without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Let me just respond to these little tweeny boppers by who think they've stumbled onto the aural equivalent of a perfect black metal album with a proper negative review about this album, because black metal it isn't. If you want the God's honest truth, this album is only an intellectual challenge if you've spent the majority of your life trying to prove to yourself that your 80 point IQ wasn't the result of being dropped on your head as a child. Die-hard blackmetal fans have a hard time "digesting" this trendy, band-wagon hopping exercise of Deathspell Omega worship because it's just that... over-bloated, boring, pretentious shit masquerading as something some other band penned. I can only surmise Mayhem decided to do this so a new wave of miserable teens calling themselves "legions" can croon over them, and spend their mother's hard-earned white middle-class dollars on Ordo Ad Chao, "THE TRUE MAYHEM" t-shirts and hand out perfect 100 point reviews without so much as taking the time out to acknowledge that a perfect metal album may NEVER exist. If it did, it certainly wouldn't happen because a band could only create an atmosphere that didn't otherwise exist by cheating their fans out of the best possible treatment to sound quality, structure, and basically abandoning all previous music standards that made this band who they are today.
The fact is Ordo Ad Chao is the equivalent to some charlatan splashing random acryllic paint on a canvas, or better yet plaster molding his anus, hanging it above the mantle and calling it art. We who have been around to witness real milestones know who innovated what... which is why one can easily point to the current trends in the, so called, new wave of black metal bands these days, and identify where Ordo Ad Chao rips its sound off from. I'll concede, Atilla is talented as is Hellhammer and Blasphemer... and while a select few ISOLATED moments (which are few and far between) during this exercise in futility showed moments of promise, they are, for the most part, overwhelmed by a piss-poor attempt to sound "primal". Those with a discerning ear know "cavernous" and "challenging" are nothing more than euphemisms for sound quality and structure akin to anal-vomit that these Norwegians are laughing at you all the way to the bank for. You know, this album did discern a difference in it's listeners... but it was between multi-generationally hardened black metal fans who've witnessed countless trends come and go vs. those of you that worship at the altar of one of the bands who released the most number of albums corresponding to trends gone by in black metal history: Mayhem.
What's really sad about this pitiful album is the fact that it marks the return of a vocal genius from the hey-day of this band's career: Atilla. Those of you familiar with him know his legendary (and challenging) vocal stylings from De Mysteriis, and even less of you may remember that one Mediolanum (live) track "From the Dark Past" where he outshined Maniac effortlessly. What I find completely ironic about the timing of Atilla's return is how it couldn't have come at much more wrong time (I suppose Grand Declaration of War might have been just as bad). The point is, Mayhem decides they need to get rid of Maniac only AFTER Chimera?! This makes almost no sense at all, considering that Chimera was Maniac's first tolerable vocal delivery in his entire filthy career with Mayhem. Granted members often part ways with bands due to a variety of other reasons, such as dysfunction, laziness, etc. (which is why it ALMOST makes no sense... fact is I have no clue why Maniac was gone, I just know it could have come a decade sooner).
Anyways, the other reason for Atilla's return marking piss-poor timing on behalf of the band is that they decide to bring him in on this piece of shit, coaster of a compact disc called Ordo Ad Chao... more or less a 4 track garage-recording quality DEMO (or an obvious attempt at such in a modern studio... way to go guys, really). I mean, what ARE they thinking? And who the hell are they trying to impress by turning the treble dial all the way down, popping caps of pcilocybin mushrooms and recording this hackneyed crap of a song "Illuminate Eliminate" as if by eerie candle-light, or a return to their dark, esoteric roots? Give me a fucking break.... Eh, on the other hand, it almost makes me laugh as the current batch of black metal neophytes swoon over pseudo-philosophical bullshit like Deathspell Omega with their borrowed death metal and drone aesthetics of diarrhea-gurgling vocals, insipid, atonal guitar noodling, obstreperous compositions (see fas - ite... and chaining the katechon) and overall down-tuned, chunky sound. I mean, come on... what a pathetic attempt to cash in on what's trendy, placing their bets that the youngling fans would lap this feces up (like Grand Declaration wasn't a big enough kick in the ass for them?). I suppose Mayhem even thought they could hide the fact that they were attempting pawn this trend off as their own innovation by hiring Atilla (knowing full well his style would fit the atmosphere) and counterfeiting this new wave "black metal" by taking production shortcuts analogous to recording the album through 6 inches of drywall, plaster and insulation. The sound is literally so muddy and flat that when I first heard Ordo Ad Chao I thought I had received a leaked internet copy that hadn't been through the final mixing and mastering process; I even checked the bit-rate, my speakers, and everything else I could think of for problems. Its hard to imagine folks with a moderately intelligent grasp on language and music would be fooled by this or enjoy Ordo Ad Chao, but it's as the old cliche goes: there's no accounting for taste.
Anyways.. in the current climate of Mayhem (last 10 yrs or so), Chimera wasn't a half bad record... I mean, it was a typical no-frills Blasphemer and Hell-hammer affair, that while didn't capture the glory of Mayhem's work with Euronymous, it certainly was a bit of a throw-back to the Wolf's Lair Abyss MCD's simplistic, yet elegant writing style and effective overall sound (Fall of Seraphs and Ancient Skin still have this wonderful quality about them that I enjoy to this day). The reality is, Ordo Ad Chao could've used a lot of the magic found on those two tracks, and Chimera to a lesser extent. Then again, even this would be a faulty premise for making a dynamite Mayhem record... I digress.
Don't buy this record if you expect the album I was when I found out Atilla was coming back. As it seems ONCE AGAIN, Mayhem has failed it's original fan base... oh hell who am I kidding? I never knew who it's fanbase really was, as Mayhem's always been a bit of an anomaly to me over the years; a band who continually whored themselves to the trends of its trappings (always finding themselves at the middle of it all in some form or another), likely only scoring notoriety over Euronymous' death and a bit of acclaim in the late 80s and early 90s for releasing Deathcrush and De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. If you really think about it, Grand Decleration was easily an attempt to copy Moonfog bands of the time (Thorns, Satyricon, DHG). De Mysteriis a serious departure from Deathcrush, that, despite being pretty decent, was an obvious attempt to become relevant in the second wave by copying their Norwegian counterparts who had released material from 91-93 (really no need to name names here). I could go on, but relevancy and respect for what the band once meant to me requires that I end here. The conclusion I have come to is that Ordo Ad Chao is garbage and rightfully gets the 8% it deserves. Don't like it? Well, that's just too bad... now go out and buy yourself an Ordo Ad Chao t-shirt and cry in it.