Review Summary: A brilliant album that sounds like jazz, metal, and much more
The Orange Tulip Conspiracy is a band headed by Estradasphere guitarist Jason Schimmel and features familiar names like John Whooley and Lee Smith. If you are having a tough time figuring what this may sound like, think Estradasphere without Timb Harris, the violinist/trumpet guy. Yes, it is an instrumental record that cycles through many genres, and emotions.
Opener “The Bourbon Theater” sounds like a traditional jazz song, supplemented by a few groovy guitar lines, with some woodwind instruments (oboe" piccolo") of some kind. You can also hear some 1880s style piano playing in it. The jazzy part gives way to an “Italian-sounding” part later on. A very chill and relaxing, but entertaining opening track. “Rendezvous” is an Estrasphere song that happens to be the exact same song on the Pegasus Vault
A bunch of songs have a Lord of the Rings type feel to them. “The Dynasty” captures this sound with epic sounds, beaming with new corners to be discovered. Interlude “Exordium” has a deep foreboding sound that sounds like Lord of the Rings as well. The mystical feel of the tracks seem persistent. “Fall Creek” is a track that has a calm Middle Eastern feel. It sounds like the soundtrack of some place you would be in a Middle Eastern setting in a video game.
Estradasphere has a distinct metal feel to some tracks, and it is not lost with The Orange Tulip Conspiracy. “Nembutals”, “Catafalque” and “Ignis Fatuus” are metal-driven tracks that provide a great deal of punch to the normally mellow tracks. Out of the three “Nembutals” does a good job switching off the loud and the soft consistently, while “Catafalque” is a straight-on heavy song. “Ignis Fatuus” has a bit of accordion in it to make it a very Estradasphere-sounding track, flowing with the metal.
“Golden Days of the Sun” is an extremely groovy sounding track, almost all the instruments playing together are groovy in different ways. “Terra Firma” has a light jazz feel and cycles into some heavier stuff. It features some excellent guitar playing (extremely fast picking it seems). “Holy Roller” seems heavy on the sax. Interestingly, the album ends with a hidden track “Untitled”, which sounds most like the opener. “Untitled” is the only song that features singing throughout. Old-time piano sounds and light drumming help build this song, and it sounds like the epitome of nostalgia. I’m not sure what makes this song good, but it is a track I never seem to skip on iTunes.
1. The Bourbon Theater - 9
2. Exordium – 7
3. Rendezvous - 8
4. The Dynasty - 9
5. Nembutals - 10
6. Catafalque - 6
7. Prelude to the Equinox - 8
8. Fall Creek – 7.5
9. Golden Days to the Sun – 9.5
10. Terra Firma - 7
11. Holy Roller – 6.5
12. Ignis Fatuus - 8
13. Untitled – 10
Cohesiveness – 8 - The songs blend together quite well. They sound like they all could belong in a Playstation Final Fantasy game at different points, whether it be fighting a boss, in town, wandering, etc.
Album Cover – 10 – I like it.
Upshot – Basically another form of Estradasphere here, a lot of interesting instrumentals, which cover a multitude of genres. These songs have a jazzy metal feel most of all, and sounds which could play well in a Final Fantasy game. Fairly accessible record.