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ORTEGA | 1634 [DUTCH SLUDGE DOOM] REVIEW BY LUKE HAYHURST

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A slightly older release now from UK label AESTHETIC DEATH!

Hailing from Holland comes ORTEGA and their 2010 debut album entitled 1634. Now I am taking a massive leap here as i don’t know officially what the concept of this album is. Yet having looked at the song titles and then researched the year 1634 I’m going to hazard a guess that this album is a concept album that was inspired by the landing on Curacao on July 29th by the Dutch fleet captained by one Johannes Van Walbeeck! Just a guess!They left The Netherlands in early May and took the best part of two months to travel over the Atlantic to this new land off the coast off of the country we now know as Venezuela.

If my theory is correct then this album tells the tale of a monumental sea journey in an age where development moved slowly and they we’re not that far along from believing the world was flat.  Only a number a weeks before the final landing his ships decided to bypass St Anna Bay before finally making land and the perils they faced along the I imagine are what have inspired ORTEGA!

Anyway after that colossal amount of rambling which may mean absolutely nothing i’ll now divulge what ORTEGA offer musically. Following a calming introduction track called STILL, the calm before the storm then leads into what ORTEGA does best, crushing pulsating doom! Huge monolithic riffs are thrown skyward only to come crashing back to earth with a seismic thud whilst slow, crawling drumming adds to the deep seated foreboding vibe that the bands massive, bass laden sound gives off in great quantities.

Yet despite this ORTEGA have packed their sound with a vast amount of groove so that once fully underway things flow, in an abrasive aggressive kind of way! Topping it all off is the throat melting vocals which add just another layer of  noise to the bands already cacophonous sound.

Just like the ocean that Van Walbeeck traveled upon ORTEGA are band of huge depths and with a debut album as good as this, and with a historical angle to its concept, well you could do worse than to experience this!

[8/10]

Ortega