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Order - Lex Amentiae album review

Former Mayhem members take an unpredictable path

When it was announced that (long) ex-members of Mayhem were forming a new band after three decades away from the extreme metal scene, few would have predicted such a convincing debut album with a sizeable international label behind it after four years. Featuring drummer Manheim and vocalist Messiah from Deathcrush along with Anders Odden of early death metal band Cadaver (and latterly Celtic Frost and Satyricon), Order are thoroughly old school in flavour, but crucially not in the same ‘out of touch and out of ideas’ fashion that we so often see with returning metal bands. Indeed, Lex Amentiae has very little in common with the groundbreaking early works of its collected talent. The closest point of reference is surely the works of Tom G Fischer, both early Hellhammerisms and even some latter-day Celtic Frost (which Anders was present for, of course). The creepy-crawling songwriting, those exaggerated bent notes and lead-heavy riffs, the mid-paced swagger – it’s all there, making the cover of Procreation (Of The Wicked) the only unnecessary number. Variation comes from the stomping Torquemada and its irresistibly rocking vibe as well as the full-speed-ahead death/thrash flavour of Dugma. Very convincing overall, not least in the vocal department.