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Order of Nine were formed seven years ago and they've already released three albums, A Means to Know End being their third and latest one. They carry a distinctive US power metal influence, bands like Queensrÿche and Iced Earth are certainly great sources of inspiration for this act. Their music is very riff-driven, the guitar playing being one of the most essential elements of the album. The tunes are generally quite midpaced, but there are at least one thrashy song to be found here, which is the opener, “Single Shot”: it contains some very well crafted riffs and powerful and fast drumming.
The vocals are quite good too, the singer reminds me a bit of Geoff Tate, even though his range isn't as impressive. As for the songs, “Single Shot” is an obvious highlight, together with the title track, which carries a memorable chorus. The other tunes are quite decent, and there are no masterpieces, nor stinkers, to be found on A Means to Know End. “In the Know” is also worth mentioning, as it contains a main riff directly ripped off of Rammstein's “Sehnsucht” (just listen to both tracks, it's quite obvious), but I don't blame them, it is indeed a very good riff. There are also a set of ballads on the record, all of them pretty similar to many of the Iced Earth ballads, especially the ones released on their Something Wicked This Way Comes record. Yeah, they aren't that good, but they are certainly not skip worthy. “Ghost of Memorie” possibly is the best calm track of the bunch, containing some nice melancholic guitar lines.
So, an OK, albeit unoriginal, US power metal album. Certainly not one of the best albums of the year, but it's certainly not among the worst ones too.
Best Moments of the CD:
-the beginning of “Single Shot”.