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Obsession - "Order Of Chaos" (CD)

Obsession - "Order Of Chaos" CD cover image

"Order Of Chaos" track listing:

1. Order Of Chaos (3:46)
2. Twist Of The Knife (4:24)
3. Forbidden Desire (4:22)
4. When The Smoke Clears (4:48)
5. License To Kill (4:48)
6. Wages Of Sin (4:23)
7. Cold Day In Hell (4:52)
8. Act of God (3:28)
9. Mercy Killing (4:26)
10. Dark Shadows (4:45)

Reviewed by on November 25, 2012

"Fans who desire to get a better taste for mid-80’s glory then when I was witnessing it happen real time will do well to give 'Order of Chaos' a spin or ten and let one of the classic bands of the era show you how it is done."

Growing up, one of my most treasured items was a vinyl copy of “Scarred For Life” that I won from a Saturday college radio show in 1986 (DJ’d by Metal Underground.com’s own sonictherapy). Obsession was one of Connecticut’s finest metal bands, along with Fates Warning. They were one of the few acts from the state that broke out of that “Connecticut production” muck that seemed to mire many, many other talented bands (still does). Economics understood, there is a long stretch of time when nearly every demo/album released by a band from my home state had the same horrid production. Fortunately, Obsession and Fates Warning were both plucked up by Metal Blade and the sound was smoothed out and the talent spoke for itself. Flash forward to 2012 and “Order of Chaos” may very well be the best Obsession album ever issued. Most bands attempt to recapture the glory of the treasures of youth, few bands exceed it. Michael Vescera simply gets better with age.

Most fans of Vescera “grew up” on his work with Loudness, Yngwie Malmsteen, Reign of Terror, and the youngest metal fans know of the U.S. reincarnation of Animetal. In the 80’s, Mike was an “obsession” and I remember needing to obtain albums much in the same way others gobbled up the all-time greats. “Methods of Madness” was the next and sadly the last for an enormous stretch of my life. It took nearly twenty years, but the band resurfaced in 2006 with “Carnival of Lies,” a perfect comeback album that proved in the age of “reunions” that they are no fluke. “Order of Chaos” puts Obsession back on that track lost in 1987. Best of all, Vescera’s voice sounds even younger and stronger than it did before!

For those fans who are not into traditional means of metal, you can skip this outright, unless you are warming to the cause. With Obsession, the more traditional sounding (with some of the slickest production of the year) they are, the better they get. The captivating melodies and riffs that dot tracks like “Twist of the Knife,” “License to Kill,” “Wages of Sin,” and album favorite “Act of God” almost exceed the “Marshall Law,” “Bang’em ‘Till They Bleed,” “Winner Takes All,” and “High Treason” of old.

Though all but one of the members are circa-reunion forward, the talent assembled is more than worthy of creating a modern day Obsession classic. John Bruno played guitar for Vescera’s solo project, B.J. Zampa pounded out drums for Wayne (project of the late David Wayne), Thunderhead and House of Lords and Driver and Chris McCarvill played bass with Vescera in Safe Haven and with Twisted Sister’s Eddie Ojeda on his solo effort. Add the talented guitar work of Scott Boland and you round out an impressive lineup that converge to bring Obsession back to prominence.

The new release has a prophetic title, as Obsession brings order to the world of traditional metal. Best of all, fans who desire to get a better taste for mid-80’s glory then when I was witnessing it happen real time will do well to give “Order of Chaos” a spin or ten and let one of the classic bands of the era show you how it is done.

Highs: Obsession picks up where 1987 left off, releasing its best album. Mike Vescera gets better with age.

Lows: There is absolutely nothing new about this album.

Bottom line: Obsession releases its best album, bringing "order to the chaos."

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 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)