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A real grand declaration! - 95%

Dark_Mewtwo1, June 15th, 2007

They are back! With Ordo Ad Chao, Mayhem is telling the metal scene that they are back and ready to take their place as black metal elite. What we have with this album is 8 tracks of pure sonic darkness. I mean, this record is truly grim and fucking dark. No one with any sense expected Mayhem to come with such a ruthless assault.

The first thing that strikes you with this album is the production. It's easily the rawest Mayhem has been since the Deathcrush EP. But this is a different kind of raw. The low end is boosted pretty strongly, making the guitars take this truly filthy, heavy tone. It's easily some of the heaviest sounding riffs i've heard in black metal. The drums are something else, with the ride bell being louder than everything else, and the toms completely dark and grand. Attila sounds like a beast in this, with some of the strangest vocals in years.

Experimentation's been a big part of Mayhem's repertoire the last 10 or so years of their career, and OAC is no different. They manage to combine an even more sinister version of Chimera with the epic feel of AGDOW. Songs like Illuminate Eliminate and Psychic Horns are some impressive, epic pieces of work, with winding riffs and dark, moody passages that hits you from all sides. Blasphemer is a master, dominating that evil guitar tone and contorting it to his will. Necrobutcher's bass is that much more important here, adding to that heaviness of the guitars. Mayhem hasn't sounded this tight since De Mysteriis for sure.

Adding to that, there are serious headbanging moments during Wall of Water, and especially the last minute or so of Deconsecrate. Some of the most chaotic passages ever, Mayhem manage to bring up a black storm of riffing and still make it powerful and moving. Sadly, the album suffers its only drawback: it's too short. It seems like it ends way too quickly, and it seriously leaves you wanting more. This is one of those albums everyone will remember as Mayhem's true declaration of war.