ORTEGA: 1634 CD Aesthetic Death
This album has been released twice before, albeit in limited fashion and now picked up by the steadily progressing Aesthetic Death label.
The oppressive all black, spot-varnish adorned digipak should give an instant description of the albums contents audio wise, so I was a trifle thrown at the harmonic and blissful guitar opening key structures; of course this didn’t last too long before doom laden riffs laid down he true story of what was to come.
Abrasive vocals and up tempo off kilter metal drags this from becoming swamped in the niche that so many others have cemented the foundations for before. The works of early Paradise Lost have a lot to answer for and indeed Ortega momentarily nod at the Halifax based originators, at selective points throughout this release on their guitar solo’s, but if truth be told have more in common with Opeth and such like in the grand scheme of things.
Overall though, Ortega have produced a solid album, with a vast array of instrumentation and attention to detail that should be commended by many in the metal fraternity. A rich variety of tempo keeps ‘1634’ from falling over itself, resulting in an album that jumps from the blackest of black to the whitest of white in a heartbeat and is all the better for doing so.