Reviewed: December 2020
Released: 2020, Eclipse Records
Reviewer: Kira Levine
Hailing from Crema, Lombardy (Italy), Genus Ordinis Dei are a symphonic death outfit who will unleash their third album, Glare Of Deliverance, on the 4th of December. They are signed to Eclipse Records. The ten tracks act as episodes of a metal opera which detail key stages of Eleanor’s ordeal, the main character who is tried for witchcraft during the Holy Inquisition of the Roman Catholic church in Renaissance-era Europe. Amazingly, the band will also release every song as a single, each accompanied with its own music video.
“Ritual” gives Glare Of Deliverance a sublime start, showcasing the complex nature of Genus Ordinis Dei’s sound. “Hunt” swiftly follows, introducing the first set of harsh vocals on the album, which expertly contrast with the classical aspects.
The lyrical deliveries in “Edict” are fantastic, with each line sung/screamed in a fashion that makes them seem as instrumental as the music. Most of the episodes contain atmospheric parts, sound effects, and in the closing moments, spoken word sections that really assist in driving the story along.
Highly infectious, “Examination” absolutely steals the show in the first half of the series, with its groove-oriented approach. The intensity the instrumentation provides is strengthened by Cadegari’s roaring vocals, with the solemn symphonic elements helping the listener to empathise with Eleanor’s plight.
“Torture” leads with high drama, keeping the listener in suspense for about a minute before the lead vocals kick in. This track feels more cinematic than most of the others, as the orchestral instruments dominate the aural landscape until the climatic outro.
“Judgement” has a sense of sorrow that lingers throughout, emboldened by the mournful piano melodies, desolate operatic backing vocals, and slow strings. Communicating the desperation of the persecuted woman, Cadegari’s voice is often urgent, in both the clean and guttural instances. The melody heard during the choir vocals reprise as a bittersweet guitar solo, sounding much more defiant than doleful in electric form. Guitarists Nic K’ and Tommy do an astounding job bringing a haunting vibe to the episode.
Displaying the band’s progressive tendencies, “Dream” really sees Meiz and Olda shine in the rhythm section. The light and airy symphonic instrumentation bring the mood of a pleasant day reverie, while the heavier sounds combined with the lead vocal performance bringing to mind the harsh reality of Eleanor’s predicament.
“Abjuration” starts with Gregorian chants and an instrumental, accounting for almost half its length. The groove metal influence coupled with the symphonic segments work amazingly here, as do the chorals when delivered simultaneously with the lead vocals.
Taking the listener to the penultimate stage in this opera, “Exorcism” blends classical and metal styles to great effect in its introduction. The changes in tempo are very effective, showing the shift of emotions between Eleanor and her aggressors, as the lyrics switch between their point-of-view to hers.
Glare of Deliverance is no fairytale story, but a metal opera that ends in tragedy, as “Fire” confirms. The final episode is truly a grand finale, at over fifteen minutes in length, concluding both the listener’s and Eleanor’s journey, as she meets her fate.
What is particularly great about lyrical side of the record (aside from the occasional Latin chorals that add to the pious feel on the album) is that the band include their native Italian with English. It shows that while they want to connect with international audiences, they are also staying true to their roots. Glare of Deliverance is a highly memorable metal opera, which will more than likely cause you to sympathise with Eleanor, who faces the rage of the religious inquisitors simply because her beliefs do not fall in line with theirs.
The hard work Genus Ordinis Dei put in definitely paid off – Glare of Deliverance is their magnum opus!