Order Of Ennead
An Examination Of Being
posted on 5/2010 By:
Order of Ennead's self-titled debut flew over Metal Review HQ like a stealth bomber. Somehow, we failed to notice it at the time of release (for reasons still unknown), but we certainly had a blast romping around in the massive crater it left behind. Melodic death metal with emphasis on the metal--and garnering the melodic tag via a veritable shitload of skull-frying, extended soloing--Order of Ennead dealt some serious fuckin' decimation. While electrifying in its own right, the album really heightened pulses for a follow-up, as the band's potential seemed limitless. However, their sophomore effort, An Examination of Being, is more of a lateral shift for the band. Instead of shooting them another rung up the ladder, the album seems to have mired them in a mild sophomore slump.
That's not to say that An Examination of Being isn't a beastly little bastard in itself. The band--comprised of grizzled veteran Steve Asheim (Deicide), youthful guitar prodigy John Li, and half of the defunct Council of the Fallen (itself a pretty sick DM unit, a fact somewhat belied by their consistent presence in used bins across the nation)--would be hard-pressed to put out anything less than adrenalizing. Kevin Quiron delivers all of his vocals in an acid-tongued black metal rasp, which is an excellent counterpoint to the clean, punchy, and pointed modern death on display. And Li can shred, man. Hooooo, he can shred--his lightning-smooth, accessible style is nearly Loomis-esque in execution.
So, aethestically, these guys have a bitchin' formula in place (and hellaciously cool introspective lyrical bent to ice the cake). If you're a rookie looking to trade in your Black Dahlia Murder records to play with a serious DM ballclub, this is a hell of a place to start. However, the band seems a little too fond of their chosen formula, and An Examination of Being begins to run itself into the ground after some extensive spinning. There's a serious lack of dynamics throughout. Order of Ennead have one speed--fucking fast--and Asheim is firmly in the driver's seat. Most of the album follows the hyped-up pattern of opener (and lead single) "The Concept of Our Extinction," and predictability sets in fairly quickly. Sure, killer exceptions like "This Mortal Journey" and "...In The Mirror" are admittedly worth the price of admission. But the band would be greater served by further exploring the deceptively catchy avenues of "Lies Upon the Lips of Judas" and the ebb-and-flow of closer "A Betrayal of Self" rather than settling into their comfort zone for over half the album.
This band has all the tools; they just need to utilize them more advantageously. More emphasis on the riff--and less on Asheim's blasting--would help them grow deadlier talons. Simply put, these songs just don't sink in, rendering An Examination of Being merely another enjoyable album with a limited shelf life. Given the talent at hand, this is a shame. Order of Ennead has the capacity to craft a great modern death metal album--they just haven't done it yet. However, they're already well into the process of creating their third record, so maybe it'll come sooner than we think...
Register to post comments.