Order’s The Gospel is a blast from Hell, not a lame warning to escape damnation by worshiping some long absent Messiah. From album artwork that conveys the essence of an ancient, malign demon, to tracks that crackle with the blackest of flames, this is a truly inspired work of Metal art.
Now made up of Stu Manx, Billy Messiah, Anders Odden and Kjetil Manheim, legends all of early Norwegian Extreme Metal, Order exhibit the sorts of capabilities you would expect from such dedicated dark space musicians. In the world we currently reside in we are faced with so much human intellectual and psychological debris that we can barely fight it off. Hence the rage and misanthropy that has underpinned the best Underground Metal since the early 1980s, and the very same healthy emotions that underpin The Gospel.
Album opening track Pneuma, originally composed by Manheim during the very early phase of Mayhem, a band he of course co-founded, is effectively the calm before the coming storm. As a piano piece it has the feel of old Mayhem, tinged as it is with a dark sinister quality that cannot easily be defined. From this point on it’s infernal darkness all the way, Rise paving the way with a relentless sub nuclear blast drive, high class riffs and visceral, threatening, snarling vocals. A brief piano reprise brings in Bringer of Salt, released as a single earlier this year, and in my opinion rightly so. With further echoes of Mayhem past, especially in terms of the vocal delivery, this is practically catchy, and is certain to prove a killer live track.
Lyrically, The Gospel is quite honestly a work of magnificent pen craft. Conveying as ever the malign and defiant feel present in the music, they exude honour and pride in the self. Take Rise as a perfect example. ‚Fuck your deities, Fuck your ideas, Man is born free, Under his own will‘, sets out not simply an opinion, but a code which we can all, and probably do, live by. Or there’s title track The Gospel itself, which lacerates organised religion like a lightning bolt in a midnight field. ‚Offence created in the cellar of Pigs, Attracting the restless and vagrant, They came from the near, They came from the far, To gather in covens of clamour‘.
This is an album that must be listened to as one single piece. If you are going to discover the depths of experience conveyed here, then blast it at volume 11 and find yourself in this powerful exhibition of mastery. Tracks like Lust, My Pain and Tomb should make you feel alive. Energised. Hateful. Ever resilient to all of life’s infuriating maelstrom of human shit. The Gospel is a breath taking achievement that will go down as one of the great masterpieces of Black Metal.
- Bringer of Salt
- It Burns
- The Gospel
- Gal. Lu
- My Pain
- Pneuma II