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David Gilmour The Orb feat. David Gilmour: Metallic Spheres album cover
2.82 | 117 ratings | 5 reviews | 4% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Metallic Side (28:42) :
- a) Metallic Spheres
- b) Hymns to the Sun
- c) Black Graham
- d) Hiding in Plain View
- e) Classified
2. Spheres Side (20:12) :
- a) Es Vedra
- b) Hymns to the Sun (reprise)
- c) Olympic
- d) Chicago Dub
- e) Bold Knife Trophy

Total Time 48:54

Metallic Spheres (3D60 version) :
1. Metallic Side (29:50) :
- a) Metallic Spheres
- b) Hymns to the Sun
- c) Black Graham
- d) Hiding in Plain View
- e) Classified
2. Spheres Side (20:20) :
- a) Es Vedra
- b) Hymns to the Sun (reprise)
- c) Olympic
- d) Chicago Dub
- e) Bold Knife Trophy

Total Time 50:10

Metallic Spheres (digital version) :
1. Metallic Side - Stereo Version (28:41)
2. Spheres Side - Stereo Version (20:08)
3. The Cult of Youth Ambient Mix, Pts. 1 & 2 - Edit (5:35)

Total Time 54:24

Bonus tracks on Japanese 2CD edition:
3. The Cult of Youth Ambient Mix (13:27)
4. Hymns to the Sun (3D60 mix-edit) (3:25)

CD Extra Video Content on Japanese 2CD Edition:
5. Hymns to the Sun (Gavin Elder version) (3:25)
6. Hymns to the Sun (Stylorouge version) (3:25)

Line-up / Musicians

- David Gilmour / guitars, vocals
- Alex Paterson / keyboards, sound manipulation, turntables
- Martin "Youth" Glover / bass, keyboards, programming, producer
- Tim Bran / keyboards, programming

- Marcia Mello / acoustic guitar (1-c)
- Dominique Le Vac / backing vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Simon Ghahary

2LP Columbia ‎- 88697760441 (2010, Europe)

CD Columbia ‎- 88697 76044 2 (2010, Europe)

CD Columbia - 88697 76044 2, Sony Music - 88697 76044 2 (Australia, 2010)
2CD Columbia - 88697 79645 2 (Europe, 2010)
2CD Sony Records Int'l - SICP-20268~9 (Japan, 2010)
2LP Columbia - 88697760441 (US, 2010)

Thanks to Sean Trane for the addition
and to Prog Network & projeKct for the last updates
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Buy DAVID GILMOUR The Orb feat. David Gilmour: Metallic Spheres Music

DAVID GILMOUR The Orb feat. David Gilmour: Metallic Spheres ratings distribution

(117 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(4%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(14%)
Good, but non-essential (41%)
Collectors/fans only (28%)
Poor. Only for completionists (12%)

DAVID GILMOUR The Orb feat. David Gilmour: Metallic Spheres reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 styars really!!!

Well, I did pay attention to The Orb's music in the early 90's, but I was kind of swept away by the Seattle and LA scenes, that brought me back to the rock realm. So I kind of lost sight of that group's music and career for almost two decades until the present album, which I obviously borrowed because of Gilmour's name rather than tat Orb moniker, even if I never expected Floydian soundscapes. Graced with a rather nice tech-space reminiscent of Kubrick's Odyssey artwork, this album contains only two lengthy spacey almost-instrumental tracks, both divided in five movements or sections.

Not everything is perfect with Metallic Spheres, as there are some semi-technoid passages, where Gilmour's contributions comes closes to Daevid Allen's glissando techniques, but those weaker technoid spots don't overstay their welcome and are often interspaced by some brilliant pinkish inspirations. The album stays in a quiet spacey mould, despite the presence of Killing Joke's Youth on bass and him being a co-writer. On the whole, Metallic Spheres is quite enjoyable despite some lengths in the second part of the Spheres composition, just before veering Tangerine Dream-like.

Probably Gilmour's best non-Floyd work or collaboration (Supertramp's guest spot aside) since his debut solo album; this modern soundscape is a far cry from David's recent old- curmudgeon image he's developed up until his recent reconciliation with Roger. Obviously intended as a vinyl release first - look at the "side" track titles for confirmation, this is as much a Gilmour album as an Orb-ian product, despite the latter's bigger font on the front artwork, the digipak version being just as fine if less spectacular.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Dreamy Chill-out Spheres

At this point in his life David Gilmour can do everything he wants, even being featured on the album of a techno-trance-electropop band. The good thing is that this is a sort of experiment and the result is very good. The "Metallic Side" opens with David's slide guitar over a chill-out electronic base. The two things are very well fused together and this is the good of this album. The base is electronic as we can expect from the Orb, but in the last 20 years, including "The Division Bell" David Gilmour has made use of electronic drumming and sounds.

In particular, songs like "Learning to Fly" and "Take it Back" are not too distant from this music. It's at minute 7, more or less that his guitar is superseded by keyboards. Still present in the background with his unique sliding, Gilmour leaves room to the electronic parts. It's not Pompeii, but when the guitar cries with a bluesy mood at minute 9 I hear reminds to the live version of Saucerful of Secrets.

The singing "If you believe in Justice, if you believe in freedom" is reminding of something that I know but currently I can't identify. We can't speak of lyrics. it's just a loop. In this central part of this 28 minutes long track there's a lot of studio work. Like a collage of sounds with Gilmour's guitar playing bluesy behind. This electronic part of this track reminds me to one of my favourite Vangelis albums: City.

Exactly in the middle there's something unexpected. A totally floydian finger picking guitar brings us back to Atom Heart Mother. The drums sound like Nick Mason in the middle section of Alan's psychedelic breakfast. The following section sounds still very floydian even if a sitar in the background adds a touch of early krautrock. The uncomprehensible background voices seem to come directly from Alan's Psych Breakfast.

Thene there's a sovrappositioning of guitar, loops, sitar and spacey sounds. The absence of rhythm or drumming make it sound close to the late 70s Tangerine Dream.

The rhythm fades in at minute 24:30, more or less. Two chords, seashores and dreamy keyboards for another chill-out section. Until the end.

The second track starts very spacey. The base is pure chillout music with Gilmour that seems be improvising, but after a bit more than two minutes we are back to a Bryan Ferry's "Slave To Love" or a "Learning To Fly" tempo. This is how Gilmour was sounding in the 80s.

The excellent work made by the Orb throughout the whole is remarkable. They are able to create athmospheres that in the not frequent worst moments ar at least at the level of Rick Wright's Identity. The "If you believe in justice...." is back again....was it Jon Anderson? I'm still struggling to remember where this sentence is from. The middle part of the Spheres Side is totally electronic with a reggae bass base, electronic gimmicks and this recorded voice of David Gilmour, followed by a chaotic section which includes a typical Sicilian harp. This spacey part is at the level of the best Tangerine Dream and fades into the overlapping of more themes as it happens on Atom Heart Mother.

Not an easy track even for Gilmour's fans. I think one has to be familiar with electronic instrumental music to appreciate this one. The quasi-reggae bass is omnipresent in this track but it just adds a touch of chillout to the drums.

Is it non-essential? Maybe. Is it an excellent addition? I think yes, but not all the proggers and surely not all the fans of the "usual" Gilmour can like it.

It's progressive electronic in TD sense. More than a joke, less than a change in direction. I don't know if there will be other releases of this kind, but I surely like this one.

My God...."If you believe in Justice..." It's Crosby, Stills and Nash..... they were on Remember that night.....

Review by MikeEnRegalia
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Back when this came out I kind of liked it. Even back then I noticed the sloppy playing here and there, but somehow I gave it a pass.

Not anymore. Triggered by the upcoming release of Roger Waters' DSOTM Redux, I decided to go back to check out what David Gilmour has done in the last two decades, and the best thing I can think of is this release.

Well, in short: It's bad. I'm giving it a sub-par rating because it has a few nice moments, but also some horrible blunders and is, for the most part, boring and unfocused. Too bad, since I'm a huge fan of what Gilmour did with Pink Floyd in the 70s. On this release he is "talking" a lot with his guitar, but not saying much. Less is more, an important concept in music which he built a reputation for with Pink Floyd.

If you disagree with me and think this is really good, please compare it to releases by Shpongle and Ozric Tentacles, who do similar experiments with much more musical cohesion.

Track Comments:

1. Metallic Side (2 stars): This starts out ok, the first part is actually kind of nice.

All starts to break down a Gilmour-like voice (who I recently learned is actually Graham Nash) sings "If you believe in justice, if you believe in freedom, stand up for human rights ..." in a flat, whiny thin head voice. That's about 10 minutes into the track, the section is called "Hymns to the Sun". It's a laid back section with sparse typical Gilmour backing guitars, the "Another Brick" heavy delay chops type.

Next up is "Black Graham" which starts with horrible acoustic guitar. As it turns out, this is not David's fault, since it is Marcia Mello playing. This is the lowest point of this longtrack.

Finally, the last four minutes are kind of decent electronic semi-ambient music. In the last two minutes we even finally get to hear a well-fitting contribution by David Gilmour.

2. Spheres Side (2.5 stars): Starts out quite well! The first section ("Es Vedra") is a nice two-chord vamp. Unfortunately it gets boring soon, and Gilmour's slide playing gets quite repetitive. It's also whiny and insecure - one wonders where his confidence went. What is he afraid of?

Then of course the horrible vocals from the first track appear again (Hymn of the Sun "Reprise"). I wonder who can listen to them and not cringe with embarrassment.

The next part is introduced by a goofy jaw harp - because reasons. Apart from that it's actually quite nice - as far as ambient electronic goes, one of the highlights. The last two parts are also kind of nice. Too late to salvage the album though.

Originally published at

Latest members reviews

4 stars 3.75: The fourth album by David Gilmour, a collaboration with the English electronic group, the orb. It had some success in sells in the UK charting by 3 weeks consecutively. There are few lyrics during the songs, but they are not interesting and are sung in a different way to what we are used to, ... (read more)

Report this review (#2170760) | Posted by mariorockprog | Tuesday, April 2, 2019 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Legendary British prog guitarist teams up with cutting-edge techno producer to make a critically-acclaimed dub techno album. Unfortunately, what I'm describing is not Gilmour with the Orb, but rather Steve Hillage and Evan Marc (aka Bluetech), for their brilliant 2008 album Dreamtime Submersible (it ... (read more)

Report this review (#888760) | Posted by jude111 | Sunday, January 6, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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