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Order from Chaos > Rehearsal "Live" 1988 > Reviews > sunn_bleach
Order from Chaos - Rehearsal "Live" 1988

Killer Document of Black/Death.Thrash Maniaxxxe - 73%

sunn_bleach, August 5th, 2022

Like any rehearsal demo that's found its ways into the hands of zine readers and Internet listeners, Order from Chaos's is a rough puppy. This half-hour of power catalogues a one-off recording in the hot and humid summer of 1988 - all the more so in Mark Twain's Missouri. It just plain sounds sweaty - humidity soaking through the amps. This is a really cool look into the harsh world of Order from Chaos, and will likely be the closest anyone who wasn't seeing them in the 80s and early 90s will get to experiencing their powerful live shows.

One of Order from Chaos's most recognizable features is Pete Helmkamp's hoarse but extremely well-enunciated spittle-scream (especially as 80s/early 90s death metal goes). This rehearsal is unique in the band's discography in that Helmkamp doesn't use that delivery at all - it's far closer to a straight-up black metal scream. He absolutely lets loose in some of these songs in ways not otherwise experienced unless you happened to see the band in 1988. (Unfortunately, I was negative four years old at this time.) "Apocalyptic Visions" sees him go haywire with SMG-fire delivery and screeches that rival Chuck Keller's guitar squelches. It's a super cool side to the band that really hasn't been heard in any of Helmkamp's projects outside of Order from Chaos - even his time in Revenge went back to that hoarse sprechgesang.

Several tracks here feature elements that would be used in later Order from Chaos tracks. "Golgotha (S.D.)" was cannibalized into parts of "The Edge of Forever" and "Iconoclasm Conquest" on Stillbirth Machine. Very early versions of "Webs of Perdition" and "Blood and Thunder" also appear, again in a far rawer and more black/thrash form than on the LPs. There are also a few older, demo-only songs here such as "Of Death and Dying", "Crimes Against the State", "Quietus", and "Victimized". While these tracks can be found on releases like the Inhumanities demo, here they feel way more vicious as the band evolves into their cacophonously directed black/death/thrash.

It's also kinda nice to hear banter. A brief "fuck yeah!" appears on side one, and the end of "Apocalyptic Visions" has some banter before "Victimized". I really enjoy recordings like these that might not have as much straight-up listening appeal but provide a document of where the band was and how they interacted with each other. It's just fun, and sometimes I want that in my extreme late-80s death metal. One of the audience members launches out a "YEAH!" upon the first chorus of "Blood and Thunder", and I'm inclined to agree.

This is a live recording for an extreme metal band, so it's got sandpaper-smooth fidelity. If you're not into demo-fi production, then perhaps you won't see why this release is so cool for people like me. But as Order from Chaos is one of my favorite extreme metal bands, I get a lot out of listening to a band known for its seriousness in themes and lyrics ripping hard and slaughtering the crowd - and most importantly, having a damn good time with it.