Limelight: Orsome Welles introduce their metallic prog from Australia

A press shot of Orsome Welles

“There’s nothing better for us than an idea that sounds different to everything else we’ve done,” reveals Orsome Welles vocalist Michael Stowers. “It’s important to have a new, vibrant sound always coming through, and for us to explore things that we’re unfamiliar with. We’ve spent much of our time avoiding getting pigeonholed and now we think we’ve found a pretty unique spot in the progressive world.”

Starting off life back in 2011 as a group of friends writing music that delicately blurred the lines between heavy music and experimental ambitions, Orsome Welles have allowed their sound to develop organically since. Their musical DNA may have distinct impressions, from the groove-infected, Dream Theater-inspired riff work that opens latest single Father’s Eyes, to the chorus that ices it – one plucked from the rule book of fellow Aussies Karnivool. Yet, even if they at times wear their influences with translucence, their songs are further spiced by the band’s own versatile sound. Their aim then, is to simply not have an aim.

“We don’t go out to write a heavy or a mellow song, they just end up the way they do naturally,” Stowers says. “It leaves us with a load of different songs in different styles that feel different and are in different keys. In a live scenario we can then draw from them depending on what we are trying to achieve on the night. I think it’s a chance for us to be uninhibited, real and really feel the music.”

Their latest EP Rise emphasises the band’s evolution through a broad-ranging cluster of tracks. There are plenty of doses of the classic modern metal sound – think The Sword and Machine Head – injected into songs elsewhere marked by frantic, Melvins-like freak-outs (Maestro), ethereal passages akin to Periphery at their most melodic and meditative (Elara) and riffs subtly infused with funk. The serene and soulful Rise Again meanwhile sees them sounding vulnerable but bold with an ever-escalating prog ballad.

“We can chop and change, we have songs that do different things and we can do different things with those songs. You’ve gotta be malleable to make it as a band, especially on stage.

“I think that’s the difference to the Orsome Welles that wrote [debut EP] Erth News Bulletin and the one that wrote Rise,” Stowers adds, reflecting on the last three years that have bridged the two releases.

“That band wanted to get everything done before they’d even done it, to get the music out there and worry about what happens afterwards. With Rise we gave ourselves more time to be calculated and it made us more creative. When we do something, we want it to be the best thing we’ve ever written and we’re more in control now than ever before.

Rise is a representation of our growth: it delivers a strong message as a band. We’ve learned to believe that what you’re doing is your thing and people will go along with it if you believe it.”

Prog file

Line-up: Michael Stowers (vocals), Nick Toohey (guitar), Steven Angell (guitar), Matt Manders (bass), Justin Price (drums)

Sounds like: If Karnivool and Haken draped their prog metal punch in a radio-friendly disguise

Current release: Rise is out now and is self-released


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Phil Weller

You can usually find this Prog scribe writing about the heavier side of the genre, chatting to bands for features and news pieces or introducing you to exciting new bands that deserve your attention. Elsewhere, Phil can be found on stage with progressive metallers Prognosis or behind a camera teaching filmmaking skills to young people.