(DGR provides both a very short and also a much longer review of the new album by the Polish band Dormant Ordeal, which will be released tomorrow [December 3rd] by Selfmadegod Records.)
Do not sleep on Dormant Ordeal‘s newest release The Grand Scheme Of Things.
There’s your review.
By following the site for a while you’ve been subjected to the absolute torrent of music that we’ve reviewed over the years. We do this on purpose, partially because we collectively have tastes that spread far and wide, and by maintaining the cadre of writers that we do it pretty much insures we’ll cover a tremendous amount of ground throughout the year. However, when we do sync up around a certain band we tend to bang the drum for that band hard and take them up as one of our causes.
Poland’s Dormant Ordeal are one such group and have been for a while now, at least since the release of their previous album We Had It Coming all the way back in 2016. That album’s take on relentless death metal was so filled to the brim with sharp grooves, hammering drums, and non-stop guitar assaults that it was kind of shocking it didn’t seem to make as much of an impact as it should have. We shouted out the disc constantly, even including it amongst our various end-of-year lists that year and awarding it one of our ‘most infectious song’ awards before that list inevitably managed to suffocate under it own weight.
Hell, during one of our GimmeMetal invasions we even closed out one of our programs with the two-parter of “Derangement Zone pt 1′ and ‘Derangement Zone pt 2’ from that disc.
Needless to say at this point, our history with Dormant Ordeal runs pretty deep – which is why the group’s newest album The Grand Scheme Of Things has been in damn near constant rotation since the moment it landed on our fire-charred desks.
Much like its predecessor We Had It Coming, The Grand Scheme Of Things is another raging beast of death metal. The five years between the two albums have served the band well because the now-three-piece group of have packed nearly forty minutes of relentless neck-snapping groove into this album.
Where the releases differ, however, makes for an interesting turn. The Grand Scheme Of Things is a little bit more melodically-minded than We Had It Coming. That happens sporadically throughout, but some lead lines in a few songs, when combined with the non-stop rhythm section behind them, make for the type of music that causes every song to be a potential roadblock to completing the whole disc, simply because you want to hear ‘that one part’ go by again.
Relatively early on within The Grand Scheme Of Things the one-two-three combo of “Bright Constellations”, “Here Be Dragons”, and “Letters To Mr. Smith” make it so that you’ll have an absolute motherfucker of a time trying to get to the last three songs, simply because you’ll want to hear the opening segment of “Bright Constellations” all the way to the damn near side-of-a-mountain collapse that sends “Letters To Mr. Smith” into the void about fifteen minutes after you’ve restarted that run.
Another song that raised an eyebrow with its surprisingly melodic turn was album closer “The Borders Of Our Language Are Not The Borders Of Our World”, where Dormant Ordeal travel into epic-song-length territory and go prog-death for a little bit to justify it. It’s an interesting twist, arriving after what has basically been a half-hour of the band kicking you down the side of a steep incline and making sure you feel every rock and pebble the whole way down. Dormant Ordeal are not without their surprises though. We Had It Coming and It Rains, It Pours already showed that the group are secretly damned good on the lyrical front, so hearing them stretch the boundaries of what it means to be one of the more relentless death metal acts out there is exciting. Since it happens at the closer too, you basically hear the song immolate itself, and then you’ll be right back to the buzzing of flies that introduces “At The Garden’s Gates” in the album’s opening moments.
The opening two-fer of “At The Garden’s Gates” and “Poetry Doesn’t Work On Whores”, and the later song “Sides Of Defence”, are the tracks for those seeking the deep rumbling of We Had It Coming. Those are the ones where all pretense of atmosphere or dynamics get thrown to the wind in favor of foot-on-the-gas-pedal style battering from moment one. Granted, Dormant Ordeal rarely let off of that tempo throughout The Grand Scheme Of Things but they consistently keep finding ways to make it interesting, even when song after song is mowing you down over and over.
Let’s raise the spectre of a different album to provide perspective: We loved Dyscarnate’s 2017 album With All Their Might around here, and even four years later will go to bat for that disc. But one of the reasons why that album ruled so hard for us was because (as one of our readers put it in one of the many comment sections about that album, and I’ll paraphrase here because it seemed so true it was committed to memor)y “every riff on that disc could be an entire song for a different band and they just stack them on top of one another here”. Well, that’s what Dormant Ordeal are doing on The Grand Scheme Of Things. They’re stacking riffs and segments on top of each other like cordwood and then unleashing them across nearly forty minutes of music.
Every site has their own sort of drop-dead date when it comes to making year-end lists. As someone who has been on both sides of the equation now – as a fan and as a writer – I can understand why. I’m the one of the dipshits who fucking writes five-parter lists and essentially re-reviews every disc on there, and I usually do mine in a caffeine-fueled fit around the first week of December. Dormant Ordeal’s The Grand Scheme Of Things is one of those records that makes you wish those dead-drop dates were a little later in the year, because this is one that should definitely pop up on end-of-year lists.
You should not let The Grand Scheme Of Things fly under your radar. It has been one of a small handful of releases that have absolutely broadsided all of us over here, and it is absolutely worth a listen. To repeat: Do not sleep on this record.