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Review: Mayhem - Ordo Ad Chao
Ordo Ad Chao

Label: Season of Mist
Year released: 2007
Duration: 40:46
Tracks: 8
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: April 23, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Readers Rating
Ordo Ad Chao

Rated 3.53/5 (70.61%) (49 Votes)

OK, those expecting that the return of Attila to the Mayhem ranks would manage to inspire the band to pull a 'De Mysteriis Pt 2' out of their collective arses will be bitterly disappointed. It's never going to happen, it was one of those 'moment in time' releases that will never be fully realized again. In fact, I doubt that even if the two former members of the band that created that masterpiece were still present and correct in the Mayhem line-up today, they'd still never have topped it. But, we won't delve further into that discussion here, this is strictly about Mayhem 2007, and it's certainly… interesting.

The first thing that hit me about this album as I slipped this red CD (yes, the CD is red rather than silver, so it looks like a cheap burn to me - heheh) into my player after removing it from its pretty 'metal' slipcase was the production. "Fucking hell, what's happened to Hellhammer?" I thought to myself. His abilities were not the problem, it was just the supposedly 'necro' production the band chose to use for this release after their last few clinically sterile albums, they've decided to revert to an dirty, muddy as hell production which has taken me a hell of a long time to come to terms with. However, while the drums suffer with buzzing and distortion on the low end, occasionally becoming almost indistinguishable upon some of the speedy sections, the guitars come into their own, chiming and clanging in angular misshapen fashion for the most part, with some interesting use of slow chorus drenched clean guitars amongst Blasphemer's trademark scorching riffery in an almost slow-burning Blut Aus Nord-like style. Attila's croak coats them perfectly with a slimy phlegm-like film, adding to the more deranged twist with some new tonsil tricks which don't just end at simple vocal chord torture – the guy even begins bawling his eyes out in 'Key to the Storms', which rather than sounding like some sort of nu-puke whine about his daddy, actually manages to sound pretty fucking disturbing. However, my personal favorite track has to be 'Illuminate Eliminate', which to me sums up the album perfectly, with a lot of variation, and probably one of the most simplistic yet most enjoyable riffs the band have penned to date (featuring a simplistic two chord tremolo picked outro riff around the 8 minute mark, which has a haunting three note melody covering it – Deathspell Omega would be proud).

So yeah, it seems that not only has the return of Attila to the fold given the band a kick up the ass they needed, it's managed to dig up a sick, moribund side to them which they've poured into this album with spades, putting the final sod of earth onto a now tightly compactly grave in their history which has been plaguing them for many years. In my mind, their best since 'De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas'.

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