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The Order Of Apollyon - "The Flesh" (CD)

The Order Of Apollyon - "The Flesh" CD cover image

"The Flesh" track listing:

1. God Speaks
2. Ich Bin Das Licht
3. Word
4. Never
5. Fifth
6. White Dust
7. Four Beasts
8. Flesh of Yhvh
9. Ex-Voto
10. L'Orgueuil

Reviewed by on December 15, 2010

"'The Flesh' has some really heavy material written with sophistication, but not enough attention to the other songs, which languish in mediocrity."

With a pedigree of members from Cradle of Filth and other British ensembles such as Akercocke and Aborted, the new one from The Order of Apollyon comes with a fair amount of buzz. The interesting thing upon looking at their biography is their aspiration to deliver a message and be in the covenant with the Lord, an about-face from the material of the musicians' other bands. That being said, their new release "The Flesh" embodies that British extreme metal sound that is truly riveting to the ears.

After the marching drum beat intro of "God Speaks," the band shifts seamlessly into "Ich Bin Das Licht," a track so powerful that it had me from the beginning hook. This is one phenomenally good black metal tune that shifts musical gears nicely, turning many corners into a dizzying display that ends abruptly with a snippet of German propaganda. The guitar leads of James McIlroy are front and center, highly reminiscent of his playing in vintage Cradle of Filth. "Never" takes a more trite and simplistic approach with its good dark feel in the lead-in rhythm and chants. It gets a bit chaotic at times with the sudden time changes, making the flow of the song a bit bizarre. "Four Beasts" has commanding melodic guitar overlays and a stampeding beat that make it quite catchy as well.

The Order's vocalist BST, who has been in such bands as Genital Grinder, embodies a good cross between screaming and growling. Listening to "White Dust," I am reminded of Mille Petrozza with his high-pitched bellicosity. When they are in their element, The Order of Apollyon is truly on. But more times than not, it seems as if they are beleaguered.

"The Flesh" is an album that is loaded with filler, as if the band rushed to put it out without working on the songs a bit more. Take tracks like "L'Orgueuil" or "Word," with beats that drone on with standard guitar riffs inserted here and there. They are far too homogenous to be stand-out metal tracks. For every fairly decent song like "Fifth," a thundering anthemic black metal number, there are a few minutes of forgettable material, like the continuous instrumental drone of "Ex-Voto." This wouldn't be so disappointing if it weren't for the fact that these guys can truly put out some killer songs.

The Order of Apollyon is a group that could be capable of lasting greatness with more time together. "The Flesh" has some really heavy material written with sophistication, but not enough attention to the other songs, which languish in mediocrity.

Highs: Some very good songs from these musical alumni of British extreme metal.

Lows: For every good song, there is a forgettable one.

Bottom line: A group that is capable of great things if they work on all their songs as a whole.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)