The album starts with the track “Cauldron.” It’s 4:24 seconds of chaotic, dissonant riffing at breakneck tempo. It’s a decent song, but nothing sticks out as being particularly memorable, and it grows a tad repetitive and boring. “Slaves” is a little more varied in its structure and fits more than two musical ideas into its runtime. Despite being something of a lyrical overkill in the vocal department, on the whole it is a fairly strong track. Up next is “Exorcism.” The drumming during the slow sections is hampered by a sloshy, open hi-hat. Someone get that man a drop clutch. The band execute their tempo changes fluently, with nothing sounding jagged or poorly planned out. The guitar solo could have been better. It sounds like a wank fest by a 17-year-old who is just learning to shred. “Postmortem” comes across as sort of musically confused. The band play through several motifs, never taking any time to develop them. It’s like musical A.D.D. “Mengele’s” is a moderately long track with a fairly linear structure. IT is structurally similar to “Postmortem” except the themes are given time to develop. The guitar solo is also much more well thought out and better executed. “Golem” is a 1:40 burst of up tempo black metal. The drums seem particularly loud on this track and, during the dense ending section, drown out the guitar and make the song sound sort of off time. “Chained” kicks off in a sort of punk influenced kind of territory before giving to a fairly progressive mid section and wrapping up with the same punk infused motif from the intro. The song is aided somewhat by the absence of shred guitar. Wrapping things up is “Godslayer” which is, for some reason, divided into two tracks. One that is little more than a minute of build up and the second which is the song proper. Long songs in black metal generally go one of two ways, really good or boring. Unfortunately, “Godslayer” falls into the latter category. The first half of the song drags. It’s mostly one or two themes repeated over and over again until the 3:19 to 4:50 mark. The band would have been better served by interspersing the bits of this instrumental section throughout the song to break up the monotony. On the whole, a decent, but inconsistent record.
Key Songs: Slaves, Mengele’s, Chained
After the somewhat dull opening track, things pick up with “The Divine Reward.” A linear song that features some tight riffing complete with a middle section that showcases some fluid lagato playing. “A Controlled Extinction” is 2:16 seconds of tight, technical dissonance. “Pornography of War” is an exercise in musical A.D.D. The band never mine a single theme for too long, but they move seamlessly from one motif to another. “World Descending” is a short, quasi-atmospheric guitar instrumental. It’s short and seems to be little more than a short respite from the otherwise brutal release. “Creatures of the Grid” picks the momentum back up with its tremolo picked intro and hardcore tinged first verse. My one complaint with the song would be that the half-time section struck me as being a little too long. “Dawn of Quiescence” is what could best be described a somber instrumental ballad that features some smooth, melodic solo work. After the previous track, “The Final Exhalation” strikes as something of a bullet to the brain with its tight, speedy riffing and blast beat drumming in the intro and dissonant black metal-like first verse. The musical maelstrom also includes some chaotic, but still strikingly melodic riffs and a short guitar solo. “Stricken” is fairly straightforward death metal replete with low, dissonant riffing and chaotic, whammy bar laced guitar solos. The musical highlight is definitely the stuttering, shifting mid-section that ends around 2:18. “The God Species” does little to reinvent the genre, but is nonetheless a well composed slab of death metal. The same holds true for “Medicated.” “Global Autopsy” is another short instrumental interlude. At 6:29, the title track is also the album’s longest. Thankfully it is packed with enough musical variation and momentum to keep it from collapsing under its own weight and becoming boring. On the whole, Order of the Enslaved is a quality and consistent record. The riffing should prove busy enough to hold the interest of even the most easily distracted of music fans and the drumming is top notch.
Key Songs: Order of the Enslaved, The Final Exhalation
I found this album to be a little dated and corny. Everything–from the echo on the vocals, the loud, flat snare drum, the choked, nasally guitar tone, to the tom toms that sound like they were recorded with the bottom heads removed–the whole thing just smacked of the mid-80s. There is some decent material here, but it is, unfortunately, drowned in a sea of wanton ear worship.
Key Song: Decomposmopolitan
A four song release that clocks in at around 55:46. “I” is a meandering mess of monotonous riffs linked together by overlong sound collages. The only respite from this disastrous format comes during the third track, “A Step.”
Key Song: A Step