Re-releases are usually don´t enjoy to review, but because the original from 2010 hardly made it to a wider audience, let´s pretend that “1634” is a brand new CD...
Ortega come from Groningen, Holland, and they call their style “sludgy post-doom-metal”. Well, as I face a certain “how-to-describe-it” emergency here, let´s just leave it at there...
The intro captures you already – melodic, a bit melancholic and a touch of doom – the perfect introduction to what comes next, heavy slow doomy but still crushing sound with tough growl vocals. The reduced instrumentation and almost-clean vocals on “Shipwrecked” somehow make me think of Fields of the Nephilim, a bit absurd because neither music nor vocals sound like this band – it might be the sublte horror feeling of this song and its lyrics that somehow cause this association. Apropos association, I got to think of Crib45 or Callisto, too, or even some Norwegian 90s Goth (The Sins Of Thy Beloved), when the violin comes in. No matter if growl or clean vocals, heavy riffs or semi-acoustic parts, there is a heartbreaking and hypnotising beauty about it. The final – instrumental – track is perhaps a bit too calm for my taste – still, this record is going to rotate in my stereo more often, that´s for sure.
Richard Postma - Vocals/guitar
Alex Loots - Guitar
Sven Jurgens - Drums
Frank de Boer - Bass