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The Arcane Order easily impresses at first sight. Technically speaking, they have incredible musicians. The vocals are amazing, the drums are creative (the drummer refuses to stick to a beat for me than a minute), the solos are interesting and the lyrics are good (even in Death Metal standards). Also, they have introductions that easily impress the most demanding headbangers.
Everything mentioned above is present in "In The Wake of Collisions", an album that has all of the characteristics necessary for a good death metal band. The Arcane Order does not make their songs very riff-oriented here: they prefer not to focus on any specific element, and in every song all the musicians (perhaps not the bassist) are able to show their amazing skills. Blast beats, subtle melodies brought to us by the keyboards and interesting solos are present in the whole recording.
This album has two of the best death metal songs I have ever seen. The first one of them, Death is Imminent, is perhaps the most atmospheric song I have ever seen: it starts out with an epic, symphonic introduction, followed by some percurssion and a choir. After 25 seconds, the drums kick in, and with the guitars they create a slow yet heavy rhytm that made all my muscles tense up. Suddenly, the first beat of a bar is skipped, and the blast beats kick in, along with a crazed and desperate scream. The song never slows down. Actually, the vocals sound more desperate as time passes by, and by the end of it I had headbanged so much that my head was hurting. "Death is Imminent" also has a solo that could carry an entire album on it's back, and carries one of the darkest and most interesting lyrics I have ever seen (the first verses are "It's the end of everything! Your children will perish in the flames!")
"Eruptions of Red" is the second masterpiece present in this album. The introduction is impressive mainly because of the snare drums, which are used here in a way that I have never seen before. When it's over, the keyboards kick in, along with a crazed scream and intense double bass. This song has over five interesting riffs, and I am actually impressed that the band was brave enough to discard all those riffs so quickly in order to make the best song they could. The vocals here are the best of the album: they switch constantly between crazed screams and massive growls, and even uses some clean, linkin-park like vocals (by the way, this song has the only clean vocals of the album). Also, they grow crazier as the song nears the ending, and when they reach their peak of insanity the following verses are being sung:
Eruption of red
Now desolation comes
as my paradise
This is my time to rise
Upon thy tyrant throne"
However, the album has its flaws. Some songs like Sanctity of Allegiance end up being boring (although "Sanctity..." has some interesting double bass). Sometimes, it seems like the band has run out of ideas and decided to simply show off their skills. Every song has at least one interesting riff or solo, but sometimes stuff feels misplaced: the best example is the solo from "Between Reasons and Hubris": it easily tops most of the stuff I have seen in the past years, but when it is over the screaming comes back in one of the ugliest ways possible, instead of nicely like in "Death is Imminent".
This band is gifted with some of the best musicians out there. However, they sometimes lack creativity. If they fix this (and I hope they eventually will) they will be able to produce some of the finest death metal the world has ever seen. Not that I expect them to top "Death is Imminent" and "Eruptions of Red". Actually, if any band makes something that is definitely better than those two songs they won't be able to perform live: I doubt that human beings can look directly at gods without suffering anything terrible.