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The Netherlands' Orphanage were one of many metal bands fronted by female singers that scored record deals in the wake of the Gathering's cult and Nightwish's commercial success, but their far more extreme doom/death affiliations made it impossible for the group's career to take off in similar fashion. Utrecht-based George Oosthoek, who handled harsh vocals, guitarist Lex Vogelaar, keyboardist Guus Eikens, and bassist Eric Hoogendoorn supposedly sketched out the band's fate as early as 1987, but it wasn't until some six years later that the first Orphanage demos began cropping up, and not until 1995 that their debut album, Oblivion -- featuring drummer Erwin Polderman and erstwhile Gathering singer Martine Van Loon -- gained release through a small independent label. A second full-length entitled By Time Alone followed one year later and an EP, At the Mountains of Madness, in 1997, and while both of them featured a talented new frontwoman in Rosan van der Aa, Orphanage's big break came in 2000, when their third album, Inside, was picked up by Nuclear Blast. Unfortunately, the disc didn't fare particularly well and the band crumbled under the pressure to deliver a better follow-up, and only managed to resurface four years later when Oosthoek, van der Aa, and Eikens drafted new members Remko van der Spek (bass), Lasse Delbrügge (keyboards), and Sureel (drums, and probably non-human ones, at that) to eke out a final LP named simply Driven, which was anything but given the group's final dissolution just one year later.
© Eduardo Rivadavia /TiVo
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