Orthodox Amaneer en Puerta Oscura

Continuing the diversification of the Southern Lord roster, Orthodox’s sophomore release is a mixed bag stylistically, but displays a surprising consistency. Alternating between free jazz experiments and mid-tempo, largely instrumental sludge, the group effectively distance themselves from their label mates while retaining the imprint’s signature suffocating production and drone-y undercurrents. Lengthy tracks are the norm, which some may find meandering but undeniably establish an atmosphere. They use wide-ranging instrumentation such as clarinets and trumpets, usually during the quieter moments — don’t expect Nokturnal Mortum-esque Slavic fusion arrangements. Amaneer en Puerta Oscura is a release grounded in and strengthened by its subtleties, and is not intended for those looking for an incessant bludgeoning. (Southern Lord)