OV is either a monolithic masterpiece or as numbing as five spin cycles in a washing machine. The bandmates of metalcore Orthrelm scale this 45-minute work like two guys fulfilling a dare, climbing from one repetitive section to the next. At one point they play one riff 126 times in a row. Josh Blair drums with Zen-like persistence, but Mick Barr's guitar hits your eardrums like a tattooist's needle, demanding more stamina than reflection. But if you can take it, the urgent pace and the explosive climax are exhilarating; like the best extended works, it makes the listener as sweaty as the players.

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Chris Dahlen