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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 2 October 2003
Through the hazy rose tinted glasses of the raver of days gone by, Orbital II is generally regarded as THE Orbital album. The epic medley which starts off with Lush 3-1, the Opus 3 sampling Halcyon + On + On ... the perfect album to remind you of those times gone by. For me, however, this is THE Orbital album for me. Everything up to and including In Sides has been a wicked progression on the part of Orbital (it kinda goes a bit downhill after that, but hey ho!). Snivilisation ramps up the production quality, out go the acid house beats and rave-y stabs, in come smootly programmed electro beats, lush inviting synths and epic tracks. The orchestral meets electro opener Forever gently eases you into the album before the burbling I Wish I Had Duck Feet shows you that Orbital have decided to get a bit more experimental with their sound. You know you've hit on something special when Sad But True kicks in, I've had many a wicked time wandering around with this track blaring into my ears. Dubby electro beats, harsh acidic synths and then out of nowhere ... Alison Goldfrapp comes into the mix and takes you up to a blissful height. A amazingly crafted track. Crash And Carry harkens back to their acid house sound of earlier albums, thrashing, very progressive trance with epic stabbing synths. A really driving track. Science Friction kicks off a nice little medley twosome, a chilled electro track with gentle synths before shifting up a gear and becoming more melacholic as it moves into Philosophy By Numbers with its 'evil professors lab' bubbling noises and samples of people asking you if you'd like to study philosophy. Kein Trink Wasser starts off with a wall of pianos, before breaking down into a bouncy little electro track. Quality Seconds ... well alright, they're not so quality, in fact the skip button comes into play on this one, LUCKILY its a 1 minute blip in a wonderful journey. Its basically, thrash rock hardcore. Everything is restored as you hit the 15 minute breakbeat epic Are We Here? it shifts through so many moods and changes, frantic alarm sirens, tribal beats, eerie vocals ... it starts off quite dark before shifting up towards a more optimistic mood towards the end. The album is nicely rounded off with an ambient classic Attached, chilled electro beats, gentle acid synths and a lovely orchestral string sample filters in up and around the track. The perfect way to end.
Orbital manage to show that there was more to them than just the acid house sound of their previous album without completely leaving their roots behind. It also shows how they ended up progressing to the more orchestral sound of the also fabulous In Sides. Some parts acid house, some parts film score ... a fantastic album with wicked scope. Get it. Then get In Sides, then get Orbital I & II. It'll cost you more than the 'Best of....' but its FAR more rewarding!
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on 15 February 2006
In my opinion this is has always been Orbitals greatest album and even in retrospect it still withstands this test of time. Tracks like 'Sad But True', and 'Are We Here' are probably the albums highlights but it should be listened to from start to finish to appreciate the albums journey like quality.
I would go as far and say that this album is the 1990's electronic answer to Pink Floyds Dark Side of the Moon. The sampled voices and snippets of conversation that keep appearing and reappearing throughout and between the tracks on the 'Snivilisation' album create the same eerie sense of borderline phychosis that can also be found on Pink Floyds famous album .
Even though both albums have that same pattern of schizothymic deterioration purposely running through them, in my opinion 'Snivilisisation' at times comes across as the more melencholic of the two.
'Snivilisation' captured the essence of the 1990's better than any other album of that decade, dance or otherwise, and is the most overlooked and under rated album of any period and sadly will probably remain this way for evermore.
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on 28 March 2016
Orbital at their best.

Crash and Carry is a superb track. It chugs like a train. It pumps and electronically pulses. Put it through a good sound system and you will hear a multitude of layered electronic sounds fading in and out of the melody. Each one more interesting than the one before.

Philosophy by Numbers is a wonderful slow rave that is abstract in construct. Almost tribal.

Are We hear. Jungle sounds, almost D and B. Pulsates in between the samples with dark intertwined melodies. Takes you somewhere else.

Attached could almost be chill. I Wish I had Duck Feet could almost be an Orb track.

The influences are countless.

Great little album for any fan of Orbital and electronic music in general.
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on 9 December 2010
The first Orbital album I heard was The Middle Of Nowhere & I thought it was fantastic until I heard In Sides, which I thought (and still think) was a masterpiece. Then I heard Snivilisation. I don't normally love albums after just two listens but this stuck in my head straight away. Every time I listen to it I am instantly hooked again. There isn't a bad track on this album. I am torn over which album is better In Sides Or Snivilisation. Well I am still undecided but as I write this I think Snivilisation just edges it.

The first thing that strikes you is the political commentery. Something Orbital had never done before. The sample in "Forever" the lead track is great and set to a good melody. "Forever" sets the albums up for you. "I wish i had duck feet" uses a great sample and a wonderful riff and it satirises the egotistical and vain behaviour in people who have plastic surgery. Yes satire in an electronic album! Crazy! But it works and you don't need to get bogged down in the messages to enjoy it either which makes it even more phenomenal.

Other highlights (there aren't any lowlights to be honest) include the soft, ambient melody of "Science Friction". You start to think that this really is a smart and innovative record. And then you get to "Kein Trink Wasser".

Quite simply "Kein Trink Wasser" is stunning. It is easily my favourite song by Orbital (and that's some title to hold). The piano riff is beautiful and then you get a synth workout before the two collide in a mashup that sends me into heaven. It elevates this album into the greatest ever pantheon. What cements that position are the last 2 tracks. "Are We Here?" & "Attached". In between you have the 1 and a half minute thrash metal workout "Quality Seconds" which is both short and sweet.

But the pinnacle is reached with "Are We Here?" & "Attached" two of the longest tracks Orbital ever wrote. I cannot tell you how good they are on a small review like this but suffice to say the Hartnoll Brothers really went for it on this album and succeeded. By adding a third member (Alison Goldfrapp) and showing all their styles off, from thrash-metal to ambient, they give us an album that is their greatest. It is an album that deserves to held in the greatest ever books and one you should all enjoy.
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on 18 April 2012
There's no black and white, there's grey too, like Snivilisation....it's bleak. It's all subjective of course but I think this is Orbital's masterpiece.
Saying that doesn't make In Sides any less of a masterpiece so don't let that last sentence offend you. I have every orbital release (up until The Altogether) on vinyl, got them before the days of ebay, when it was HARD to get all the rarities, you'd ask record shop owners to call you if someone sold one to them, you'd get those butterflies in the stomach if you saw a rare disc in front of you, you don't get that anymore with the advent of mp3 unfortunately...so I've put my time into this band.
I realise the masses love In Sides better, but I put this album on and every time I think "how on earth did they compose this?!? Where are they getting this inspiration from?"
In Sides (amazing album) just doesn't contain the complexity of this album for me if I were to compare. I just love the darkness on Snivilisation...it's cynical, angry and it holds a mirror up to us. I don't know how, as it's just beats, samples and melody...but it does! Loads of techno has samples but they've really thought about the juxtapostion here and it really chills the listener. The melodies, the layers, the beats, the actual atmosphere of the tracks themselves, It's totally unique. I feel sorry for you guys that don't appreciate it! You need to turn the lights down and let it scare you...In Sides and Snivilisation are the polar opposites of Orbital's range and yet both are awesome. Be glad they gave us both.

Show me a better track than Science Friction (which i'm listening to now...)! man that piano just floats, writes itself. That ping pong bass is inspired... and when those biting kicks come in...not too heavy, just right...ticka ticka ticka ticka.

In Sides will probably be my favorite Orbital album in a few hours time when I put it on. Then this will be my favorite + on + on...There is the theory of the Mobius..
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on 13 June 2006
This has to be Orbitals best work they ever created, it's darker, deeper and more mesmorising than any of their other cds. Yes it might not be as lush as some of their later stuff (some used to the sound of orbital thought it was cold!) but it goes that bit further. A progressive ambient voyage of a twisted nature with superb layering of instruments and pulsating synths. There are in my opinion no stand out tracks just press play and enjoy the ride.
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on 16 January 2005
This album shows why Orbital are probably classic.
The sounds on this album are a little dated now, but the songs are just so rich their music still stands out. The number of instruments and samples they use, and the way they relate, makes their music much more complex than most dance floor and other electronic music that I have heard.
I never tire of them because there are so many paths to follow through each track.
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on 24 September 2005
I cannot agree more with the some of the reviews. You need to let this album soak into you to before you really appreciate the greatness. I am a big Orbital fan and frankly some of their later output (The Altogether especially) was lazy and just formulaic compared to this gem. I only think Orbital came close to this again with "The Middle of Nowhere."

Snivilisation has to be approached as a complete work and not sampled by playing odd tracks. I'm just glad I gave it a few tries and discovered the minimal crafted anger, beauty and depth.

Yikes; I know this all sounds a bit pretentious but this album really moved me and still does. I cannot rate it highly enough and I will still listen to it in years to come; not because of nostalgia but because it is a unique piece of raw intelligent electonica/techno.
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on 10 September 2009
This is not only the best cd Orbital ever made, by far, but also a masterpiece of electronica generally, perhaps one of the greatest electronica sets ever. I've had this album over 15 years and I never tire of listening to it. On the strength of this I bought every cd Orbital ever made, but none quite rose to its level (no shame there this was hard to top). This was clearly a distillation of their talent at its height. Sublime work.

Impossible to categorise (other than electronica), as all great music is. This will always be on my top ten lists of greatest albums ever.
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VINE VOICEon 2 November 2003
My favourite Orbital album. This was the first album by the group that I heard and I was completely taken with their sound after it.
First track 'Forever' is the best Orbital song ever, in my view. It's classic Orbital and just shows them at their creative best. 'Kein Trink Wasser (No Drinking Water) is a keyboard tapping melody which will stay in your head for a long time afterwards, it's that memorable.
Considered too highbrow by some fans, see what you think.
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