|Death Metal, Grindcore
Blast Head Records
July 8th, 2014
Release length: 47:11
Order of the Enslaved manages to blend together more of a technical Death Metal structure within a fair amount of grinding passages, often creating a naturally commanding atmosphere that demands you obey and march along to your own demise like a good little headbanger. “Peace. Tranquillity. Subsequent. Deception.” introduces this immediately with a pounding faster pace that sounds like a deceleration of war, capitalizing off the raw drumming that blasts forward behind some complex chords and a bass presence that could have been a little louder. Of course there’s a good amount of groove heavy Death Metal present, a little tomfoolery in the cymbals about a minute in, and a slam thirty seconds later that said louder bass output would have greatly helped. Even the guitar solo could have used a little more substance to it despite that aforementioned instrument coming through well enough.
That militaristic sensation can also be felt on “Creatures of the Grid” as it hammers away with a strict discipline only the vocals can deviate from with permission. It’s a less enthusiastic Napalm Death-esque mixture that only continues to grow into a truly epic and burdening piece until just past the two minute mark. The shift towards more of a groove foundation with a Hardcore touch from time to time is fairly questionable, greatly hindering the impact of the sheer power that existed, not to mention how it all worked to make one of the most filled out songs the album has to offer. “The Divine Reward” is much like the last half as well, at times coming off similar to the Cannibal Corpse song “To Decompose”, though the steady faster drumming behind the various somewhat chilling hooks and held notes from the guitars help give it its own identity.
Order of the Enslaved also uses that rougher audio quality, though not to the point where it sounds as though it were recorded in a series of catacombs somewhere. Thankfully a good deal of this recording still sounds just as creepy. One such performance is the highly abrasive “The Final Exhalation”. The tighter drums really fill up the music behind the many hooks that lend an aura of chaos to the mix as well. The additional raspy screams, such as approaching the two minute mark, give it a bit of variety as the ominous atmosphere reaches Abysmal Torment levels. Even the instrumental “World Descending” is unsettling, making you feel as though the lone survivor following an air strike that may not yet be over.
Order of the Enslaved is a fantastic blend of groove infused Technical Death Metal with Grindcore habits that make the performances not only atmospheric, but also some of the most commanding you’ll find within the genre in the past few years. The only problem is that there’s a good number of songs that just sound a bit thin overall, mostly at the start of the release. Had the bass been a little louder, or perhaps some better levels on the drum kit, or even i an additional guitar layer been incorporated, this would have been a far more ruthless recording than it ends up being. For a band only just now hitting their second full-length album in roughly eight years of existence, Order of the Enslaved shows that, once again, patience with this band is rewarded handsomely with a fantastically brutal offering that, faults aside, shouldn’t be passed up so quickly.
01. Peace. Tranquillity. Subsequent. Deception. – 4:20
02. The Divine Reward – 4:07
03. A Controlled Extinction – 2:16
04. Pornography of War – 3:04
05. World Descending – 1:31
06. Creatures of the Grid – 4:46
07. Dawn of Quiescence – 4:04
08. The Final Exhalation – 3:12
09. Stricken – 4:47
10. The God Species – 4:17
11. Medicated – 3:17
12. Global Autopsy – 1:01
13. Order of the Enslaved – 6:29
|Initial Pressing Score: 8/10
via Transcending Obscurity PR.