THE ORDER OF CHAOS — Maniacal (review)

THE ORDER OF CHAOS — Maniacal album cover Album · 2020 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
The last day of work of the year. Lacking sleep as usual. Riding the train home and listening to some 2020 release that is really good, but I'm standing in the corner of the train and dozing off. Two stops before my station and then a 40-minute walk home because I want to save the bus fare. What to listen to next? Hmm... How about this Order of Chaos album? I haven't really given it a full spin.

Earlier this year, I bought my first album by The Order of Chaos. It was good but the production had that heavy wool blanket feel - the music was dulled down a bit and to me it lost some of its punch. But after a few careful listens, the songs began to stand apart from one another and at last, I decided I liked the band enough to get another album. It was as I was adding them to MMA that I discovered there was a new release, a 2020 album. I placed an order through Bandcamp but was contacted the next day by John Simon Fallon, saying that the CDs were all sold out. He'd see if he had an extra one in his personal collection for me. He didn't and refunded my money. But he also sent me access to download the album in WAV file format. At the time, however, I had so many new CDs coming in that I left off listening to the album.

Until tonight! And wow! I was swept up immediately by the music!

The Order of Chaos are basically a heavy metal band. They're not a trad metal band; the style is more modern. They have thrash moments and the clean-vocal choruses have a hint of power metal. At times they also cover melodic death metal, just without the usual deep, growly vocals. Vocalist Amanda Kiernan sings in both clean and harsh vocals. There are no ballads. This album delivers just straight up heavy hitters.

One obvious difference from their older album that I have is that the production quality better brings out the blast and blister of the music. Those riffs just burn right into your brain. The songs are heavy and solid but sometimes charge ahead or drop back to slam you with another riff. And you can feel it all in the production!

Another reason why this album sounds so good is that Amanda's harsh vocals have improved, in my opinion. Previously, I preferred her clean vocals with harsh vocals as an effect reserved for only parts of the songs. When she sang too much in her shredded voice, I wasn't all that thrilled. Now she sounds awesome! Thankfully, she still keeps the clean vocals which are often double-tracked and harmonized for some of the choruses.

This music on this album feels more consistent than the older one, which played around with mixing styles a little more obviously though still successfully. This album seems to go straight for the gut with one-two punches in every track. It's only the final track, "The Downfall of Belief", where things are clearly different as it's a short instrumental track on clean guitar, very beautiful and a shame to be over so soon.

I would really like to track down a copy on CD if I can, and I'm hoping the other album I have on order will please me as much as this one. It's great to hear a band solidify their style in an album that kills it from from to back!
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Tupan wrote:
2 months ago
Ok, now I want to listen this!


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