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Ordo ad Chao - 92%

Edmund Sackbauer, September 15th, 2020
Written based on this version: 2020, CD, Drakkar Productions (Digipak, Limited edition)

I really like the music by Russian black metal commando Blackdeath, with their most recent album “Phantasmhassgorie” having been one of my top picks of 2019. So I was glad to see that the main man behind this band has just put out another gem of an album, this time with another project called Ordo ad Chao. This one is a pretty newish outfit as it has only been formed in 2019. Wasting no time we already got the debut full length “Fear the Invisible”, and while this release shares quite a few trademarks with the work of Blackdeath there are also several nuances separating the two bands and giving each of them a justification to exist.

Opening track “Pythonic Precipitation” is kicking into full gear after starting off with some crawling and intense guitar lines. The riffs are never sacrificed for the focus on atmosphere, breaking out in thrash-ready momentum that calls back to a lot of bands who got famous while riding the second wave of black metal. Plenty of lead tremolo work scatters across the songs, adding an edge of melodicism to the music.

The sound and approach of Ordo ad Chao are firmly rooted within black metal’s raw and feral side, with plenty of interesting and discordant motifs thrown into the mix to provide some added intensity and fierceness to an already heady mix of extremity. Atmosphere alone is rarely enough to carry a full album, but used as one of the pillars of the sound it can be a dividing factor, separating an outstanding work from average to good stuff. There is also a strong death metal vibe inherent in the music, with some of the main chords providing a stoic and groovy kind of sound.

The dynamic of the album can be addicting at its best, being crushing and subtly melodic on one side and depressing and ecstatic on the other. The constant interaction between the driving and chugging main chords and the often impressive lead guitar can be breathtaking. The melodies are often sinister and haunting, but sometimes also have a more relaxed and slightly melancholic nature. The feral and growly vocals are among the best I have heard within the past few years, and while some black metal purists might prefer a higher pitched and more classic approach they perfectly fit into the overall picture.

The cover artwork is mystic and perfectly fits the music. I really like the look of the motif, as this is not your standard kind of stuff you might have seen several hundred times. The album is rounded off by a more or less flawless production. Raw and gritty, but clear and transparent at the same time. Fans of pure and original black metal are going to love the sound here. “Fear the Invisible” is among the strongest albums of the year, carrying a very dense atmosphere and some intense moments. I would recommend checking this album out at home with headphones during the dark hours to intensify the experience.