After an EP followed by two albums the one man Orc show, Orc Adams, is about to unleash the Fully ORChestrated album under the name of ORCumentary. This self-confessed Lord of the Rings and metal fan has been defined as “comedic metal” and, with song titles like ‘Troll Snot’, who am I to argue? He has used the periods of lockdown to reimagine some of his metal songs by replacing them with a full electronic orchestra and a vivid imagination.
Imagine Gollum conducting an orchestra of orcs, trolls and Ents (on woodwind of course) while Frodo and his cohorts cower in the barrows! Well, that’s how my warped mind imagines the result anyway. There’s also a cover of a song from the 1980 animated Return of the King film… which I remember seeing and being disappointed that they never finished the trilogy; it was better than the later versions in my humble opinion. That song is ‘Where There’s A Whip, There’s A Way’ (note that it isn’t the Faster Pussycat song of the same name) and in the ORCmeister’s hands it becomes less choral and more a mix of death metal with, what sounds like a Jon Anderson clone singing along! In fairness, the interpretation is entertaining and should have been used in the films as the orc master drives his hideous hordes forward.
Fully ORChestrated opens with a fluted intro to the de-metalled ‘The Time Of The Orc Has Come’ and, as his growled vocals are understandable, you can see where the ‘comedic’ tag comes from. In fact, with all of the keyboard work it is something like the Dancer extraoridinaire Bill Bailey put together for one of his shows where the badgers invaded Shepton Mallett… yes, really. ‘Orc In My Bathtub’ somehow sounds a bit mediaeval with the instrumentation but it is actually very catchy and bloody good fun. As is the wonderfully titled ’Smoke the Ashes of Your Enemy with a Pipe Carved From Their Bones’ which may not have many lyrics but is still stands well with the rest.
This is not an album I will pick every day (sorry ORCman), but it has a charm behind the growling that means I will delight in it when I need a pick me up because I defy you not to smile when you listen.