The Arcane Order - _The Machinery of Oblivion_
(Metal Blade, 2006)
by: Jackie Smit (8 out of 10)
Let me start by asking whether there's anyone out there who still gets excited by the prospect of a record described as "melodic death metal". There's no reason to really, is there -- what with every single release bearing that tag over the past twelve months following virtually an identical blueprint to every other name in the genre. So discovering one of the rare exceptions to the rule, on a label that's perhaps more guilty than any of signing up these types of bands like there's no tomorrow, almost seems to carry with it a grand sense of occasion.

Headed up by ex-Autumn Leaves six-stringer, Flemming C, "Infinite Ghost Anathema" starts off the album and quickly makes work of defying any expectations one may have had prior to hitting the play button. The riffs scream of early Nineties thrash (think _Souls of Black_ era Testament) and Raunchy's Kasper Thomsen provides the perfect serrated-edge rasp to give credence to the band being dubbed "Danish Dynamite". It's when the melodies kick in that The Arcane Order truly ascends to a league of their own however. There are no post-pop kiddie sing-a-longs to be found here. The chorus to "The Superior Collision" is at once climactic and majestic, powered as it is by guitarwork that sends the technicality quotient off the scale. "Servants of a Darker World" expertly combines hyper-speed leads with subtle dashes of synth, and "The Sanity Insane" ends off the record on a suitably cataclysmic note.

I've never made a secret of my dislike for this style of music, but take it from me: The Arcane Order are several cuts above your average In Flames clone. As far as this debut effort is concerned, you can consider me very impressed indeed.


(article published 22/8/2006)

2/25/2008 J Smit 8.5 The Arcane Order - In the Wake of Collisions
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