Sydney’s Breaking Orbit are really putting themselves out there, using social media outlets to build their fanbase, and with much hype surrounding this debut release, I was quite excited to hear what this four-piece could offer an already crowded Oz prog-rock scene that Karnivool, The Butterfly Effect, Cog or Dead Letter Circus hadn’t already.
As opener ‘Echoes’ filled my headspace with its emotional and atmospheric aura, it was immediately obvious that comparisons to the aforementioned bands would be difficult to escape. Vocalist Matt Quayles vocal technique is not far removed from Karnivool’s Ian Kenny being pleasant and inoffensive with a liberal use of falsetto, yet at times a bit nasally and strained.
To match the grandiose concept of time travel, nothing has been spared musically with woodwinds, tribal polyrhythms and electronic ambience enhancing not only the main tracks but the short instrumental interludes that form the fabric of this conceptual piece. The stunning artwork is also a perfect companion to the music on offer.
‘My Direction’ and ‘Callsign’ both call attention to themselves with catchy choruses and vocals that don’t feel as strained as elsewhere on the album. It is unsurprising that they have been released as singles, as they truly showcase the band in their element.
Other standout tracks are the heavily Tool/Karnivool influenced ‘Cassandra Syndrome’ and the epic album closer ‘Silence Seekers’ which both earn their seven-minute running time with layered production and strong writing. On the other hand, the opening duo of ‘Echoes’ and ‘Conscious Self’ don’t quite deliver and tend to feel a bit over-earnest, as does ‘Orion’.
The Time Traveller is a strong debut release from a talented band still trying to find its own unique voice in a prog-heavy Oz scene, but with long time stalwarts such as Cog or The Butterfly Effect burning out and fading away, Breaking Orbit may just find their place.
2. Conscious Self
3. My Direction
5. Time Traveller
6. Transcension (Pt 1)
8. Harmonic Voice
9. Cassandra Syndrome
10. Ice Warmth
12. Silence Seekers