1634, the debut from Dutch band Ortega, was a pleasant surprise when it came out in 2010. Sure the doom/sludge scene is over crowded these days and sure Ortega took influences of Neurosis and Isis, but the addition of extra’s like violins, clean vocals and for instance noise, synths and a moog combined with some very memorable songs made that a great debut.
With A Flame Never Rises On Its Own Ortega return to form, gone are the ‘extra’s’ but what remains are the memorable songs that makes this band one of the more interesting and promising ones. A Flame Never Rises On Its Own is an almost 30 minute long EP consisting of three songs. Each of those songs, as was mentioned in the interview i had with Richard a little while ago, were written by one bandmember.
First song on this EP, When Fire Meets the Fire, was written by guitarist Alex, and sets the tone nicely. A great riff, and a memorable chorus will surely make some heads nod in a live setting.
The Entity, written by bassist Frank is fully instrumental which starts off in a bit of a melodic post-rock form but quickly morphs into something heavier and keeps things interesting until the end. The final song, Ritual, by vocalist/guitarist Richard, does its name justice as it starts of with a bit of a tribal rhythm, before turning into an incredibly heavy song.
Add a great production (JB van der Wal again) and you have a very strong release.
A Flame Never Rises On Its Own is available for streaming at Ortega’s bandcamp page.