Orthrelm began as a sort of continuation of Mick Barr's earlier guitar/drums duo (with Malcolm McDuffie) Crom-Tech (which itself was sort of a continuation of his short-lived guitar/bass/drums trio Or Rathol Nok) that had broken up, main difference being Orthrelm lacking the vocals. Mick had sent Josh a tape of some songs (later recorded as "Iorxhscimtor") he had worked on and wanted to put to rest, Josh answered and some time later Orthrelm was formed. During 2001 Orthrelm recorded nearly their entire output so far, both old pre-Orthrelm material composed solely by Barr and new collaborative material were recorded. Among these were the infamous "Asristir Veildrioxe" an album consisting of 99 short micro-compositions in barely 12 minutes. Also released was a split with Touchdown and these tracks could be the pinnacle of the earlier Barr/Blair compositions. During 2002-2004 they worked on composing "OV" initially influenced by middle-eastern music. They toured and performed alot during this time. Some acts they toured with include The Locust, Pig Destroyer, Growing and Zombi.
In early 2006 the band were forced to cancel their tour because one of the members was ill. Since then Orthrelm has been very quiet "active though dormant for most of the time" as they put it. But they say there's still plans to resurrect and write.