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Mayhem - Ordo Ad Chao

Discussion in 'Metal Reviews' started by circus_brimstone, May 2, 2007.

  1. circus_brimstone

    circus_brimstone Forest: Sold Out

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    Mayhem – Ordo Ad Chao
    Season of Mist – SOM150 – April 24, 2007
    By Jason Jordan

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    Due to the departure of Maniac and the subsequent return of Attila, many voiced optimism about Mayhem’s direction for the first time in years. Could they deliver an album as fine and relevant as 1994’s monumental De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas? No and no, but it’s not like anyone expected Hellhammer and crew to do so, or even be able to. Ordo Ad Chao is superior to 2000’s odd Grand Declaration of War and 2004’s lackluster Chimera, however, so some will take consolation in that alone. But again, even though their latest surpasses the two previous full-lengths, that’s still not saying much.

    Ordo Ad Chao, beginning with the near-instrumental ‘A Wise Birthgiver,’ is definitely dark and foreboding, despite the production making it sound as if the music first travels through a thin ‘Wall of Water’ prior to reaching any eardrums. In short, the production is adequate but no better. Speaking of ‘Wall of Water,’ Mayhem change speed often, and on the whole, most songs on OAC do indeed run the gamut of tempo variation. Attila turns in a solid, if overblown, performance that certainly has its flaws. From his raspy whispering to his theatric shouting to his ridiculous bat-like shrieking – all of which can be heard in ‘Great Work of Ages’ and ‘Deconsecrate’ – he becomes increasingly difficult to appreciate as the album unravels.

    Naturally, Hellhammer (Age of Silence, Winds) turns in a good performance like he recently did on Dimmu Borgir’s In Sorte Diaboli, but it’s nothing to get excited about, which isn’t unusual since his freelance MO has enabled him to release a record with a band once a year, if not more often, as evidenced above. The only gripe about Hellhammer’s work here is that, during ‘Psychic Horns,’ ‘Key to the Storms,’ and ‘Anti,’ he utilizes a cymbal bell for several beats on end, and the succession of that specific sound is uncannily similar to what one can hear at any railroad crossing in the United States when the gates lower and the bells ring to signal an oncoming train. It’s unintentionally hilarious, which understandably ruins the mood Mayhem shoot for on those tracks.

    While there’s no obvious Achilles’ heel, Ordo Ad Chao is simply unremarkable. Attila’s vocals, Hellhammer’s drumming, and the harrowing Nachtmystium-esque nature of certain tracks makes it at least a semi-interesting listen, but in the end, though most likely to reach for it over Grand Declaration of War and Chimera, it won’t be that frequent. Mayhem remain in the rut they’ve been trapped in for years – spinning their wheels but accomplishing little in the way of getting unstuck.

    Official Mayhem Website
    Official Season of Mist Website
     
  2. Ikil

    Ikil Member

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    Illuminate Eliminate FTW!
     
  3. Nate The Great

    Nate The Great What would Nathan do?

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    No, no, no, no, no, no, NO!!!!


    This is one of the best BM albums in a LONG time. This is a black and evil as any band has sounded since the second wave of BM started.

    Listen to this for atmosphere and you'll find a TON of it. That's what BM is all about anyway. The music is also original and totally unique for this band.

    This is probably going to be album of the year for me and anybody else with good taste.

    Usually your reviews are right on, but I'm going to have to disagree thoroughly this time.
     
  4. Ikil

    Ikil Member

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    This album DOES have good atmosphere. That is pretty much it. The rest is pretty much average. Where as they do return to some GDOW elements, which I love as GDOW is my fave Mayhem album, the rest of it, whilst being a step up from Chimera, is still pretty average.

    Actually, I think they put more effort into the packaging than the actual music.

    And if this is one of the best BM albums in a long time, then you must be missing out my friend. There are hundreds of BM albums better than this. Even better BM has come out this year with more to come.

    Kroda and Angantyr's new ones slay this about 100 times over.
     
  5. circus_brimstone

    circus_brimstone Forest: Sold Out

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    Pretty much agree with Ikil here.
     
  6. The Living Fields

    The Living Fields Epic Progressive Doom

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    "Chimera" was "lackluster" !??! News to me.
     
  7. Ikil

    Ikil Member

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    ^^^

    I take it you're new to forums since you didn't know that? :p
     
  8. Nate The Great

    Nate The Great What would Nathan do?

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    The gayness flows around these parts.
     
  9. Ikil

    Ikil Member

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    ^^^

    Ahh, so that's why you're here. Ah well, guess we all have different reasons for coming to this place :p
     
  10. Unfaithfully Metalhead

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    I liked Chimera <shrugs> .... especially Dark Night of the Soul, My Death and Chimera... and I like Maniac's vocals way better then Attila's... any album that Attila is on turns me off to that album immediately... sort of nails scratching a chalkboard... gives me a chill down my spine but not because it's good... :puke:
     
  11. ConvergeNerd

    ConvergeNerd Member

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    Wow, what a boring fuckin' album. They haven't put out a half-decent record in fifteen years. Hang it up, boys.
     
  12. yourdeadgroom

    yourdeadgroom Black Stone Wielder

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    Really strong atmosphere on the album, although I half wonder if that is mostly to do with the suffocating production (not a bad thing). Atmosphere is all it has going for it though, there seems to be a complete lack of interesting riffs. Granted I've only had it 2 days and need more time to absorb it, but at this point I can't really distinguish one song from another.
     
  13. OldScratch

    OldScratch Member

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    Help me understand how is this accurately described "suffocating"(suffocated?) production NOT a bad thing? It sounds like the whole thing was recorded under a woolen blanket! The mix is just dreadful - it seems there are some decent ideas on this disc somewhere...but they are just lost in this awful production.
     
  14. The production is bad, because of all that well-produced albums everywhere... Black Metal should have nothing in common with crappy band like Dimmu and the others... That's the reason I don't listen to black any more... with a few exceptions - the bands playing music for themselves, not for the stupid folks all around the world...
     
  15. Alwin

    Alwin problem solver

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    Hi people - just felt the need to reply to this one.

    I think the album does make more sense when played more than 10 times - in other words, it grows on you.

    The production is not a bad thing necessarily - try playing it very loud ;)

    Apart from the train bells, the atmosphere is dark and long...
     
  16. Therma lobsterdore

    Therma lobsterdore Self marinating

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    I agree with you on the riffs, I thought they were all pretty lackluster on this album, hence I can't enjoy it too much.
     
  17. jervi

    jervi dead but dreaming

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    ...Like Pavlovian conditioning? :loco:
     
  18. blazzagath

    blazzagath New Metal Member

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    fucking classic album. hail mayhem!!
     
  19. Rohan

    Rohan New Metal Member

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    I was browsing the site and thought i'd sign up and disagree with the review. This album hands down is the best black metal album in years and already in my all time top 10 black metal albums. If youve never delved down into the lower reaches of your soul, A you dont know who you truly are and B you wont get this album, youre better off listening to some melodic pretty black metal and staying in your safety zone. This album slays and whats better it slays covertly,and thus it will lack comprehension to the posers and uninitiated, but for those with a keen ear as you unravel its many layers all will become clear or not as it were because the atmosphere that prevails on the album is occult dark claustrophobic and foreboding, it sounds like a horde of depraved ravenous demons entombed for millennia deep under the earth have just clawed their way to the surface and emerged through the floor of a candlelit convent full of virgin nuns and are unleashing themselves on the bitches,I gotta hand it to Mayhem they pulled it out of the bag on this one and recorded an album that fucking owns, anyone with a low iq will not get this album because simply they lack the capacity to comprehend it ;), there is intelligence malevolence violence and despair woven into this piece of Dark art and all Hails! goes to Mayhem because theyre back and more evil than ever. With Ordo ad Chao Mayhem reclaim the throne of Black Metal and then proceed to piss all over it. Album of the Year!!
     
  20. BrandonS

    BrandonS Member

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    Either people expect too much out of them, or the fanboys defend them but are totally biased. A new Mayhem record is a catch22.
     

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