Obsession - Order of Chaos

Order of Chaos
Inner Wound Recordings
Obsession are back, for the attack with yet another album after their rather successful reunion in 2004, that bore a single album that was however re-released twice with slightly different covers making certain people believe they had released actually 2 albums. A complication that followed a couple of years later didn’t help things either coupled with certain re-releases of the old albums that according to the band were unsanctioned. Phew! Oh well. Fast forward to 2012 and “Order of Chaos”, hits the waves, stores, the net, your local record shop.
Vescera (of Yngwie Malmsteen, Loudness and Dr Sin fame among others) has aged rather gracefully and his voice holds up rather well. The band has little to do with the 80s counterpart, actually forget it, membership wise, only Vescera remains, yet, stylistically, things are not too bad, since the sort of players that Vescera has gotten to perform beside him like Chris McCarvill and Bj Zamba and the guitar duo of John Bruno and Scott Boland are really good and need no direction in doing what they should do and that’s blast out some 80s heavy metal, free from any alternative BS, influences. On top of that premise – Vescera delivers some rather impressive if not on occasion a little thin, delivery, of pure metallic bliss.
Well, it may not be as balls to the wall as the 80s output of Obsession – but it’s a more refined and up to date – yet as retro as it should be – version of that, an updated version of that, if you will but, without changing anything about it, just sort of, bringing it, forward in time with different players, ehm and it’s fairly decent and fairly good! Not perfect and not the same, but, it succeeds in what it sets out to do and at least it’s genuine in what it tries to do and it doesn’t try to cheat any one.
The title track “Order of Chaos” is a fast, Priest-esque number, that sort of has Vescera, squeaking and squealing a bit, but it’s seriously good! Just a bit – you know – marginal!
“Twist of the Knife” (what a cliché metal title) drops things a notch down and allows Michael to breathe and thus sing, much better! It’s a great epic song! Maybe the best of the record?!
“Forbidden Desire” has a sinister vibe, a great riff, and a nice gang vocal! Another strong song!
“When the Smoke Clears” has a nice gallop and multi tracked, layered vocals, that impress, quite a bit. There’s also a nice lead in there, that would probably cause more smoke to rise, than cause it to clear, haha!
“License to Kill” is another super cool song. Along with “Twist” it’s a candidate for one of the better ones of the album, it’s driven by a strong riff and very catchy melodic chorus that sticks to your head.
“Wages of Sin” is a melodic track, that manages to keep the momentum going, with similar virtues as it's predecessor's gracing it.
“Cold Day In Hell” is a bit of a by the numbers neoclassical number, that sort of shows, flairs of promise here and there, but ultimately, sort of fails to make a huge difference.
At the point however where the album would be in danger of losing steam and interest a bit “Act of God” sort of throws down a gauntlet and makes things a lot more aggressive and picks up the slack, quite capably.
“Mercy Killing” is another strong that begins rather strongly with some high wails and proceeds to have some rather more melodic splashes throughout, almost acting as a half ballad, so to speak. With an extensive solo, that is!?! Which is nice! Eh, haha.
At this point I was sort of realizing, that even I could have done, with some parts of the album, being sung a bit, lower actually ? A bit lower, not a lot, lower, just a bit, just because you can hit an ultra-high note, it doesn’t mean, you always have to be up there, it’s not that nice, sounding all the time! I actually, liked the more expressive, ability of Vescera’s voice when he was singing on his mid register, then when he occasionally, goes higher, when that’s needed… on a chorus… that’s OK. But, having a gazillion, bridges and other parts with harmonies, done to the God, sometimes it tends to be cumbersome!
Having said that, “Dark Shadows” is enjoyable, as it’s a nice, 5 minute, epic, type of song, where those “problems” are existent, but not, to the point where they’d destroy the song and hey the falseto’s are not too bad and the song is good anyway!
All in all, the album is rather good, and if you like, classic 80s metal, you will likely not be disappointed if you pick it up. Give it a listen – just to make sure!