Released: 2008, Metal Blade Records
The Arcane Order are a group of highly talented Danes, and are one of the brightest new sparks on the Metal Blade roster. IN THE WAKE OF COLLISIONS is their second album, following up the very highly rated THE MACHINERY OF OBLIVION in 2006.
They play a highly dynamic brand of music that combines old school death metal with newer melodic death metal, incorporating at the same time a healthy dose of black metal sensibilities. The old school death metal element is very much apparent in the furious drumming courtesy of one Mr. Morten Løwe Sørensen, who steps up to the plate and takes charge of headbanging proceedings by driving the irresistible beat along the same way Doc used to do for Vader. This is a guy who can bring together flair, heaviness and dependability; he’s the rhythm dude but not content to be just a backing player. Superb stuff.
The old school death/thrash metal is there in large parts of the riffing, but credit to the two awesome guitarists, Kasper Kirkegaard and Flemming C. Lund, for also bringing different flavours and melodies to the tried-and-tested death metal approach to riffing. Listening to their music, I’m reminded and re-reminded alternately of Yngwie Malmsteen, Niklas Sundin/Martin Henriksson, Proscriptor, Abbath/Demonaz and Jeff Loomis. That’s not bad company to be keeping! The in-your-face bottom-heavy brutality of death metal riffing is rounded out in equal parts by abrasive melodic black metal playing and catchy-as-fuck melodeath. Don’t even get me started on the leadwork, which is also superb. And Flemming’s lead tone just reminds so much of what was best about Malmsteen…
The fact that I mention the excellent Kasper Thomsen on vocals and session synthman Kim Oleson last is no reflection on these guys, rather a tribute to the three outstanding musicians above. Kim is a tad heavy-handed on the keys, but this to me only adds to the epicness of the entire record, filling out any crack of empty space on the soundscape that is left by Flemming and Kasper K. The other Kasper, Kasper T., gives us the benefit of both a tortured black metal shriek most of the time, but mixing it up with brutal death growls at opportune moments. Nothing outstanding, but solid and dependable.
Denmark is not overstocked with good metal bands (I was about to mention Communic and Swallow The Sun for some reason – lucky I re-checked!), but along with Inimical and Hatesphere (maybe not), The Arcane Order are definitely in the forefront of Danish metal. They’re one band you don’t want to miss out on. They are in the midst of recording a new album, so keep an eye out for that.