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Orion is comprised of three distinct movements. The first and third are in 4/4 time, while the middle section is in 6/8. The piece is “through composed,” with each section developing upon the last without repeating.
On Orion, Lars Ulrich’s drumming is strong, supportive and interactive. Ulrich plays the hi-hat with a consistent eighth-note flow, avoiding unnecessary ornamentation. Variations of the grooves mainly involve accentuating the up and backbeats with crash cymbals and setting up new sections of the piece with long, descending tom fills.
In the first decade of Metallica’s existence, Lars’ drum sets featured six large power-toms (called “square” sizing) ranging from 12″ to 18″. Each was heavily dampened, tuned low and close in pitch to its neighboring tom. In the early ’90s, Ulrich stripped back his kits to four toms spanning 10″ to 16″/18″, which he has used consistently since.