OBSESSION — Order of Chaos

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OBSESSION - Order of Chaos cover
3.89 | 5 ratings | 4 reviews
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Album · 2012

Filed under US Power Metal


1. Order Of Chaos
2. Twist Of The Knife
3. Forbidden Desire
4. When The Smoke Clears
5. License To Kill
6. Wages Of Sin
7. Cold Day In Hell
8. Act Of God
9. Mercy Killing
10. Dark Shadows
11. The Damned (Japan bonus track)


- Michael Vescera / Vocals
- John Bruno / Guitars
- Scott Boland / Guitars
- Chris McCarvill / Bass
- B.J. Zampa / Drums

About this release

Label: Inner Wound Recordings (EUR, NA), Spiritual Beast (Japan)
Release Date: September 19 (Japan),October 3 (EUR), and October 9 (NA) 2012

Thanks to Stooge for the addition


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Kev Rowland
Those metalheads with a long memory may remember when Obsession first came onto the scene on the ‘Metal Massacre 2’ compilation from Metal Blade Records (which also included Armored Saint and Overkill among others) before releasing the EP ‘Marshall Law’ in 1984 and then following it up with two albums before breaking up in 1989. Singer Michael Vescera joined Loudness and then Yngwie Malmsteen before reforming the band in 2004 and releasing their third album ‘Carnival of Lies’ in 2006. This is their first album since then, so it has been quite a gap (although not as much as between the second and third). The line-up these days is Michael Vescera (Animetal USA, ex Loudness, Yngwie Malmsteen) – vocals, BJ Zampa (ex Dokken, Yngwie Malmsteen, House of Lords) – drums, Scott Boland (MVP) – guitars, John Bruno (X Factor X) – guitars, Chris Mccarvill (House of Lords, ex Dokken, Jeff Scott Soto) – bass. Yep, these guys have all played in top bands, and it shows.

Just for fun, I put on “Shadows of Steel” from the ‘Metal Massacre 2’ compilation to provide a comparison and the only thing that are the same are the vocals of Michael Vescera – to say that they have moved on is something of an understatement as their sound (even allowing for the awful production back then) was far more basic then it is today, a thin layer as opposed to a solid mass of complexity. True, there were intricate guitar and basslines in the early Eighties but nothing compared to what they are providing now. That was the entrée, but now we have the main meal.

Power Metal with strong vocals and shredding guitars, this is something that fans of bands such as Iced Earth, Annihilator and Presto Ballet could well get a lot out of. Just need to get them to work on their output now… www.theobsession.net
Obsession are one of the many metal bands that released a couple of albums in the eighties' before disbanding, but unlike a few other classic acts that have disappeared into oblivion, this American group reformed in 2002 and is back to deliver their style of old school metal to fans worldwide. 2012's Order of Chaos is Obsession's second album since their reformation (and fourth overall), and although it doesn't show the band venturing outside of their comfort zone, their decidedly retro sound is likely to find appeal within the metal community.

Order of Chaos may have been released well into the twenty first century, but everything about this album screams heavy metal from the 1980's. The energetic riffs, soaring vocals, and generally straightforward compositions bring traditional acts like Iron Maiden and Metal Church to mind, as well as US power metal bands like Savatage or Iced Earth. Largely due to the crunchy guitar sounds and powerful riffs, Obsession's music is a bit more aggressive than one may expect from a traditional metal release, but it is still unquestionably old school and never ventures into extreme metal territory.

Although Order of Chaos is a well-played, well-produced, and generally engaging listen, I'd be curious to hear Obsession include more varied song structures into their future releases. Order of Chaos is a very good album, but it treads a bit too lightly to really make my blood boil. Still, I've found my experience with Order of Chaos to be highly enjoyable, and fans of acts like Metal Church and Iced Earth are highly advised to check it out!
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))
Time Signature
License to kill...

Genre: heavy metal

Yes, it is true that metal has come a long way since the 1980s and evolved into a plethora of subgenres - one more awesome than the other - but there just is something uniquely attractive about authentic old school metal, a certain je ne sais quoi, which cannot be copied.

This is where Obsession comes into the picture. They are a band from the 1980s who are active today in the 2000s and, despite drastic changes in the line-up, they still have that je ne sais quoi. From beginning to end "Order from Chaos" is a lesson in how to play real metal. There is riff upon riff of top grade metal crunchiness, and, because of the fact that the guitar sound is considerably gritty and the atmosphere generally dark, there is really an aggressive edge to this album which lacked from the more polished sounding metal productions of the 1980s.

Although firmly rooted in traditional metal, Obsession's music on this album draws a lot on US Power metal, which is evident in the catchy and epic-sounding choruses as well as in the neoclassicisms that pop up every now and again in lead guitar pieces. "Order from Chaos" is also a notch above most traditional metal in aggression which would, I would say, justify the argument that Obsession really have one foot in the traditional metal camp and one foot in the US Power metal camp.

Regardless of which genre one prefers for this album, one fact remains and that is that it is a really good metal album. The musicianship is impeccable, and Michael Vescera's unique voice is really the cherry on top of the cream.

Fans of traditional metal and old school power metal must not miss out on this instant heavy metal classic!

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