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ORCumentary - "Praise Gor-Nacular!" (CD/EP)

ORCumentary - "Praise Gor-Nacular!" CD/EP cover image

"Praise Gor-Nacular!" track listing:

1. Praise Gor-Nacular!
2. Orc Rock Anthem
3. The Crankiest Orc In Town
4. Sword Of Iron
5. Smoke The Ashes Of Your Enemy

Reviewed by on March 13, 2012

"A fine taste of ridiculous genius to come."

“Each song is a chapter in my life as I make Elves, Dwarves, Men and Goblins bleed profusely – my noble quest,” states ORCumentary founder and sole member Orc Adams. “This music is not for the faint of heart, but for those with a thirst for adventure, those with a yearning for something to break their monotonous existences, and those with similar cruel, orc-ish senses of humor.” Got that, you sniveling humans?

At first glance, basing one’s entire musical repertoire on a single fantasy concept may seem small-minded and restrictive – unless one is an actual orc, a grotesque Tolkienian humanoid creature with an addiction to violence and victory. Then you’re simply calling the world as you see it. And if the only tools at your disposal are a drum machine, a synthesizer, a keyboard, your throat, and a passion for heavy metal, then your energetic brand of “orc rock” will come loaded with ‘80s New Wave and original Nintendo. That’s the case with Adams’ latest opus, a punchy and charming EP that demonstrates once and for all what a determined orc can accomplish when he puts his musical mind to it.

“Praise Gor-Nacular!” rests on two prominent pillars of strength. The first is “Orc Rock Anthem,” a speedy fist-pumper with the following helpful lyrics: “My name is Orc Adams / I’m in a band called ORCumentary / If you do not like my music / I will hang you from a tree / You don’t think I’ll do it, do you? / You are right; I’d prefer not to / I’d prefer to take a sword and cleave you / In two.” All in a guttural croak, of course, with a heaping of Oderus Urungus bravado. The second is “Sword Of Iron,” a dynamic track that begins with an emotive piano, which then launches into a lightning-fast, synthesized take on Scandinavian folk metal – with Adams’ orc-ish rants laid atop the distorted crunch of the verses.

The other trio of cuts are less developed. The rollicking metal riff on the too-short “Smoke The Ashes Of Your Enemy” begs to be explored further. By the time the groovy “Crankiest Orc In Town” has fully introduced its palate of musical ideas, the song is over; it’s one long buildup with no true payoff. The opening title track begins with a hook worthy of Super Mario Bros, but shifts gears dramatically at the midpoint, leaving us with the impression of two half-finished song ideas. However, the classic “One, two, three, four” war cry – at the transition point – redeems the song with a brilliant twist by Adams: he continues counting. “Five, six, seven, eight / Nine, ten, eleven, twelve / That’s how many times I’ll stab you.” And so on.

Orchood in this day and age in America is surely a lonely road, so whatever your stance on fantasy or GWAR-esque comedic presentation of same, you have to admire Adams’ singlehanded persistence. “Praise Gor-Nacular” demands to be fleshed and rocked out by a full band; you can feel the potential live energy simmering within “Orc Rock Anthem” even now. But until Adams manages to recruit a cadre of fellow musically inclined orcs, this serves as a fine taste of ridiculous genius to come.

Highs: "Orc Rock Anthem," "Sword Of Iron"

Lows: "The Crankiest Orc In Town," "Smoke The Ashes Of Your Enemy"

Bottom line: A comedic, GWAR-inspired EP of synthesized "orc rock" for nerds and non-nerds alike, introducing a bizarre and charismatic new American talent.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)