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Artist: The Orb featuring David Gilmour
Title: Metallic Spheres
Genre: Ambient / Ambient House / Psychedelic Rock
Release Date: 8th October 2010
Label: SonyBMG

Album Review

According to THE ORB's Alex Paterson, ‘Metallic Spheres’ is a collision “that's been waiting to happen with David Gilmour and THE ORB orbiting many of the same planets”. THE ORB began work on the collaboration with the legendary singer, guitarist and songwriter of PINK FLOYD after they worked together on Graham Nash’s version of ‘Chicago’ for a charity project. Originally it was meant to be a remix but as THE ORB worked on it, it extended to a full album version, Gilmour was then invited to contribute his mastery of both electric and lap steel guitars (and his voice) to add and enrich THE ORB’s creation. The project is being released in 3 formats: standard and 2-disc deluxe versions on CD, digital download and 180-gram vinyl. The deluxe 2-CD version includes an extra disc, featuring the new '3D60™' process, which allows a 360-degree sound experience on stereo tracks without any special equipment and it is to be accompanied by special laser light shows especially created for the album and scheduled for early October in New York and Los Angeles and to be followed up elsewhere.

There are five movements to each “side”; both sides / songs are about equally long. The ‘Metallic’ side is rhythmic with Gilmour’s guitar lending the music a beautiful intensity and sensitivity. The ambience is interesting and unobtrusively dynamic yet serene and peaceful. The vocals together with the changing beat start producing the psychedelic PINK FLOYDish haze more intensely within the third movement; the turntables come stronger into play also and create a wonderful contrast. Each movement turns the whole piece to another level yet again; and THE ORB with David Gilmour effortlessly combine a feel of mystery with ambient and psychedelic rock components. The vast landscapes of rich red, ochre and blues of Arizona, Mexico or similar places would be perfect illustrations for it. In fact, you’re soon travelling within sweeping spaces and have a feeling of timeless expanse of nature, majestic ancient monuments and unmapped psyche alike, in the last movement with disrupting and piercing guitar as if you can begin to hear a disturbance of reason or industrialisation shrinking the vast distances of Earth.

The ‘Spheres’ side starts with steady hypnotic beat, mixed sounds, the psychedelic quality thickens. Lyrics such as “Do you believe in Justice? Do you believe in Freedom? Human Rights... the world we’re living in” are repeated as to reinforce the listener to consider these concepts, one’s beliefs and actions (or lack of them). There’s also a hint of organised chaos at times helping a feeling of disorientation. Whilst the first side lets you wonder in the beauty of sound/nature in the second civilisation with its clamour truly enters and confronts you, the sound distortion, singing and added voices bring a definite surreal component and shades the ‘Spheres’ with emotiveness. The ending is epic. Both sides invite to more listens as each time it opens even more layers and avenues of experiences.

This collaboration of THE ORB and DAVID GILMOUR is seamless and creative. ‘Metallic Spheres’ is a perfect album to listen to contemplate, to let go of stress and enter imagination; it’s enriching, artistic and inspiring, brings many sonic wonders and in many ways rejuvenates and stimulates the listener. 


01. Metallic Side - 24.48
02. Spheres Side -25.09


Alex Patterson - sound distortion / manipulation, keyboards, turntable
Youth (Martin Glover) - keyboards, bass
David Gilmour - guitars

Website /

Cover Picture


Music: 9
Sound: 10
Total: 9.5 / 10


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