be the origins of the frequent use of interesting drumming techniques. I want to say there are bongos at times, but that sort of music isn't really my area. Either way, the use of flutes and odd drum techniques should appeal to the 70's crowd and possibly alienate the teenage crowd, who really just want catchy choruses and vast amounts of chugging, which this album also delivers, with some very heavy parts in "Cassandra Syndrome", "Orion" and "Silence Seekers", even bordering on metalcore/djent at times.

Which brings me to my original problem with this album, even though I have now realized it doesn't matter as much, but it's that this album doesn't really know what it is. You could call it 'genre-defying', but it really feels like the band want to include every influence they can, from tribal to prog to metal to even hardcore. It feels like something that I would write. Not that I would ever bring this accomplished band down to the level of an amateur like me, but the primary reason I have left composing to the side for a few years is because I need to settle on one style and go for it. About 6 months ago I had a doom metal phase and I wanted to form a doom band, then a couple of months later I had a prog folk phase, and the same happened. It feel Breaking Orbit haven't really thought about what they want to sound like, and just decided to put it all on one album. Admittedly, they do it quite well, the reason I've decided to look past it, but it definitely can be off-putting when playing the album as a whole.

However, I don't mean this as any criticism. This is a debut and it sounds like a debut. If you measure a bands ability by their debut then Breaking Orbit are well above their contemporaries, and I'd be happy if the band decided to focus on any of the styles portrayed here, since they can hopefully do it in a unique way. But 2012 has been a year of truly excellent debuts, from bands who really know what they want to sound like (Iamthemorning, Lithium Dawn and Natural Tendency are the main ones), so Breaking Orbit's may fall through the cracks.

As said earlier, I really don't know who to recommend this to, since there isn't really one distinct style, so I'm gonna say everyone. Everyone should hear this. There is post-rock, there's symphonic prog, there's metalcore sections, there really just is everything. Everyone should hear this and try to get their heads around it. A promising debut, and it has some fantastic moments, but promising is the primary word there. These guys have the ability to pull of something truly grand.

Originally written for my facebook page/blog http://www.facebook.com/neoprogisbestprog

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 The Time Traveller by BREAKING ORBIT album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.15 | 25 ratings

BUY
The Time Traveller
Breaking Orbit Heavy Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars A journey into cosmic timespace travel with metal crunches and ambient beauty.

Breaking Orbit's "The Time Traveller" is a concept album with a healthy blend of symphonic and heavy prog. The album cover art is exemplary featuring the science fiction theme of venturing beyond into new realms of time as we see the iconic figure of a sage holding a mystical object as the cosmos evaporates around him. This is the same figure that adorned the previous singles "My Direction" and "Callsign". Incidentally both the title tracks of these have been revamped for inclusion on this new album along with an extended version of 'Orion'.

The first encounter with Breaking Orbit on "The Time Traveller" is 'Echoes' that sets the scene with an intro of preternatural white noise distortion and spacey swirls, as we are whisked out of our time zone into a netherverse removed from reality. The distorted guitars signify that the sound will be laced with metal but the synths keep us firmly planted in a progressive territory. The music is organic and flowing until the vocals join in. Matt Quayle's singing is clean and untainted by forced aggression. The lyrics form part of the mystery encapsulated in the hypnotic music; "will we ever make it through, only time will tell". An integral part of the sound are the loud blasts of guitar, played by both Quayle and Dylan Mitrovitch, that overwhelm the symphonic nuances. The beat is formulated by unusual time signature changes and slowed down chord crashes that speed up rhythmically; enough to keep any metronome battling to keep up.

This track blends seamlessly into 'Conscious Self' with ambient pads that are suddenly torn apart by murderous lead guitar speed picking. Quayle's vocals are more falsetto and high register relating a continuing and developing story line. The lyrics focus on freedom from bondage, escaping into a new world outside of consciousness; "the rain falling through the clouds", so "fill my heart" and "walk me through the rain". There are some scratchier vocals to balance the cleaner singing. The guitar riffs are powerfully executed over the drum crashes of Mark Tyson, and this track is a highlight on this album with a great depth of emotion and precision musicianship.

'My Direction' has a percussion intro and some innovative guitar picking as the lyrics are heard "is anyone going in my direction, done all I can to stop the madness, take my hand and follow." The prog time sig is excellent on this track; fast paced and creative with strong melodies. The rhythm is driven by powerful guitars and a slab of Ayden Mitrovitch's bass and Tyson's drum rhythmic drama. This is a wonderful heavy prog track that has become a definitive highlight for this reviewer.

'Machiguenga' begins with a pulsing heartbeat that builds into an atmospheric ambience and a bamboo flute played by Amaru Farrel. This flute or Quena is a reminiscent sound of pan pipes. The spacey soundscape is augmented by vocal intonations, and it sounds very primitive or tribalistic, especially with the clanging percussion. This tribal flavour is intentional as the Machiguenga are a hunter-gatherer tribe of short warriors from the Amazon Basin on Peru. I recognised instantly the elegant 'pan pipes' melody of "A Picnic at Hanging Rock", one of my favourite films. The distorted guitar staccato blasts provide the heaviness while the jungle rhythms continue. There are more bamboo flutes adding a mysterious quality with ethereal haunting beauty to this instrumental. Later, inventive drum soloing trade off with the woodwind with sporadic flourishes; a very nice musical transition piece between the songs.

'Time Traveller' has rhythmic metal riffs with an odd meter. The vocals are rough at first and follow the weird time signature. Then more vocals follow that fluctuate between clean and growling vocals. The beat also fluctuates with quaking riff tremors and loud splashes of percussion. A spoken narrative adds some atmosphere and then the band launch into an instrumental break with innovative lead guitar helped by wah-wah effects. The concept is based on the time traveller coming from the future to our present with an important message that will transform our world, and he is going to extract our seed to take back to the future; the main vision of lyricist visionary Matt Quayle.

'Transcension (part 1)' is a short musical interlude of acoustic vibrations and haunting flute, that resonates beautifully after all the heaviness previous. It is followed by 'Callsign' with a Pink Floyd like guitar echoing phrase and then vocals, centring on the desperation of searching for a sign. The lyrics are esoteric laced with metaphors such as "moonlight slowly begins to fade", and "I have traded the high life for one last chance" and the protagonist finds himself lost in time. The riff and style remind me of Tool, and the vocals get heavier in the next section before a blazing lead guitar breaks out. It is a great song that rocks along vibrantly. The term 'transcension' may be linked to the hypothesis that once intelligence saturates its local environment, it is constrained to leave local spacetime, hence the time traveller theme.

'Harmonic Voice' is an instrumental dominated by a spiritual bamboo flute and ominous droning menace. The flute and atmosphere are again reminiscent of Peter Weir's "Picnic at Hanging Rock" where the girls walk to their doom up the rock and disappear into the void; perhaps an intentional homage to the film that has become an Australian icon. At this point in the album I was convinced it was no coincidence as the film explores the possibility of time travel in an ambiguous surreal sense.

It segues into 'Cassandra Syndrome' with a crashing rhythm and vocal embellishments. The lyrics are as enigmatic as other tracks, focussing on the metaphorical syndrome that has a psychological meaning used when valid warnings are dismissed or disbelieved. This syndrome has been tackled by other prog bands such as Star One's 'Cassandra Complex' and The Mars Volta's 'Cassandra Gemini'. The lyrics are concentric on disappearing into a time vortex, that echo the themes of time distortion and the protagonist attempting to tell of what he had experienced in the future that falls on deaf ears; "the future's never meant to be told by someone beautiful, destroyed by someone powerful", and goes on to say that out there is "a creature not from round here". The main melody actually sounds similar to Kylie Minogue's 'Confide In Me', at least the main phrase, and she is also an Australian icon. The lyrics are wonderful such as the mysterious ideas engulfed in "All my fears subside" matched by "all my dreams collide"; an ideology of the film "Picnic at Hanging Rock", that questions what happened to the girls who disappeared off the face of the planet, "what we see and what we seem are but a dream, a dream within a dream." This track is definitely the overall highlight of the album.

'Ice Warmth" begins with the freezing wind howls creating an icy atmosphere over a warm pad. The guitar hovers over until it breaks into heavier distortion. The music slowly modulates, ebbing along the tide of a measured rhythm in this short instrumental.

'Orion' begins immediately with Quayle's crystal clear vocals; "I am the hunter, you are the lion", and then as it is threatening to break out, he suddenly screams out "I am Orion", leading to an angular riff with distorted grunt. Orion is a hunter in Greek mythology, in consistency with the hunter theme of the Machiguenga previously. The main melody is repeated adding new lyrics each time and it builds to a more electronic synth rhythm, programmed by Mitrovitch. The drums are off kilter, slower than they should be and it is effective to balance the odd meters of the riffs. A time sig change crunches in soon with alien-like feedback effects. Again the polyrhythmic riffs remind me of Tool and the way the vocals compete with the meter and emanate from dark shrieks to warm clear vocals. This one grew on me and is now another favourite on the album.

'Silence Seekers' has a quiet hypnotic synth reverberation over clean guitar phrases at the beginning. The lyrics are replete with thoughts of escape and remorse, "softly spoken words are broken, no one knows", and "Silence seekers won't you come and take all your lies away". The music is punctuated by strong explosions of distorted metal riffs, like a surge of violence in the tranquillity. At this point the phrase reminded me of "Asylum seekers", who would feel the same thoughts of escaping the turmoil they felt in their home country. Of course it may be a reference as The Australian Immigration Department has been widely criticised for failing to adequately protect refugees and subsequently abusing their human rights by incarceration in Detention Centres.

After listening to this album, one feels as though they have embarked on a journey. The musicianship is masterful and though not as complex as perhaps Dream Theater or Tool, it nevertheless sounds similar in certain passages. The concept is quite ambiguous but I heard definitive homages to Australian culture such as Peter Weir. This was a pleasant surprise to me personally adding an esoteric feel to the album. It moves from darkness to light, from emotionally stirring power chords to achingly beautiful bamboo flute. Overall "The Time Travellers" is an album well worth seeking and has a lot to offer from these relative newcomers to the Australian prog scene.

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