In a time when the underground world of heavy metal is soaked bands imitating the low and fast sounds of initial death metal giants, Ayin’s full length shone to me as it floated by amidst the torrent of slam-style chugs and muddy riffs that crowd the modern death metal scene. Ayin clearly utilized their impressive creativity and grandiose riffing style as well as technical musicianship to forge this unsung titan of a record. My head was uncontrollably dividing blast beats, banging along to the downbeats throughout the whole record.
The massive aged-growl vocal style coupled with the grand, spiraling and stomping guitar parts and elaborately unforgiving percussive performance create a vortex, much like the one illustrated on the cover, that sucks the listener in and dazzles them with the ever-changing sonic journey that is Ordo Ab Chao. While praising this album so highly I can’t forget to point out the record’s tendency to rely on this perfected style and occasionally feel a bit repetitive. Certain tracks can have riffs or breaks that could confuse the listener as to what track they’re actually hearing but overall this format is enjoyable and sustained for just the right duration.
Ordo Ab Chao’s production is simply stellar. The instruments are mixed to the ideal harmony of volume that highlights key specifics while maintaining persistent audibility for the bass, drums, vocals and guitar alike. The twang of the basslines can at times drown in the pummeling guitar distortion but is definitely audible in the verses and other times when its presence is significant. The attack of the drum strokes is emphasized, as it should be for a record of this kind, but the roominess and round resonant tones of the toms can be heard in tracks’ more tribal or sonically-textured moments.
The record clocks in above 36 minutes with the lengths of its 9 songs varying around 4 minutes, which normally would seem a little short to me, but it proves its worth with the principle of quality over quantity and is careful not to overstay its stylistic welcome. The songs don’t attempt to really draw out their ideas but try to go a little farther than just concisely displaying each of their various riffs and transitions.
The opening title track instantly bursts into a musical synopsis of Ayin’s style with pounding group hits that use a complex fill to lead into a very bright, wavy and fast guitar riff laid upon one of the records many solid blast beats. A sizable gap in the song leaves the listener to marvel at the fantastic eruption of death metal musicianship and grow hungry for this wizardry to be expanded upon. The introduction of the vocals quickly reopens the gates of hell and lets you dive right back into the organized chaos with the song’s main chorus riff that feels like a more evolved form of the intro. The verse exhibits its wolf-like qualities as it bounds along the jumping bassline, accompanying guitar line and thrash-metal style drum beat. A short atmospheric-yet-powerful, dissonant-yet-melodic sounding break throws the listener into an intense floating starscape as their ears are plunged beneath thick layers of harsh grows, relentless kick drums and guitar distortion.
Variations of these sections repeat with added vocals allowing the listener to wreak havoc inside its convoluted maze of riffage until it’s cut off at 1:53. The guitar and bass explode into a low underlying long tone to usher in the main higher yet equally sinister triplet-based guitar. The new triplet groove is remorselessly accented by the drums before doubling the pace of its hits and establishing a quick 3-2 polyrhythm for a satisfyingly clever transition back to the verse groove. This new verse supports a flashy, dazzling and high-pitched solo that reinforces the listener’s feeling of a cacophonous chaotic-yet-calculated musical outburst surrounding them. A crescendo in excitement leads to dark pounding low-riff section smacking the listener out of left field before using the dazzling floaty break to once again return them to the main verse and chorus.
Finishing listening to these songs feel like hazily stepping of a roller coaster, trying to maintain stability while reflecting on how you just experienced such a mind-blowing ride. Eventually these feelings will dissipate a little the further you are into the record but Ayin ensures that the experience isn’t drawn out more than it should be. I give this record approximately four tyrants-puking-the-filth-they-preach-as-they-sit-upon-a-throne-atop-a-pile-of-the-remains-of-their-innocent-enemies-in-front-of-tumultuous-electric-vortexes-of-apocalyptic-disarray out of 5.
Ayin don't fall short of impressing death metal fans with their bright and dangerous riffs.