“I: Cold” is the first full length album from Rome, Italy’s Ars Orinica and it’s an interestingly diverse album that is foreshadowed with a very strange intro. There are lots of really pleasant elements, spoken verses, acoustic guitar, samples of waves and thrusts from the almost calm melodies into battered choruses filled with death growls and speedy drumming. The juxtaposition of an electric guitar solo on top of an acoustic guitar is enjoyable, but as the album goes on, the amount of experimental bits goes off the edge.
What the album is missing is cohesion. Production sounds very flat attributing to the Doom feel in this otherwise rather melodic album. Overall, the contrast of uplifting riffs in the dreary atmosphere are quite welcome, not overtly happy, but not encompassed in despair.
There are a lot of influences clearly present in this album, while I take a personal delight in the melodic interludes, especially on “In Between”, the nu metal break halfway gives an unpleasant jerk from what was a well worked buildup. With tempo switches, intermittent guitar solos and the jolting from fast to slow, “I: Cold” is chaotic and without a distinct sound.
I enjoy variety, however, Ars Orinica has yet to find that precise balance between jumping styles and experimentation that still remains cohesive. Most of the time I really like it. Most of the time the vocals are just the right compliment to the guitar tone and the doom elements are well executed, but some of the random bits are out of place. Well worth a listen, there is evident talent here, but more maturation is needed. (Kaje)