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Now this is quite a hard one. Order of Nine has the potential to be an excellent act, but their potential is mired via bland vocals which really hurt their fourth full-length Seventh Year of the Broken Mirror.
Their sound on this album is quality, sounding the amalgamation of Eyefear, Brainstorm, Nightmare, Evergrey and a sprinkling of Symphony X. Totally mining the Progressive Power Metal vein, Order of Nine’s musicianship is first hand with a lot in the way of quality riffs, intricate rhythm patterns and some superb lead guitar playing. On that forum alone Order of Nine could happily tango with the big boys.
The major sore-point here on Seventh Year of the Broken Mirror is as aforementioned the vocals. They’re just so flat and uninteresting; although some of the lower ranges are good enough. Most of the choruses sadly miss their mark, and it’s all down to the vocals. “Dreamspeak” has the potential to be an excellent song, but the vocals completely destroy it. Listening to “Dreakspeak” in particular I can’t help but think Lance King should have chimed in, as this album is built for his vocal style.
There is a lot of good to be found in the way of the actual songs. With the majority of which featuring either a solid riff set, or some wonderful lead guitar playing. I really enjoy the more melodic/ ballad type tracks here on Seventh Year of the Broken Mirror. “Innocence” could be great, and at least the vocals aren’t as flat here. “Words that were Said” is a quality slice of Brainstorm/ Nightmare style Heavy Metal that shows the band at their heaviest and “Twelfth Talisman” shows the bands traditional 80’s riffing style nicely. “Eye of the Enemy” is probably the best song here though, certainly the longest and packed with a lot of quality moments.
I can’t stress how much of a shame this is. Seventh Year of the Broken Mirror would have been right up my street if not for the vocals. They’re just so dull, even the vocal lines in themselves have great potential but Michael Degrena just can’t sell them. This makes it hard to recommend Order of Chaos, and all I can really say is that if you can happily ignore the vocals and listen to this for its excellent musicianship be my guest. To anyone else, I feel you would be better suited to any of the acts I name dropped earlier.
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