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Hearken the Incoming Storm - 93%

Henceforth, August 25th, 2008

Ordo ad Chao.

This is an ominous piece of work, containing the oddest compilation of Mayhem's efforts up until this point.

Though I was badly disappointed by its predecessor Chimera, Ordo ad Chao truly revived the Mayhem flame within me. This album carries a really fantastic atmosphere and a much grittier sound that gives off the idea it may as well have been made in the middle of the Second Wave.

You will not find catchy and "progressionist" riffs in here. The guitar work is certainly wrought with an obscurity resembling their very own ‘De Mystheriis dom Sathanas’. Starting off in 'A Wise Birthgiver' with a decrepit and atmospheric sound, Blasphemer's labor on Ordo ad Chao simply strikes me as odd - It is pretty much non-linear and follows weirded-out tempos, setting it's own pace. At times it can be slow and suddenly burst into crushing tremolos as those seen in 'Work of Ages'. HOWEVER, there are times when the distortion shifts and creates some pretty cool moments (0:50 of Illuminate Eliminate)

The bass lines are pretty much the responsible for thickening the sound and giving it an enthralling feeling. The bass doesn't stand out much more than the guitar, since they both act as secondary to the songs' purpose, which seems obviously to unsettle the listener with a truly dense sound.

Now onto the drumming: It carries a very tribal feeling to it, adding to the whole ritualistic atmosphere on the whole CD. One thing I do have to say about the drum sound is the strange sound that the Ride Cymbal makes, since at times it is pretty much an odd bell (have you ever stopped before the tracks, when the train is close and there's that awfully annoying bell? That's the one!)

Last, but by no means least, comes the time to discuss Attila's work. I absolutely praise this album's vocals, since they don't sound trivial or overproduced. This feels spontaneous, and there are many REALLY odd sounds that he makes that contribute to just how unsettling this album can be (The beginning and again at 3:50 on Deconsecrate). Making gurgling, screaming, breathing in, chanting, growling, whispering and so on... I applaud the vocal work in here. It's blaspheme, and totally amazing.

The only downside is that to truly appreciate this album and not finding it over the top and corny, you must listen to the WHOLE CD, not just bits-n-bobs. Give it a good spin one night and you will be truly enthralled.

Hail Ordo ad Chao.