EP review: Orion Fenix – OWL




Consisting of a single track and weighing in at 22 minutes in length, Orion Fenix opens with a beautiful melody, and for the first couple of minutes, listeners are swept away upon oceans of atmospheric guitar. Soon the guitars awaken fully and the track moves into a crushingly heavy rhythm. This is a formula that OWL continues with for the remainder of the song and it works very well indeed. The constant shift in tone keeps things interesting and the vocals are very good; throaty at times, sometimes melodic and not too dissimilar from Richard Z. Kruspe’s work in Emigrate. In fact, Orion Fenix is like a more progressive, doom-influenced version of Emigrate. The guitar tone has a real meaty sound to it. The riffs are clean, crunching, and come cutting through the speakers like knives. The guitar sound is devastatingly heavy, the layers of feedback and the luscious, dreamy synths add to the already huge sound. Wonderful!

The fact that when the track finished I was desperate for more says how much I enjoyed this release. Orion Fenix is a monster of an EP, filled with power, melody and atmosphere. It is an emotional piece of work and you can damn sure sign me up for the forthcoming Nights In Distortion. Highly recommended.




Freedom in emotion, creativity, and sound has been the perpetual fuel for Owl, the solo project of Valborg vocalist/guitarist Christian Kolf and is again at the heart of its first offering since the release of acclaimed EP, ‘Aeon Cult’ over two years ago. Its creator describes its birth as, “There was no big thinking behind it, I just wrote it and that’s it. Let my feelings go”; an organic conception breeding a truly instinctive exploration in the shape of “Orion Fenix”.

As the release of ‘Aeon Cult’ in 2015 was drawing ears and imaginations, Christian was working on Owl’s third full-length, ‘Nights In Distortion’. It was a long and intensive journey which lured the interest of ToT Records who will be releasing it in the spring of 2018. Time and concentration were subsequently taken over though by Valborg, their new album ‘Endstrand’ and a European tour alongside Pillorian but as the closing sighs of 2017 came so too did an urge in Christian to write and create again, that December bearing the emotive gift of “Orion Fenix”.

Linking up once more with producer Auré Pereira who worked with Christian on the previous EP, “Orion Fenix” was created across eighteen hours split over three days; it’s recording as organic as its writing and evocative breath. There was no particular intent with the track, Christian revealing that “I was not following a particular style. Just my feelings, to get a special vibe that reminds me personally of some weird times…weird intense times, that when you remember them, have a feeling that is nice somehow, as well as dark.” What emerged was a provocative and expressive incitement, one pregnant with suggestion and an intimacy close to its author yet open to the reflections and interpretations of all.

The track also embraces a doom metal exploration; further evolution in a sound which from the occult death metal tone of the 2011 self-titled debut album has equally had the freedom to find its own voice each and every time as evidenced through its successor, ‘You Are the Moon, I Am the Night’ two years later and successive EPs and tracks. Though, a true individual in the Owl creative landscape, “Orion Fenix” is also an inescapable appetiser for the forthcoming unveiling of what will be, the equally unique ‘Nights In Distortion’ through Temple of Torturous Records.


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