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If I didn’t know any better, I’d assume that every member of De Lirium’s Order spent time in an asylum. With 10 songs dedicated to perversion, torture, mutilation, and murder, I’d be hard pressed to find anyone who thought differently. Attempting to sound as mentally unstable as possible, De Lirium’s Order offers listeners “Victim No. 52”, a demented trip of nearly flawless melo-death/thrash.
Formed in Finland, De Lirium’s Order comes from a country that’s no stranger to heavy music. I mean, Finland reeks of metal! Bands like Children of Bodom, Kalmah, Deathchain, and Insomnium should be known to any self-proclaimed metal head. However, De Lirium’s Order shares similarity with only one of those bands (Deathchain), and sounds nothing like the rest. While others make heavy use of melody to add a slight marvel to their sound, De Lirium’s Order incorporate it with a different ploy in mind: insanity.
Taking a quick glance through the track list will show that this isn’t going to be an introspective, thought searching album. Does “The Art of Butchering” sound like a damn acoustic piece to you? Or how about “Nightmare in Apartment 213”, which any knowledgeable Slayer fan could tell you is a song about Jeffrey Dahmer! The music itself doesn’t just connect with the song title either; it perfectly represents it. “Sanctuary of Incineration” is a blast trip through Hell, utilizing shredding leads, dark growls, and blasting drum patterns. Here you get the first taste of Corpses’ warped mind, as he growls out “ In the beginning of a monster, there were strange desires. An aspiration to inflict pain on the prey, and to see the blood of a victim creeping in the dark!” This is, simply put, not an album for the faint-hearted.
Most songs follow a similar pattern of lunacy. The tracks “The Art of Butchering” and “Nightmare in Apartment 213” both make excellent use of thickly chugging riffs and split growls from Corpse, as well as blast beats. While most of this album could be classified as death metal, there’s enough thrash influence to argue about it over. The title track features one of the most frenzied guitar leads on the album, which is then followed by a full-blown thrash assault of palm-muted riffs and Dave Lombardo-esque fast-paced drumming, and the epic (well, for these guys anyway) 7:18 long track entitled “The Sunrise” utilizes a post-thrash influence, making it sound like something the great At the Gates would head bang to. With those two tracks, Corpse speeds up his vocal work to give it even more of a genre shift, which really helps the listener progress easily throughout them. “Masterpiece of a Morbid Mind” and “Through the Eyes of a Murderer”, two tracks which were highlights on the “Morbid Brains” EP, have made it onto this album in all their twisted glory. The only thing that’s been changed is that on “Through the Eyes…” they neglected to add the intro, which was Hannibal Lecter talking about one of his victims.
S.M. NekroC and Dr. Lirium’s guitar work deserves high praise, since it’s some of the best the metal community has seen in a long time. Whether it be violent leads (“Pathologist's Perverse Fantasies”), grind-chug riffs (“The Art of Butchering”), or a straight-up dual guitar assault (“Dr. Lirium’s Orders: Suffering”), these two do it all. Their solos, however, are the true delight on this album. Simply put, they’re amazing. Melody intertwined with sheer technicality is what’s offered here, and it sticks. They never feel out of place, or added just for the sake of being there; they sound as if these guys had spent days and days perfecting them. Listening to the solos on tracks like “Dr. Lirium's Orders: Suffering” and “Through the Eyes of a Murderer” is just a whole new experience. The title track, hands down, walks away with the most impressive solo work on this album. Just like the song, it has its roots dug a bit deeper in thrash, so it’s a bit more frenzied, but only adds to level of splendor.
While “Victim No. 52” serves up a whole heap of enjoyment, there’s two errors: one being the track “Abomination”, and the other with the material being slightly repetitive. It’s a bit frustrating to see a lackluster track like “Abomination” see a transfer from the past EP onto this album while the killer track “The Sounds of Mutilation” got left behind. As with the version on the EP, “Abomination” is great for the initial riff, but it’s chop-heavy nature brings about boredom. Frustration will also set in with many listeners when the end of the song comes, since it just abruptly stops. The other problem (that it being slightly repetitive) really only comes from small sections of the songs. The guys tend to make use of “chugga-chugga” riffs for a few seconds a good deal of the time, and it leads you to drift back to a past song.
I will put this as plain as I possibly can: if you like metal, you need to drop your balls and get this album, seriously. It’s one of the most twisted albums I’ve ever come across, and I mean that in a good way. The riffs, vocals, drums…it’s all here folks. From here on out, I’m dubbing this album “The Soundtrack to the Insane”, because that’s what it is: insane.
Overall – 88%
Sanctuary of Incineration
Victim No. 52
Dr. Lirium’s Orders: Suffering