ORDER OF NINE - SEVENTH YEAR OF THE BROKEN MIRROR (Nightmare Records)
(Review by Officer Nice)
I saw this band on stage back in 2006 at the Headbangers Open Air Festival in Germany. Ever since it wasn’t that easy anymore to travel all those miles to visit this Garden festival and that’s a pity because it is one of the best open air Festivals I have ever been to. Back in 2006 I met a man called Mike, actually Michael DeGrena, singer of Order Of Nine. He was a very friendly man and we really had great talks, a great time and we stayed more or less in touch. Meanwhile “A Means To Know End” was released back in 2008 and believe me that was a very strong album! The band made lots of progression, became musical wise more mature and proved that some talented musicians were at work in Order Of Nine. Lance King, singer of Pyramaze and owner of the label, was also with his band at the HOA Festival in 2006 and I suppose he discovered Order Of Nine back then. Lance King is a big fan of Progressive Power Metal and that might be the exact reason why Order Of Nine is under contract.
Order Of Nine has always been something special to me. Not only because I had the chance to meet the guys, also musical wise there’s something unique about this band. Their Progressive touches made me always think of the might Savatage, one of my all time favourite Metal bands. Order Of Nine knows perfectly how to mix first class musicianship with emotional intakes and that’s a living proof about their skills, the talent that is present! Add some dark Power and you know what I am talking about.
The band is always looking for the right riffs, well produced and impressive to listen to. The combination with overwhelming keyboards and piano are well tasted too because they bring that dark atmosphere I adore! It was the secret of the later Savatage and Order Of Nine must have listened very good to classics like ‘Gutter Ballet’ and ‘Streets’. This album is full of impressive arrangements and every song is varied, is worked out in the smallest detail! The song writing is amazing and heavy loaded riffs, supported by hard hitting drums and bass lines, slowly indoctrinates your mind. This album needs it’s time, is from the kind that needs to grow on the listener.
The spectacular guitar solos are easily helping you to believe in this record and band. On “Changing Of The Guard” for example the band really overwhelms, the leads I hear are from the highest possible level! That acoustic solo… Wow! Astonishing! The more I listen to the album the more details I discover, the more the band convinces me they deserve more attention! I have the feeling some more “European oriented” influences made part of the song writing. A coincidence? I don’t know but what I do know is that fans of the modern Iced Earth and for example Nevermore will be thrilled, two of the best US Metal bands!
Michael DeGrena has a very specific vocal sound and stays constantly in the lower regions and doesn’t use higher pitched vocal lines anymore, as he used to do before. He knows on the other hand how to put emotions in his timbre and that works, it fits, it makes Order Of Nine even more unique. Nevertheless I am aware some people might not like this kind of vocals, it’s up to you to decide but it proves how special DeGrena’s voice actually is.
Negative points? Well it’s very hard to discover them! The band took another step forward into their career and proceeded again in their song writing. The music isn’t that easy on the ear and Order Of Nine obliges the listener to take time for it. That might be a point to work at in the future, writing songs that are at least as progressive, powerful and dark but that takes the listener to the throat at once! The day Order of Nine succeeds reaching that goal they will have their own classic album. I believe they’re capable writing their own “Gutter Ballet”, “Burnt Offerings” or “Dead Heart In A Dead World”!
It will be impossible not to add this album in my top 20 of this year! “Seventh Year Of The Broken Mirror” is therefore way too strong and impressive! This is a band every fan of Progressive Power Metal needs to hear! Check the band out at http://www.orderofnine.com or their video-clip at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1it0Wfij4zA .
My Points: 93 / 100