The vision of the cover art for the long-awaited new album by Australia’s Order of Orias would have demanded our attention, wholly apart from the lasting memories of their tremendous contribution to a split with Aosoth in 2015 and their 2011 debut album Inverse. It would have fit well in our long-defunct series “Eye-Catchers”, in which visual art alone was the basis for investigating new music.
In this instance, however, it was the opportunity to premiere a song from Ablaze in advance of its April 30 release by W.T.C. Productions that provided the occasion for investigation, and that song alone proves that the five-year wait for new music from this talented black metal duo has been richly rewarded.
That 13 1/2 minute epic on the Aosoth split which marked the last recorded output by the band isn’t something one easily forgets. “Ruinous Hope” was a ravenous monster that moved “from red-eyed blitz to doomed-out crawl, very vividly approximating its title”, as one writer then put it. And on this new song, “Raging Idols“, the band again demonstrate the qualities that made that song so ravaging and so memorable.
The mind is swarmed by dense, roiling riffs that channel crazed and cruel violence, while the hurtling drumwork accelerates the listener’s own pulse and the rapidly warping bass tones add to the music’s aura of whirling, unchained menace. The ferocious growling vocals of A.S are as livid as the blaze of sound that surrounds them. Through that electrifying maelstrom, guitarist D.A spins vaporous yet gleaming filaments of sound that shimmer and ascend like supernatural emanations, driving the music to further heights of extravagant peril.
Those leads transform into shrieking spectacles of derangement, and the music jolts and cascades with increasingly gloom-shrouded and ominous impact — which provides the setting for session drummer Jarro Raphael to execute a sequence of acrobatic, attention-grabbing fills and the bass to moan in despair. As the music’s intensity begins to build again, the riffing boils and burns in a fever, and the leads sparkle and dart in a display of mad ecstasy.
The heaviness in the music is palpable, and the mood of sinister menace remains unmistakable. As the song climbs toward a crescendo-ing finale, the music becomes panoramic in its sweep, and creates a sense of terrifying grandeur, underscored by gigantic low-end booms and rampant snare-work.
Even in a song that is comparatively much shorter than what we heard on this band’s last outing, they have created a tremendously gripping and multi-faceted experience that is equal parts full-bore aggression and blood-freezing atmosphere, a mix of harrowing terrors and beguiling sorcery. And much, much more music of equally tremendous power awaits within Ablaze.
Ablaze was recorded and mixed by Jarro Raphael (of Nocturnal Graves) at I-HQ Recordings Studio, and as mentioned he also performed session drums on the record. It was mastered by BST (of Order of Apollyon), with layout and design by Fenomeno Design. W.T.C. Productions will release Ablaze on digipak CD, gatefold LP, digital formats.
ORDER OF ORIAS:
1. Blood To Dust
2. Gleaming Night
3. Raging Idols
4. Snares & Thorns
5. Crowned In Brass
6. Dawning Light