Review of Metallic Spheres featuring David Gilmour Album by The Orb

The story here, basically, is a team of legends meet up and fuse together a slightly unusual album. 'Dr' Alex Paterson of The Orb previously worked with Pink Floyds David Gilmour on a charity affair reworking Graham Nash's Chicago project. This went rather well and they decided to develop the partnership and brought in supporting Orb member Youth to flourish and remix the album.

The Orb Metallic Spheres featuring David Gilmour Album

The Orb since the early days of Little Fluffy Clouds and The Blue Room have been described as the 'rave generations Pink Floyd', so it's no surprise that Metallic Spheres encompasses the talents of the separate genres.

Metallic Spheres is a carefully worked album. There are two separate sides to it, the Metallic side and the Spheres side each set to run for under 30 minutes. Each side then breaks down into five different tracks, though they are carefully strung together which makes it appear as a long player.

Metallic side includes the tracks Metallic Spheres, Hymns to the Sun, Black Graham, Hiding in Plain View and Classified. Like previously stated it's hard to pinpoint where each track ends and the other starts. What is apparent are the talents fused together. The side starts with a low rumble and random keyboard notes and a few guitar chords that lead us into the recognisable guitar work of Gilmore. It flows in gently over a sea of beats, like waves crashing on the shore and continues into a steady riff. The ambience simply builds, which leads into a percussive sound scope that rolls out with a dubstep beat encompassing chanting vocals from their Chicago project. We then appear to take a Country route, it all seems quite introspective but it's an easy listen. It's not until the end of the Metallic side we see a truly heavy percussive flourish worked with the delicate guitar work by Gilmore. It all just seems to gradually stream together.

Spheres side again has five tracks fused into one epic play. Tracks here are Es Vedra, Hymns to the Sun (reprise), Olympic, Chicago Dub and Bold Knife Trophy. Given the laid back vibes of the Metallic side, Spheres is a bit more edgy, there's darkness to it. There's a sense of euphoria as tracks continue there's a majestic overhaul, which turns quiet and introspective, yet again leading to the dub version of Chicago. As we travel through the music there's an overlay of guitar over strong beats and mid-tempo house vibes. The Spheres has a deeper, more powerful theme to it as it rolls on. It bounds and entices you in a hazy rapture of warmth leaving you adverse to everything around you.

Metallic Spheres could be called a modern day Tubular Bells, but there's so much more to it. It's a mixed bad of emotions, encompassing dark and light. It's a great showcase for the talents of the fuelled partnership. Bringing together a mix of electronic, ambient and guitar vibes. It may not be to everyone's taste, but then that's what music is about. Listen with an open mind and then decide.

Jenn McCambridge

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