Order Of Orias
Not letting their talent to be disguised or falsely misinterpreted as a matter of unfettered, unbound enthusiasm or a mere beginner’s luck, Order Of Orias made it immediately clear that, with a little bit of honing and polishing, all the roughness around the edges of their debut full-length could be made considerably less rough on their following album, if not disappear completely.
Nine years in the making, Ablaze ends the silence that was almost long enough for the band to sink into oblivion, and there’s no arguing that something like that would have probably happened hadn’t they recorded an album as incendiary as this one is. With nine years apart between them, Ablaze certainly doesn’t sound like an immediate follow-up to Inverse, like something that could have come out a year or two after it, but precisely like a result of a diligent, patient evolution that took nearly a decade to turn into an album that it eventually turned into.
The band is truly firing on all cylinders here. Fast, slow tempos, everything in between, they seem to always have the right riff for the occasion, the right lead, the ability to smoothly transition from one extreme to the other, whatever that extreme may be. Listening to Ablaze, both during the faster, more aggressive sections and the slower, more reflective ones, music never ceases to radiate a certain calm, profound quality that provides a suitable sonic setting for candid introspection, all while constantly shifting through different moods and emotions.
Each of the songs has its own little climax, reached either by picking up a pace in a very captivating way or by slipping into contemplative hibernation. Blood To Dust, for example, starts things off in a vigorous, confident fashion, with some truly great riffs scattered throughout the song. Gleaming Night, on the other hand, features some of the most beautiful and dreamy moments on the album, whereas Raging Idols is thoroughly raging, with an incessant barrage of memorable riffs. Snares And Thorns sees the band at their most diverse, elaborate and melody-oriented, covering everything from merciless blasting to the most mild guitar lines. Crowned In Brass unleashes hell during its first part and embodies melancholy during the second. Dawning Light, ultimately, recapitulates and sums up everything that made this album worthwhile one last time, for a grand finale.
All things considered, there are not many downsides to Ablaze, if any. The album sounds urgent, it sounds inspired, it sounds like it was written by a band that has something to say and knows how to say it. Recommendation.
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