Humans, here are some collected quotes from obsequious humans that have acknowledged our greatness and sincerely wish us to spare them when we bring forth the Domination....
"If all you know about Orcs comes from the slanderous, grotesquely inaccurate fantasies presented as fact by that blasphemous charlatan JRR Tolkein (may he roast in the firepits of Hirntodia for eternity), then you might think Orcs are nothing more than brutish, filthy, degraded demons with a taste for human flesh, incapable of creating quality death metal. You shall learn differently (or you shall perish, by the will of the Great Chaos Dragon Gzoroth)."
"Their fast-paced riffs and deep, throaty vocals will have your head banging in no time; but the lyrics are what truly capture my ear. Written straight from the soul of an actual Orc, these songs are brutal and unforgiving, definitely not what you’d use to sing a child to sleep. Each song tells its own story, and these tales are not for the faint of heart...A Band of Orcs is an inventive and wildly imaginative band that will keep your thrashing all night long. These guys are not a rehash of GWAR or other ‘costume’ bands; they are the evolvement of the genre. They have a past, a history that is rife with strife, and they present it for you in their music. I highly recommend A Band of Orcs to anyone that likes fast music and unforgiving lyrics. But be warned: if you don’t like these guys, they will not spare you when the Domination comes. Check them out for sure."
The great orc overlords from A Band of Orcs have released their decapitating new album Adding Heads to the Pile. These Santa Cruz, CA locals...well more like the locals who come from another dimension known as Hirntodia are by far my favorite local band.
"Adding Heads to the Pile demonstrates how the Orcs have a solid grip on their blackened death/thrash fundamentals, but they've also found a way to put their signature on the genre with their lyrical world-building, which helps bring the essence of their outlandish live personas to your earphones. The whole monstrous bundle is wrapped up with supreme artwork, including paintings by fantasy illustrators Chuck Lukacs (Magic: The Gathering) and Lorraine Schleter, which should have fans salivating for a proper vinyl edition. In the meantime, you can buy a digital copy directly via BandCamp."
No Clean Singing discusses the Peter Steele Tribute album All for None, None for All, to which we contributed our cover of "Green Man" by Type-O Negative. Check it out! HERE.
Album: Warcheifs Of The Apocalypse
Pros: A sound that matches the image.
Sounds Like: Unmatched.
I have to admit normally I have a strong distaste for bands that base themselves on demons, aliens and monsters. It is very rare to come across an act that can sell the look just as well as the sound. With that in mind, I am happy to present an unbelievable act, “A Band Of Orcs” and their debut EP “Warcheifs Of The Apocalypse”. A band who’s sound is only matched by their artistic appearance. The album is surprisingly clear and smooth, which is surprising considering how far these guys have gone to find a real metal sound. The whole thing is well crafted with heavy distorted instruments, double bass beats, a raspy vocal scream over top of all the events. Unlike most of its peers the music comes as a surprise, it is constantly moving and flowing at a progressive pace. Normally I would expect just a constant repeat of the same riff for a 5 minute stretch, but no one track matches any other. Full of stunning riffs, mind blowing transitions, this album is nothing short of amazing. It seems a lot of effort was put into the final production, just how much detail was put into the overall process leaves me only wondering. From blazing fast to dirty grunge timing, this will certainly be an album for any fan of metal or its sub-genres.
Conclusion, check this one out, you will be just as surprised as I was. So for a fan looking for something with no chance of disappointment, I highly recommend this one. Great job and I hope to hear more material in the future!
Ok, first post.
A Band of Orcs, a death/thrash band from California, formed in 2007. Their list of influences include “Wizards of the Coast” and “Blizzard Entertainment”, so I pretty much like them already. Sure, they’re probably talking about World of Warcraft, which I hate, but I’m going to assume for the sake of optimism they mean Warcraft 1&2. Is my nerdiness showing yet? The bio on their Myspace is hilarious too. Here’s an excerpt:
In December of 2006, a group of young nerds playing Dungeons & Dragons inadvertently summoned the monstrous oRcs into your realm by rolling dice on a “Random Encounter Table.” Unfortunately for them, they encountered A Band of Orcs, who reacted with all of the inappropriate violence that you might expect from such savage warriors. The oRc’s world changed forever, though, when they heard the demonic sounds of Slayer coming from downstairs. Enchanted with this new form of noise they forced the amateur guitarist they unearthed there to teach them how they could generate such sounds. They spared his life, and he gave them the materials they needed to make metal into magic.
Awesome right? Whether you are a nerd or not, you have to admit they’ve set their story up pretty well. Once I saw that they dress like orcs (or really are orcs) I was reminded that I’d heard of these guys before, from a WoW geek, so I promptly dismissed and forgot after they told me about them. One of the reasons I’m doing this project is because I tend to be a bit snobby when it comes to listening to new stuff, especially when a recommendation comes from someone I don’t respect. By forcing myself to listen, I negate the snobbery and elitism when it comes to stuff I haven’t heard, I hope.
I decided to listen to the songs they had on their Myspace player, because that usually includes a few fan favourites and would be a good introduction. I listened to ‘I Gogog’, ‘Warchiefs of the Apocalypse’ and ‘Bring out your Dead” The music itself is pretty good if not unique, some interesting guitar on ‘Bring out your Dead’ for example, and precise and well timed drums. They’re a dual guitar band as well, which I love (more guitar the better). The vocals sound like, well, like orcs growling about killing people. Which is fitting, if not the greatest vocals in the world. The production is awesome. I was extremely surprised to discover they’re independent since the production is really superb. I think the best part of the band is the sense of humour and imagination behind it all. It makes complete sense that Orcs would have an affinity to Slayer! No wonder I’ve always had a weakness for bad guys in video games.
When I would play Diablo II for more hours a day than I care to admit here, I would have a playlist of music to help set the mood for killing stuff. This would definitely go on the list were I to get into an action RPG again. I’d check ‘em out live too, if they came around. As they are a costume band I’d expect them to put on an entertaining show. If you play D&D, Action RPGs, MMORPGs, or are a fantasy nerd of any type, you’re probably going to dig them.
An awesome review from ZOIKS ONLINE challenges the Orcs' existence, calling their skins "costumes". Strange indeed.
"A Band of Orcs is really a band full of Orcs." – Music Review
I’m having a hard time deciding how I want to write this review. A Band of Orcs is a band with a bunch of guys dressed in costume that play heavy metal music, with an emphasis on the heavy. When I was approached about A Band of Orcs, here is what was emailed to me: “Greetings Humans, Allow me to introduce myself. They call me Gruesom Grimp. I am the Chaos Pundit and Manager for A Band of Orcs. If you have not yet heard of A Band of Orcs, methinks that is due to the fact that their meteoric rise has not quite yet exploded into your consciousness. Allow me to remedy this. Read more: http://www.myspace.com/abandoforcs#ixzz15Bvo7H9s.”
I couldn’t decide if I wanted to write this in character or actually just write it as me. I went with me. A Band of Orcs is silly, but it’s awesome. You’ve seen it all before from Alice Cooper, Kiss, GWAR, Slipknot, Mushroomhead etc. I actually think the Orc costumes are pretty bad ass and that’s saying something considering the bands I just mentioned. I’m not real sure how they play in their costumes and I would not want to be them on a hot summer’s day playing an outdoor festival (why do you think Mudvayne threw the costumes away?).
A Band of Orc’s is heavy, heavy metal. It’s nothing new, but who cares it’s still great heavy metal music. It’s not for everyone, but if you’re not into heavy metal why are you still reading? There are so many metal bands out, many of the great, but A Band of Orcs took the GWAR idea and ran with it. They have a back story and they’re here to take over the world. Pick up their EP “Warchiefs of the Apocalypse” and be sure to visit them at http://www.myspace.com/abandoforcs. It silly, stupid and awesome all at the same time and that doesn’t count the music which is pretty badass if you’re into metal.
To some, A BAND OF ORCS is just a comical gimmick for a lack of musical chops, but these fantasy role-playing nerds can play some pummeling death metal. The band is definitely recognizable and unforgettable within the death metal scene, and they never break character.
In a recent e-mail interview, the ORCS talked about … well, I don’t know what it is they’re saying, but it’s pretty amusing none the less.
Your video “Into the Maelstorm” gets talked about a lot for it’s CGI animation, concept and Orc chicks. How’d you get Malachai (Courtney Gains) from Children of the Corn involved?
Gogog: Our favored slave Rusty Slusser of SPFX masks; he provides us with the human looking illusions we orcs go into your world when we don’t want humans to know.
Gronk!: Rusty human forged alliance between A Band of Orcs and Malachai and of video illusion director Jess Bryden Director use his magic camera machine to capture Rusty’s work for propaganda and Rusty said you should film orc. Director agree. Courtney Gains Malachai handle production.
Gogog: Gogog did not give him choice. His hair too red for honorable death, so him work til die of orc kicks.
Out there in the uninformed internet land, some say that you’re just a GWAR knock-off. I’ve maintained that you’re not, care you reiterate?
Gronk!: No, you sayz it good. Why Gronk! need say it too?
GWAR’s music always seems to get overlooked by their costumes and stage show. You guys play awesome death/thrash metal, but because of, as people have described you previously, your nerdy attire, are you afraid people won’t take your music seriously?
Gogog: Orcs fear NOTHING! Tusk your tongue, human.
I’ve read that your live shows are killer. What do you get out of a great performance?
Gronk!: Souls for Gzorroth!
Gogog: Many riches, that all go to pay for Gasoline. Much gold, your fast human travel costs.
Oog: Oog smash now?
Gronk!: The energy that feeds from the circle pits
Hulg: Fills Hulg wit power beyond comprehension, energy sings thorught room, humans, orcs, disasembling and coming back together. Chaos plays the life force of all present, destroying consonance, congelaing into an oversoul of metal proprtions.
Gogog: Yeah, what him say.
You’re pushing for nominations to open for Rob Zombie in Santa Cruz. How’s that going so far? Even if you get enough petitions, will that influence the promoters to bring you on?
You did a similar thing to open for Kiss. Did that ever transpire?
Gogog: Orcs is numer 2. Will be second, before Kiss.
Gronk!: Yes, any day soon.
What’s next for ABoO?
Gogog: Playing with Arnocorps at Slim’s in San Francisco. It Arnocorps’ biggest show ever ’cause orcs are there for 10th anniversary.
Gronk!: Judgement day plays evil strings, too, January 8, 2010.
A Band Of Orcs - Warchiefs Of The Apocalypse
Written by: PP on 18/12-10 at 05:33:07
Normally I don't quote much from press releases and/or biographies because they are worthless in judging the quality of an album, but the one by A Band Of Orcs goes far enough for it to essentially sum up their entire record: "A Band of Orcs is the product of Gruesom Grimp’s wicked sense of humor. He was out cruising this dimension of the multi-verse when he happened upon a group of kids playing role-playing games. The GM was about to roll for a random encounter. The Grimp feeling a tickle from his ma’s side of the family (the gremlin side) thought it would be hella funny if the next encounter the GM rolled actually came through to this side and scared the living’ bejeebees out of the gamers. Player 1: “Do we encounter anything?” Player2: “Yeah, like ogres or somethin’?!?!", GM: “Let me see (sound of dice rolling)…you encounter…A BAND OF ORCS!!!!”.
I'm not kidding you. That's copy-pasted from their Last.FM biography.
Please, is there any one of you who actually finds this funny instead of lame as fuck? Who the fuck would come up with that and think "oh that's a pretty cool concept lets run with that"!? Jesus! Or are most of you like me, thinking this band must be fucking retarded, have no sense of humour whatsoever, consisting of only nerds who play World of Warcraft? Is there a better way to let the world know you suck? I don't think so...after all, anybody who plays a game that's based on a coin flip/throw of dice philosophy determining if you are good or not while pretending like they're having fun doing repetitive tasks for 8 hours a day, is a fucking loser in my eyes.
As such, it's not surprising at all that "Warchiefs Of The Apocalypse" is an extremely generic, by-the-books sort of death metal album that offers about zero (maybe even negative?) to the genre. Not only are the song structures amateurish, but the album lacks quality riffs, or more precisely, quality anything
Stylistically, the band adheres to a generic death metal formula, borrowing heavily from the genre heavyweights without adding even the slightest bit of originality to the mix. They are meant to sound like Morbid Angel meets Slayer, but they are neither fast enough for the latter or brutal enough for the former. Instead, they sound like one of the most generic, least original DM band's I've come across. Avoid at all costs. 
For the fans of: Morbid Angel
A Band of Orcs - Warchiefs of the apocalypseTaken from Brutalism.com (posted Dec. 17, 2010)
A Band Of Orcs sound more humorous then they actually are. They enjoy the theatrics of bands like Gwar and Lordi and dress up as basically well... a band of orce of death metal. However, their shows seem like some of the most entertaining, thanks to fans who send out the most interesting of gifts to the band and go to the shows with sword and axes in hand, all being ready to kill just as much as they mosh. However, A Band Of Orcs aren't the usual Tolkien inspired bunch that draw on fantasy and folkish elements. Instead, they prefer to go straight down the route of catchy death metal. Because, after all, anything involving Orcs requires the roughest and loudest of musical genres.
'WarChiefs' is stated as an EP, but could easily serve as a first full length debut. It's about half an hour, which is pretty standard for death metal, and features enough tracks. Starting off with "I, Gogog," listeners will be able to tell this band isn't messing around or intending to make this a joke: they're serious. The vocals are deep and menacing while being able to be understood, along with the shrieks, and the riffs and also catchy as much as they are aggressive while the drumming thunders along in the background. For a first album, the production is great. Other tracks like "Procreation" feature more groove than aggression and even a bit of distorted sludge metal riffs. One can't help but be hypnotized by the dramatic war drums as the vocals growl along with the snail pace of the guitars. "Disassembly Line" showcases the band's entire musical skill as a lengthy instrumental that leans more towards thrash territory but with the speed and aggression of death metal, especially in the riffs. Then oddly enough, "Descent" is another instrumental that takes on the forboding sense that one is indeed dealing with one of Tolkien's orcs, or just about to start a huge battle. It seems out of place, but works well enough.
Finally, "Into The Maelstrom" takes listeners for a churning ride that is more midpaced than the others, save for the engaging solo near the end that just shreds completely. Overall, A Band Of Orcs make death metal highly entertaining compared to those who take it seriously. It's all evil, but in a fun way. Whether one enjoys them for the crushing aggression of their music or the creativity of their costumes and shows, it feels good to find something as engaging as them whether in the studio or on the road.
- I, Gogog
- WarChiefs Of The Apocalypse
- Bring Out Your Dead
- Procreation (Of The Wicked)
- Diassembly Line (instrumental)
- Into The Maelstrom
This What Those D+D Kids Are Doing Nowadays - 93%
A Band of Orcs is certainly an unforgettable band. Whether it is their fantasy based approach to everything or the catchy riffing, among many other things, they separate themselves from the pack. Mostly because its hard to believe that anyone would think to combine fantasy and tolkein-ish tales and thrash metal, but they are highly original, in my personal opinion.
The band has a unique persona set for them, pretending to be orcs in their costume, stage names, lyrics, and even their website is all comically(and tastefully) presented in a fashion that is just delightful to any nerd. It’s what first caught my attention and still holds it. However, A Band of Orcs also separates themselves with some ripping vocals and gut-wrenching riffs that take control and never let go.
Warchiefs of the Apocalypse is mostly straight up thrash metal with the tiniest touch of epic metal, and the first three songs are prime examples of this. Riffing is given frequently and not reused, but the songs don’t pack too much into one song, although one could say easily that I,Gogog does just that. Vocals are nicely done switching styles quickly without losing momentum.
Guitar work consists mostly of chugging riffs that do build up into a nice central part (Bring Out Your Dead comes to mind), but there are equally as many sections that slow down and use more spacing between the guitar notes. Solos, however, I feel are a bit overdone. Every song has them to some degree, and the sheer awesome shredding that is found in each solo becomes lost as you hear more of it the next track. However, I’m not saying that the solos all sound the same, just they need not use it all the time.
We are graced with vocals from Gogog Bloodthroat, who use both a deep roar and an earsplitting screech that simulates for us exactly what they set out for, a battlecry. Lyrics are entertaining with imagery of something far different from anything I have listened to, mush less in this genre. Drumming is pretty standard but there are blast beats that keep songs moving and he is unwavering in providing a steady chugging section and march-like atmosphere.
I also found it odd that this being their first release of moderate length that they already started to experiment a little. Songs like Procreation of the Wicked and Disassembly Line branch out into stoner and instrumentals respectively. Procreation of the Wicked fails at really providing that, and Disassembly Line also does not deliver as much as the rest of the album. The latter is styled much like the rest of the album, except it is devoid of vocals aside from a few distant roars. This approach to an instrumental does not strike the right chord with me, as I prefer my instrumentals to procure imagery of things, rather than sheer terror.
A Band of Orcs, in making this album, decided to go out with a bang, using the anthem Descent Into the Maelstrom to finish off what is left of your wrecked eardrums at the end of this wonderful ordeal. Descent is a separate track which serves no purpose but a terrible lead in to Into the Maelstrom that is very boring and does a poor job of setting the stage. This song features very intricately timed guitar and vocals, but most of all, they made a music video for it. In that, Descent does its job of leading in much better and we get a glimpse of the true potential for this band being achieved. Using high end cinematography (for a music video), they create and atmosphere of brutality that does not really appear when listening to the track on its own. You also get a glimpse of how obsessed these guys are with orcs. It’s a little depressing in that respect.
With the recent release of their single, Halls of the Frozen Dead, you can bet that these guys have another album on the way. I’m looking forward to it, as Warchiefs of the Apocalypse gives us a glimpse of what they can do, and with more time I believe they can pull out an amazing debut. Watch out for these guys. I mean come on, how can you not remember them. Best songs(they are on iTunes despite it being a relatively small time release): Into the Maelstrom, Warchiefs of the Apocalypse, and Bring Out Your Dead.
This transmidmensional interview/review/piece of narrative fiction comes to us courtesy of THE RIPPLE EFFECT, we hope you enjoy PENFOLD's narrative style.
Curse my foolishness! One moment I am perfectly safe loitering at midday in a public square. The next moment, I once again let my weak resolve regarding a beautiful member of the opposite sex lead me to rash action. A thoroughly enchanting temptress caught my eye and beckoned me to follow her into an alleyway. Any common sense abandoned me in a rush of elation, and I quickly jogged toward the periphery of the square. The object of my chase disappeared around the corner of the building forming the right hand side of the alley. Unfortunately when I myself hurriedly rounded the corner, instead of being face to face with the aforementioned lady I blindly ran into (or through as the case may be) a shimmering black energy field the size of a large door.
Now I find myself in a strange twilight lit cityscape that somewhat resembles the modern times of which I’m familiar, but with several important differences. For one I look up to the sky to behold two different moons, one that is full and another showing only a waning crescent. I drop my gaze to rooftop level and perceive illuminating lamps that are neither electrical, with no wiring or bulb in evidence, nor gas powered, as there is not a standard flame providing light. I can only surmise that the white light emanating from inside the glass enclosures must be alchemical in nature. As my gaze falls still further I finally observe the people surrounding me.
The astounding assortment that greets my eyes would have easily stunned me to silence if I had been in the middle of speaking. Fortunately I was able to keep my mouth from hanging open. While there were humans of entirely normal proportions there were also tall pointy eared Elves, squat formidably built Dwarves, as well as diminutive hairy Halflings. To my further amazement there was even what appeared to be a small animatronic tree selling wares at a kiosk to passersby! If I had not been a fan of fantasy fiction I believe I would be overwhelmed to the point of incomprehension. As it was, I barely had enough sense to recognize the small mob of young humanoid beings rushing towards me with blazing torches held high.
“The Orcs are coming! The Orcs are coming! Come on stranger, join us.”
“Are we in danger?” I hesitantly asked the ringleader.
“Yeah we’re in danger. We’re in serious danger of not being right in front of A Band of Orcs when they appear!”
“Hold on. You actually want to be on the front lines when fighting erupts with some orcs?” I tried not to sound incredulous, but I’m sure I failed miserably.
“Fighting? What are you talking about? A Band of Orcs is a band, and they’re playing at the amphitheater in the middle of town.”
“So they’re not actually Orcs?”
“Of course they’re Orcs! Jeez, where have you been stranger? Look, do you like heavy metal music?”
“I love heavy metal!” That was one of the only things I was sure of at this point.
“Good, then take this torch and follow me.” He handed me his torch and turned to address the others in the mob. “Let’s go everybody!”
Together we ran several blocks to the amphitheater, extinguished our torches at the entrance, and made our way collectively to the front of the venue just as the band was taking the stage. A Band of Orcs, not surprisingly, plays death metal. It seems obvious that Orcs would play a brand of music as off-putting and humorless as their race’s visage. What is somewhat surprising however is that these five Orcs appear to have shunned their historical predilections towards immediate bloody gratification in favor of practicing their craft. Therefore no matter what kind of axe these Orcs use, their chops are guaranteed to slay their targets.
Make no mistake dear reader. The music unleashed by this band is aimed squarely at making the listener either submit or be trampled underfoot by the onrushing horde. This is meat and potatoes death metal made by infantrymen for the pleasure of other front line blood letters. Granted you won’t find any real progressive elements within these six songs, but that is more than all right. I’ve learned that Orcs don’t put on airs well, and if they try whoever is unfortunate enough to be with them inevitably gets hurt…badly.
The band’s EP, entitled Warchiefs of the Apocalypse, was played straight through in it’s entirety during the concert. "I, Gogog" started things off with a bang bumping the energy level from one to a hundred in short order. The next two songs, "Warchiefs of the Apocalypse" and "Bring Out Your Dead", continue the onslaught of rapid fire riffs, manic double bass drumming, and demented guttural growls. Things change up a little bit with the cover of Celtic Frost’s"Procreation (of the Wicked)," a song with a slower tempo anchored around a monstrous guitar part. "Disassembly Line", an instrumental, follows next and toys with the listener by evolving from an ultra fast start to a short, slow melodic passage one minute and forty five seconds in before jumping once again through a warp gate for the remainder of the song. The finale to the EP is the epic "Into the Maelstrom", the strongest track on offer, and a fitting finale to the live performance.
After the concert had triumphantly concluded, my newfound friends and I were slapping each other on the back and across the shoulders with heartfelt joy over the whole experience. While this was going on I glanced at the side of the stage and lo and behold, the very same temptress that brought me to this land was again staring at me. She signaled that I should come hither, and in my pseudo-intoxicated state brought on by the great music I walked over without hesitation. When I drew near not a word was exchanged. She leaned towards me and kissed me on the cheek.
I opened my eyes and found myself back in the public square where this whole escapade began. Seemingly no time had elapsed. The people with distinctive characteristics I could remember observing earlier were exactly where I last remembered seeing them. Surely I did not hallucinate everything?!? No…I looked down at my feet and saw a CD lying on the ground. Picking the jewel case up revealed it to be A Band of Orcs Warchiefs of the Apocalypse EP and I could see my reflection in the mirror like surface. There was lipstick on my cheek.
A BAND OF ORCS: COMING TO RAPE AND PLUNDER YOUR TOWN SOON!
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2010
Modern death metal played by….orcs? I don’t know if Tolkien would be proud of this, or roll over in his grave! Still, California’s GWAR inspired A Band of Orcs are clearly not here to pursue the power metallers or the folksy crowd. These costumed fellows play modern death similar to that of All Shall Perish’s first album, combined with the European intensity of a Blood Red Throne. These guys may be costumed, but they are not purely about theatrics, there is clearly a bite waiting to be unleashed upon unsuspecting listeners and concert goers.
The band’s only release was 2007′s Warchiefs of the Apocalypse EP which demonstrates quite well why these guys can move a crowd if need be. I think it’s kind of funny though, that such a dramatic looking group of dudes who play such evil sounding music can ride udner the radar for so long. I mean usually you’d hear about a bunch of orcs playing death metal in California clubs through the grapevine, right? Regardless, A Band of Orcs are set to re-unleash their sole EP upon an unsuspecting world, this time clearly trying to make every raped and plundered town count.
I wonder if an all out battle of the bands between A Band of Orcs and 3 Inches of Blood will be in order in the future? Hmmm…
We’re rapidly approaching one of our favorite calendar dates of the year — Halloween. It’s a night when our most frightening superstitions are given free reign, when evil and mischief frolic hand-in-hand through the night, when goblins emerge from their hiding places to create all manner of chaos.
It’s also a night when people dress up in ridiculous costumes, masquerading as cowboys, or nurses, or Lady Gaga. That shit don’t count. That’s not Halloween. Halloween is a night of menace and mayhem, ov fire and the void (yeah, I stole that phrase from somewhere), of phantoms and freaks.
And in celebration of the imminent arrival of All Hallow’s Eve, it’s only fitting that we feature some metal that’s played by, for, and about goblins. What? You didn’t know goblins played metal? Well what else would they play?
A BAND OF ORCS
Compared to the goblins of yore, orcs are a relatively recent entrant into demonish mythology, having been created by the inventive mind of J.R.R. Tolkien. But really, orcs are just human-sized goblins. Really nasty human-sized goblins. And so it should come as no surprise that A Band of Orcs is a really nasty, human-sized metal band that plays really nasty, orcish, goblinesque death metal.
A Band of Orcs crawled forth from the sodden, slimy, gloomy muck of, uh, Santa Cruz, California. What did we tell you about the devious cleverness of goblin hiding places? This band not only talks the goblin talk, they walk the walk (lurch the lurch?). By which we mean, they actually look like orcs. Don’t believe us? Well, feast your hooded eyes on this:
See what we mean?
A Band of Orcs has one release to their credit, 2007’s debut EP WarChiefs of the Apocalypse. It’s full of full-bore, superheated pummeling – big, thick riffs hammering away at high speed, shrouded in sulphurous fumes and throwing up images of fang and claw. The band is also at work on an album, projected for release next summer, called (we think) The Hall of the Frozen Dead, and the title track is now available for purchase on iTunes worldwide. It’s also still streaming at the Metal Sanaz web site.
That song is a piece of blackened death-metal orcishness, switching back and forth between blistering, technical hammering and mid-paced, old-school, chainsaw bludgeoning, with a couple of molten guitar solos erupting in the middle and near the end of the track. Don’t be thrown off by the orc schtick — these dudes (or whatever the fuck they are under those grisly masks) can play some legit death-metal grittiness.
A Band of Orcs achieved a significant measure of public notice within the halls of goblin-dom through the August 2008 release of a CGI-enhanced video of their song “Into The Maelstrom”. Odds are that if you creep the metallic interwebz like we do on a regular basis, you’ve already seen this bit of orcish extravagance. But if not, here ya go:
You can get a free download of a track from the WarChiefs EP called “I, Gogog” at Pure Grain Audio. You can find out more about the band at their official site (here). And here’s a widget that will allow you to stream more songs from the WarChiefs EP:
A Band Of Orc's Warchiefs of the Apocalypse: The Riff Review
After interviewing lead singer Gogog, I was asked by A Band of Orc's PR guy if I wanted to take a stab at their debut ep. Sure, I said. Hell, I'm not gonna turn down free tunes any time soon! Well, the package containing said cd was something of a, well, surprise. Long story short, it was meat. Stringy, disgusting meat. It probably wasn't even of this earth. Taking the "wrapping" off, I encountered a glob of puss, that smelt faintly of carrots and vomit. In the center of this puss, lay the cd, thankfully factory wrapped. But in the cd case was a note. A bit of a warning. The writing was nearly unintelligible, but I could vaguely read out that if I didn't review the cd in time, I would be introduced to the wilds of several orc women. Not wanting to see or smell the netheregions of a lady devil, I decided to type up my review post haste. The things you do to protect your naughty bits.
If there's two persistent themes running through Warchiefs of the Apocalypse, it's war and evil. Considering the source material is written by beings born upon the plains of Gorgoroth, it's understandable why the themes are so prevalent. It also sounds like the Orcs were beamed straight into Florida, because this cd is just dripping with tons of Floridian death metal sounds. It also host the more technical aspects of bands like Suffocation and Exhorder. The guitar solos themselves sound like a tribute to Kerry King, as they play up the tri-tone big time. What you won't find are any metalcore tendencies. This is old school tech death metal at it's finest, and it's done by non-humans!
While it may sound a little like ass kissing so I don't become eviscerated in the coming Orc vs. Human war, Warchiefs of the Apocalypse is a great little bit of contrast to the rhythym-heavy metal scene of today. It's ugly, it's guilty, and it'll probably rape your dog if you're not paying attention. What it'll also do is entertain you greatly. Go and pick up a copy. Ain't like they cost much.
PS: If you guys wanna send me a copy of your first full length, then go for it. Just find something besides the meat and puss to wrap it in. My cat and dog got into that stuff, and now they're possessed by something, and speak to me in tongues. You officially owe me a dual pet exorcism.
World of Warcraft addicts A BAND OF ORCS play pummeling death metal. And yes, they are dressed as Orcs, most definitely influenced by Fantasy role-playing games.
Music-wise, A BAND OF ORCS is somewhere in between MORBID ANGEL andSLAYER, with some Tuetonic thrash thrown in for good measure. Some might think the concept is a little nerdy, but one thing’s for certain, they are not just a GWAR knockoff. Their gimmick and costumes might overshadow their talent at first, but deep down, A BAND OF ORCS play brutal, chugging death metal with technical chops. On their 7-track debut EP, WarChiefs of the Apocalypse, these Orcs from Santa Cruz can play.
Heavy dual guitars open “I, Gogog,” followed by a combination of higher pitched raspy and lower deep growls from vocalist Gogog Bloodthroat, in which he proclaims his superior battle prowess. Right away you get the idea of what A BAND OF ORCS is all about, lyrically and musically. Paying homage to their old school influences, their cover of CELTIC FROST’s “Procreation of the Wicked” is brutal and heavy. It’s slowed down even more than the original and done in the ORCS’ style. The instrumental, “Disassembly Line,” has a lot of creative tempo changes and variation, but mostly, it simply shreds. The guitar solo in “Bring Out Your Dead” is also some great fast picking lead guitar work from guitarists Cretos Filthgrinder and Hulg ElfR.I.P.per. “Descent” introduces an epic orchestral sound with battle drums, signifying the impending doom that awaits with “Into The Maelstrom,” which is a dizzying foray of bludgeoning death metal.
A BAND OF ORCS aren’t reinventing the sound of death metal on WarChiefs of the Apocalypse, but it’s a great ass kicking of the aural senses. They need to put out a full-length album soon to keep their battle-ready momentum going.
By Kelley simms
Here on the Hel Report we like to take every Monday and give you a heads up on shows for the week, as well as reviews of last weeks. So who better to tell you than the metal maniac himself?
So off we go to last weeks Radio Room show on Metal Monday.
Last week was a good week for newer band called A BAND OF ORCS. They kicked off their spring tour with a show at the Radio Room in San Diego, CA. Metal Mondays is what is playing every Monday there. This particular evening was showcasing A BAND OF ORCS, DEMINISHING DEVICE, SHIT, and TEMPLE OF DAGON.
Now while I got there a bit late i and missed DEMINISHING DEVICE and SHIT, I did catch to the two bigger acts TEMPLE OF DAGON and A BAND OF ORCS. TEMPLE OF DAGON is Thrash/Grindcore band from North Hollywood, CA. Their sound is more Thrash/Death with some minor Grindcore from what I heard at the show. The singer would occasionally indulge in the crowd as to get people pumped to their easily accessible rifts and screaming solos. The theme is that of H.P. Lovecraft also their name is derived from that as well. They put on a good show for a small crowd and while halfway through the set the bassist broke a string had to retire for the evening, they kept playing and you did not miss him. Overall a talented band heading in the right direction.
Then came the band I came out to see, A BAND OF ORCS. If you like GWAR, these guys make them look like pussies. Their costumes were great and the intro up to the stage was strong. Now being that the radio room is a very small place, that left not much room on stage for everyone, but this was not a problem giving that the lead singer thrived on crowd interaction. They had a few stage props to go with the garb. The lead singer, Gogog Bloodthroat, demanded the attention. He would take beers from the crowd and chug them, spit it back to the crowd, push the audience physical to form the circle pit which to them opens the portal to their homeland. The two guitarist made baby orcs with their synchronizing harmonies. Cretos Filthgrinder the lead guitarist was a real wonder to watch as he shred intuitive riffs with his melodic solos. The crowd got into him as he came alive feeding of the human blood that spilled on the floor. Afterwards when the show was over they continued to stay in character while some went outside to meet and greet, and others played roughhouse with each other making grunting noises. Musically they Death with Black Metal Influences. Very original and great act.
Now I did go see them again on Friday in Ramona at the Ramona Mainstage, and while they were even better before a bigger crowd and stage with more props the band of note I want to quickly mention is MICTLANTECUHTL a Aztec Black Metal band from Los Angeles, CA. They put on a great live performance in midst of a show that consisted of several bands that night. They went on in the middle of the order still a few people coming in to see Pathology the headlining band that night. They had a great a great sound and feel that made me feel like I was at an Immortal show. While Black Metal, they are like Immortal in the respect of their lyrics are based on a fictitious place. This one however resembles Aztec mythology. Their play is thought out and arrangements wonderfully written. The crowd got into them even though almost no one there had here of them, That is the sign of a good band with a front man who can bring an audience to his attention and command the stage.
I did not stay for PATOLOGY but I am sure they did well. Considering most of the crowd was there for them and to be honest, the show A BAND OF ORCS put on before they went on was utterly amazing, I doubt it was as entertaining.
Posted by Black Metal Mike on May 10th, 2010 at 3:41 pm
Rating: 8.7 / 10
WarChiefs of the Apocalypse, the newest release from A Band of Orcs, is an exceptionally heavy, immensely powerful metal album that kicks some serious tail. A Band of Orcs comes out of the box swinging on the opening track, “I, Gogog” and the battering does not let up until the very last track, “Into The Maelstrom.” packaged between these two songs are five other unbelievably straight ahead metal tunes that are fast, heavy and designed for one thing; getting the listeners neck snapping for the duration.
Truthfully, I found no filler on this disc, just pure raw metal that is sure satisfy metal heads everywhere. Favorite tracks of mine on this disc include “Procreation” and “Bring Out Your Dead,” both of which are colossal face melting tunes that bang so hard I almost broke a sweat listening to them.
The buzz around these guys is growing and I was hoping to get a chance to listen to the disc, now I am glad I did. In my opinion, A Band of Orcs lives up to all of the hype.
Keep your eyes on these guys. I feel this is a band we will here more from in the very near future.WarChiefs of the Apocalypse is a blistering, yet extremely technical aural battering that metal fans will truly dig. The problem is that now the bar is set so high I don’t know if they will be able to surpass it. Check this one out, you will not be disappointed. [ END ]
01. I, Gogog
02. Warchiefs Of The Apocalypse
03. Bring Out Your Dead
04. Procreation Of The Wicked
05. Disassembly Line (Instrumental)
06. Into A Decent
07. Into The Maelstrom
Total Time: 36:31
A Band Of Orcs
Normally a day in the life of an Orc is filled with eating babies and digging in muck. But what do they do in their downtime? Perhaps join a bowling league or take a pottery class? Hell no they freakin rock, HARD. Ladies and gentlemen I give to you A Band of Orcs and the video for their song “Into the Maelstrom”. Now at first listen you might think these guys are all angry and agro. But I dug a little deeper and it turns out that maelstrom is actually Scandinavian for a very powerful whirlpool. So this song isn’t about rippin your face off or anything. Nope it’s just an invitation to hop in a soothing bubble bath with a few dudes who think they are from another world. Turns out even Orcs like to blow off some steam down at the local bathhouse when they’re off the clock. Orcs, they’re just like us!
You might be thinking to yourself, “What makes these guys different from bands like GWAR or Lordi?!” Well naysayer, those bands wear costumes where as these guys are the real deal. That’s right, 100% pure all American Orc up in your ear. You can learn about them and check out some other videos at their website or “lair” as they call it. Get it? Because Orcs don’t have websites, they have lairs!
A Band of Orcs - "War Chiefs of the Apocalpyse" (CD)
Reviewed by xFiruath on October 31, 2008
Well, it finally happened. World of Warcraft has officially become the overlord of the universe. It is now so predominant that it has even spawned something as obscure as a death metal band. A couple of World of Warcraft addicts from California pulled themselves away from their computer screens and crawled out of their darkened basements to get together for a jam session and ended up making a band formed entirely around the concept of battle hungry orcs on the war path. Despite the dubious beginnings, A Band of Orcs delivers an overwhelmingly destructive death metal experience, even if it is a little nerdy. Just don’t call them nerds to their faces, because these guys wield battle axes just as well as they play guitar.
Forget about the Tolkien-inspired bands that deal heavily with green skinned monstrosities like Blind Guardian or Battlelore. Those orcs are pansies in comparison to these bloodthirsty dogs that just want to tear their enemies apart with their bare hands and then rape some captive elf maidens. Blowing plenty of speakers in the process is just a nice little added bonus. Opening track “I, Gogog” gives a perfect example of what to expect all throughout the album, with fast and heavy dual guitars, frenzied blasting drums, and a combination of ultra-low, deep death growls and higher pitched distorted snarls screaming out an orc’s desire to kill. The first of many head spinning and stylish guitar solos makes its appearance about three-quarters of the way through the song, which then ends with genre appropriate lightning fast drum work. The drumming in general on “War Chiefs of the Apocalypse” is pretty much uniformly fast and furious. There are blast beats galore, but they do get reined in from time to time for the sake of adding some melody and contrast.
It’s a well known fact of orcish culture that the beasts revere their ancestors and worship those who have attained more feats of brutality in combat, so it’s no surprise that there is a cover of Celtic Frost’s “Procreation of the Wicked” placed at the middle of the album. Some might consider that an act of blasphemy for an upstart band, but good luck to anyone who would want to express that opinion to an orc war party. Another track of note is “Dissamebly Line,” which is listed in the lyric insert as an instrumental. If that instrument is unrelenting brutal death, then yes, it’s correct. The song has all of the frantic and empowering energy of more popular metal bands without sacrificing much of the hate. There is a brief respite and slow down for a bass solo two minutes in, but before long it's back to face-crushing business as usual. It’s unfortunate that the bass is kept so low in the mix, or completely overpowered by the dual guitars for the most part, as the bass part is quite good. Unfortunately this bass solo is just about the only time in the entire album when that instrument can be heard.
To prepare for their grand finale, there is a minute and a half interlude next of a growing marching drum beat meant to bring the hordes in line and organize for their final assault. The ending track doesn’t disappoint, taking all of the elements of ferocity that had been building up for the entire album and letting them explode in an apocalyptic ending battle.
“War Chiefs of the Apocalypse” is one part Metalocalypse, one part World of Warcraft, a dash of Dethklok, and several buckets of freshly harvested elf ears. Fans of fast paced death metal who don’t mind a band that dresses up in elaborate costumes and has an over the top video game influence should enjoy just about everything the album has to offer.
Highs: Dual guitars, lightning fast drumming, and occasional melody
Lows: Bass is mostly inaudible and the whole concept is a little over the top
Bottom line: Fast and furious dual guitar death metal. With orcs.