Although I’m sure it’s something of an exaggeration to say it, it seems that every other band these days is a band that was originally around during the 1980’s and broke up only to reform some years later, or hasn’t released an album in a lot longer time than is ‘normal’. Obsession from the United States are the next band to come onto my radar that falls into this little group, having formed in 1982, but with 2012’s Order of Chaos only being their fourth full-length album to date. It is also their first album since Carnival of Lies (2006). A sizeable gap, but nothing compared to the one between Carnival of Lies and Methods of Madness (1987), as the band had previously been broken up since 1989 until their reformation in 2004. This is a similar story which also applies to artists such as Hell, Heretic, Malice (for bands that broke up) and Black Abyss, Prototype and Wintersun (for bands that simply hadn’t made an album in ages), and like with the other bands mentioned here, Obsession’s Order of Chaos is another case where the music is of a high grade.
Through and through, Order of Chaos is as traditional a metal album as you’re likely to ever find, but it also contains some minor power metal elements in a couple of places. Despite the time when the band was first around, Order of Chaos doesn’t feel retro, and the riffs typically have a bit more bite to them aggression wise than is really normal for traditional metal, but without the music ever really pushing into a more extreme metal genre such as thrash. The songs on the album are all relatively short and catchy jobs, so although Obsession prove themselves very good at what they do the album does lack for a bit of variation to their approach. I can’t help feeling how the impact of the album as a whole may have been increased if there was just one track which was built upon a more epic song structure. Think what a song like Hallowed Be Thy Name does for Iron Maiden’s classic The Number of the Beast album, that’s the sort of thing which is missing from Order of Chaos.
This does mean that although Order of Chaos is packed with catchy tracks, many of them with some great riffs and leads, such as the near neoclassical extended solo section during Cold Day in Hell, the album doesn’t ultimately have anything out of the ordinary to make it stand out. Despite that, I would say that many of the songs are more than a cut above what I’d considered average for a traditional metal album and so while Order of Chaos doesn’t manage to stick with me in quite the same way as some of the other traditional metal albums of the year, a great album tier rating is most definitely deserved.
(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org/obsession-order-of-chaos-t2709.html))