Before leaving The Orb, member Kris Weston had begun work on Orbus Terrarum. However, when he left The Orb, German producer Thomas Fehlmann joined as a full-time studio member. The Orb, now consisting of Alex Paterson, Andy Hughes, and Fehlmann, finished producing Orbus Terrarum. Unlike previous albums by The Orb, Orbus Terrarum featured more "earthbound" and "organic" sounds instead of the trippy science fiction themed music they had previously written.Orbus Terrarum suffered, as Paterson described it, "a good kicking" at the hands of the British press, who described it as "generic ambient music" and stated that it was a low point for Paterson's creativity.Orbus Terrarum further alienated many of the group's fans as they had with Pomme Fritz, causing the album to only reach No. 20 on the UK charts, much lower than their previous albums. American critics, however, gave it great acclaim, including Rolling Stone who made it their album of the month, citing the album's symphonic flow coupled with The Orb's "uniquely British wit".
A quote from Tony Benn, Labour MP, graces the inner case of the 1995 release and the CD booklet of the 2008 re-issue. It says, "There may be a legal obligation to obey, but there will be no moral obligation to obey. When it comes to history, it will be the people who broke the law for freedom that will be remembered and honoured."
In 2008, Orbus Terrarum was remastered and released with a bonus remix disc. The package includes liner notes written by Kris Needs.