In 2008 the band ORBYNOT formed in New Jersey, USA. The somewhat strange name is due to founder Anthony “Tony” Gabriele, who unceremoniously wrote his nickname “Tonybro” backwards. There is a very interesting story behind it. In 2002, at the tender age of 19, it was a woman who encouraged Tony to take guitar lessons until he lost interest in them again in 2006. However, the music did not let him go and two years later he took part in a workshop that finally threw him into the music world. The reason for this was the initiator of the workshop, Metal Mike, operator of the Aarius Studios in Sayerville, New Jersey, who saw potential in the young man. He took Tony under his wing and shortly afterwards there was not only the lead guitar but also a befriended singer who even played a few live performances with Tony. In the following year he got to know drummer Metal J, who offered to hit on the skins for him, in 2010 the recording started in the Aarius Studios. Then classic name dropping takes place: “ScreamKing” Joe Lawson sings five songs, three more Sara Teets, plus guest singers like Sean Peck from Cage and “Kobra” Paige from Kobra & The Lotus. The debut album Try To Stop Me will finally be released in 2012 – the band is still not complete with that. But Tony can attract more musicians, the Mexican guitar virtuoso Poc plays lead guitar on a few gigs in New Jersey and New York and even sings a song, he goes into the studio with Hillary Blaze from Judas Priestess and Jaded. The rest is history.

The first years were already turbulent, and calm never really returned. Three albums were released in 2012, 2015 and 2018, since 2017 Shreddy Den Den on bass and Dave Frech on drums, the latter also playing for thrashers Thanatotic Desire. What is missing is once again the permanent singer and while the band is looking, ORBYNOT slams an EP at the feet of the world with the sonorous name: The Ripper Sessions – and incidentally, it is mentioned who Tony Gabriele has landed as a guest singer this time.

1997 to 2003 there was a period at Judas Priest when Rob Halford was not on the microphone. From 2003 to 2007 Jon Schaffer was not the singer of Iced Earth – well, that has now been dealt with again. Yngwie Malmsteen, Charred Walls of the Damned, KK’s Priest, other vocal performances with Avantasia, Desdemon, Wolfpakk, SoulSpell, Debauchery – the list is long and who is behind it? None other than Tim “Ripper” Owens! He now also lends his vocals to the new EP from ORBYNOT.

A good start with “Ripped to Shreds”. Fat guitar sound that echoes from the speakers, there is no sound too much, no modern frills, just the good old triumvirate: guitar, bass and drums. Even before the unmistakable voice of Owens can be heard, I am tied up! Back to the roots, hard rock that is seldom found, which immediately catapults you back into the 80s. In between with a nice guitar solo, followed by heavy, pounding bass. You have this deep, somewhat strenuous singing, yes, you also know it from Judas Priest and others, in between the rounding off screaming in the background.

With “Until We Meet Again”, ORBYNOT have created a perfect metal ballad that is on par with the legendary “November Rain” by Guns’n’Roses – only the haunting clip is missing, but when you listen to it, your own film plays in your head away. Perfect song for autumn, this sad, dark, cool time, thematizing the farewell and at the same time admonishing to use and enjoy the time you have. The number totally catches me, it’s perfect stuff for goosebumps and tears in your eyes. Owens‘ voice comes into its own here, he can do it. The instruments stay in the background, but give one

The four-track EP contains both songs again as an instrumental version, if you watch them on YouTube, the text is even faded in, for everyone who wants to play metal karaoke again (winter is long). The version of “Ripped to Shreds” is a mere three minutes longer and really does a lot of guitar work. You can hear what the instrumentalists are doing, how much power they put into their work and how little they actually push themselves into the foreground. There are good riffs, there is really power behind them, good old hard rock, as was very much appreciated in the past. “Until We Meet Again” can also exist without singing. Here you can hear a beautiful lead guitar that even manages not to miss the vocals – and that means something!

What’s wrong with The Ripper Sessions? The fact that there are only two songs, you just want more, is absolutely hooked and is looking for the previous long players. It’s just worth it – even if you have to take into account that Tim Owens is not singing. With this one Tony Gabriele got a great singer on the microphone, who is absolutely convincing and maybe it wasn’t the last collaboration. ORBYNOT are currently looking for a singer, so it remains to be seen what the future will bring. The Ripper Sessions has definitely turned out to be a good, albeit extremely short EP that is a must for hard rock fans and will certainly make the band known far beyond New Jersey’s borders.


ORBYNOT – The Ripper Sessions
Independent, 2021
available as download

1. Ripped to Shreds (feat. Tim “Ripper” Owens)
2. Until We Meet Again (feat. Tim “Ripper” Owens)
3. Ripped to Shreds (instrumental)
4. Until We Meet Again (instrumental)