Six years on from their debut, Sheffield’s Order Of Voices belatedly return with the oft-delayed Constancy.
Where the first album tapped into the grungy riffage of Alice In Chains with a dash of Tool’s progressive instincts, Constancy plants both feet squarely in the alternative rock camp and waves to prog as it passes on the other side of the road. Frontman Leigh Oates sounds uncannily like Layne Staley, a sense that’s reinforced by the production, which favours multi-tracked vocals and layer upon layer of guitars. Much like AIC, Order Of Voices are most comfortable in the mid-tempo range, never slowing to doom’s funereal heaviness nor revving up to rock out with abandon. The band dabble in the occasional odd-time signature, Diametric is bookended by sections in 7⁄8 and Affirmation strays into 9⁄8, although alt rockers like Soundgarden were not averse to exploring beyond the boundaries of 4⁄4, so it’s not necessarily a badge of belonging to the prog-hood. Oates possesses impressive range and power, and the songwriting is polished if short on surprises. If you’re restless for the Seattle grunge kings to finish the follow-up to The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here, this should plug that hole very comfortably.