Okay, so most of my problems with Orissa’s Resurrection stem not so much from the notion that it’s a bad prog metal album, but more from that fact that it’s most definitely a “prog metal” album. New York’s Orissa is a competent band whose music most metalheads worth their salt could probably enjoy on at least some level, but the fact that they sound a lot like any other spaced out prog metal band is – at least for me – a problem. I can think of a handful of bands who are doing very similar things to Orissa (with varying levels of success), often to the point of sounding more or less the same. Apparently, this is exactly what progressive music is supposedly meant to sound like in 2017, and considering the genre’s history as well as the actual meaning of the word “progressive…” that’s just a little depressing. Ideally, generic isn’t a word I should really be able to use when describing a supposedly “progressive” release, but here you have it – in a post, Tool, Opeth, and world, Orissa’s Resurrection is a generic prog album. I really hate the fact that prog bands have come to start influencing other prog bands, turning a genre that ostensibly thrives on experimentation and new ideas into just another subgenre with its own tropes and clichés – many of which are regurgitated right back at you in generic releases like this one.

But even ignoring that fact, I’d have to say that Resurrection is just… well, okay. I definitely don’t hate it; in fact, the only part of the sound I found exceptionally unpleasant were the vocals, which reminded me tonally of a cross between Geddy Lee and Jonas Renkse, but in terms of delivery came off as nasal and generally lacking in emotion. I was at first willing to look past this to give the musicianship more of chance to win me over, but in the end even that left me sort of lukewarm – most of the riffage comes off as Tool-worship, but without the quirks and precision that makes Tool such an engaging band, and while the guitar-work could probably be considered technically impressive, I found the solos frequently peppered throughout the tracklist mostly quite dull. I even managed to enjoy some of the quirkier bits that did crop up occasionally, such as the saxophone solo on Psalms I, as well as the Indian inspired percussion that sometimes managed to make its way to the surface, but other than those rare, fleeting glimpses of originality, there wasn’t much that really managed to engage me consistently. Although there was the occasional moment that in retrospect might make me feel a little bad about the low rating, each time I reach the end of the 15 minute closer Blue Communion, I feel that Resurrection isn’t so much an emotional rollercoaster as much as it is an emotional merry-go-round, near-passively presenting its limited thrills in some of the dullest possible ways. In the end, it was simply Orissa’s failure to add much of their own flavour to your typical Tool-and/or-Opeth inspired prog metal fare that failed to win me over.

 

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