Orthrelm is known for playing challenging music, but this is a demanding listen even by their standards. On hand here are 99 tracks of squiggly, hyper-composed jazz-metal madness in just under 13 minutes, with pauses in between each one (the pauses are longer than the "songs" in some cases). As a result, this is constantly jarring, nerve-rattling stuff. In fact, due to the extreme compositional density and compression of this music, one is tempted afterwards to throw on some Anton Webern or early Napalm Death -- two infamous champions of brevity -- just to decompress a little bit. What is interesting is that shortly after this came out, Orthrelm was going on tour playing non-stop half-hour sets (actually medleys of 15 or so songs), creating an entirely different listening experience from this album, even though the basic sound of the music was identical. For uninitiated listeners, the ideal introduction to Orthrelm would fall in between these two extremes -- for example, in the two- to four-minute songs on some of their other early releases. This one, on the other hand, is more for curiosity seekers and for die-hard fans interested in examining the duo's music at its most microscopic level.
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