Apr 2019 24

Stayte - OrogenesisStayte
Category: Industrial / Rock
Album: Orogenesis
Blurb: After more than a decade, this Canadian industrial/rock duo returns with one of the band’s strongest records to date, with a couple of notable guest appearances and a sound that could, as the title suggests, create mountains.


Since 1997, Canadian industrial/rock group Stayte has remained somewhat on the periphery of widespread recognition. Clayton Worbeck and Joshua Bradford have continued to take the band through the most tumultuous of paths with a sizeable discography and numerous credits that include movie scores, remixes, and guest appearances for some of the biggest names in the scene. After 2007’s The Two Sisters, the band appeared to be in something of a holding pattern as numerous other projects superseded, making releases under the Stayte moniker few and rather far between; sure, there was a Christmas EP, a comedic spoken word album, and several soundtracks, but Orogenesis finally delivers to the audience a proper Stayte album full of the group’s signature blend of heavy machine-laden rock and snarky lyrical venom.

Never musicians to skimp on texture or atmosphere, “Ladies and Gentlemen” begins the album in a grand and explosive fashion as searing electric violins and Bruce Lamont’s saxophones sing their melodic phrases amid a wall of bellowing riffs and thunderous beats. Bradford’s shrilly emotive vocals enter like a ringleader welcoming the listener into the audio circus to ensue, shifting between vicious shouts and harrowing singing that demonstrate the range of his abilities. From here, all the signatures of Stayte’s style are employed to their fullest, with Worbeck’s resonant, almost caustic bass tone permeating throughout each song, the blend of incendiary guitar lines and bursts of electronic textures coalescing into a rather monolithic brand of machine/rock; top this off with Bradford’s impressive vocal range, moving from throaty lows to searing highs with seemingly little effort. “Dead Do Tell” is a perfect example as it creeps through the speakers with an almost operatic quality, gradually rising to a fever pitch in its coda with repetitions of “This is where the dead go to die,” with “So Quick to Turn” following with an eerie, disquieting intro that is broken by the thrust of darkly melodic passages of distorted guitar and syncopated rhythms. Filter front man Richard Patrick lends his equally strident falsetto to the track, emphasizing the song’s mournful and accusatory tone as he and Bradford scream, “You said to me we’d have each other. How’d I lose you, brother?” Indeed, the pair’s harmonies are nothing short of breathtaking, given even more prominence as the two trade off vocal acrobatics on the album’s closing track, “Reservation.” The longest track on Orogenesis, the song drives through peaks and valleys of mechanized bliss, the reverberating layers of guitar and synth in the bridge as Bradford sings of “lost souls” bringing the record to a haunting conclusion.

Some tracks reveal an almost post-punk mentality, with songs like “Waves” and especially “Dodge the Rain” bearing a resemblance to The Cult, driven by danceable beat and bass sequences, the force of the powerful riffs offset by chilling melodic phrases. “Face the Maze” takes this even further; originally featured on the soundtrack album to Stayte’s Walking in the Land of Wind and Ghost documentary, the song is presented in a new mix that accentuates its bouncy electronics and straightforward dance beats for a track that is simply and delightfully catchy. There is a certain glee that accompanies a track like “Bitter Spider,” a sardonic bit of self-referential satire wherein the band revels in its inability to cater to the hit factory mentality. Lyrics like, “This song is arranged wrong, and yes, the inspiration’s gone,” and “I tried to write a hit, but I got it all wrong” are as biting as they are hilarious, set to an aggressive groove topped off by crushing riffs and percussion, making for one of the album’s early high points.

As the title refers to the geological processes by which mountains are formed, Clayton Worbeck and Joshua Bradford have taken Stayte’s sound to its utmost on Orogenesis; even in the record’s quieter moments, there is a sense of emotional and audio gravitas that indeed plays as a soundtrack to tectonic shifts, each track coming together into colossal arrangements of industrialized alt. rock. Although not a dramatic departure from what we’ve heard from Stayte thus far, one can certainly detect the degrees to which the duo has augmented the band’s sound with a grander, almost more cinematic ambience that may be indicative of their recent work in soundtracks. After more than a decade, Stayte returns with one of its strongest records to date in Orogenesis; what more could be asked for?
Track list:

  1. Ladies and Gentlemen
  2. Bitter Spider
  3. Dodge the Rain
  4. Dead Do Tell
  5. So Quick to Turn
  6. Waves
  7. Face the Maze [Orogenesis Mix]
  8. Reservation

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Purchase at:
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Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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