Obsession – Order Of Chaos

September 5, 2012 in Reviews by Kylie

Order Of Chaos

Please forgive me for all my transgressions in criticizing Gene Adam, Ralf Scheepers, Timo Kotipelto, and Joacim Cans for all these years. You may now return Mike Vescera’s voice to whatever circle of Dante’s Inferno from whence it came.

Yeah, the vocals here are that bad. Imagine the perfect storm of poorly misplaced screams and high-pitched vocals provided by the unholy lovechild of Gene Adam and Timo Kotipelto and remove any idea that the 50 year old vocalist might not have yet entered puberty. Mike Vescera did do vocal work for Yngwie about 20 years ago, so that should be a red flag right there. It’s saying something when I start off a discussion with vocals and not the riffs (which I should say are incredibly good).

Everything starts off perfectly with a killer up-tempo riff, quickly joined by a pulsating double bass beat in “Order Of Chaos.” Then, all of a sudden, “who’s strangling the cat?” Did Ripper Owens suddenly lose all of his talent? Thankfully no, but it’s still not a pleasant sound. We’re mercifully treated to a killer set of guitar solos from Scott Boland and John Bruno. However, Mike just won’t go away (usually the case when it’s a band built around the vocalist).

Actually, the entire album follows a similar pattern. Great guitar riffs, fantastic drumming, lethal soloing, and a castrated elf caterwauling over everything and making it the musical version of cognitive dissonance. You love the yummy rifftastic metal center, but it’s encased in this horrible vocal shell that leaves a nauseating aftertaste.

It’s hard to pick a favorite, as all the songs are quite enjoyable (provided you can ignore nails on a chalkboard). “Order Of Chaos” and “Cold Day In Hell” have both the best riffs and the coolest solos, but “Order Of Chaos” also boasts the worst vocals on the album (an impressive feat).

So yes, musically, this is an excellent traditional/USPM release, but it’s so hard to listen to. The compositions are similar to stuff you’d hear on a mid-80s Shrapnel Records LP, where you have the riff for the song and then a crapload of fret-burning solos over a simple vamp (and this is made better with two shredders on the album). Now if only Mike were as talented as his backing band…

 Kylie’s Rating: 1.75 out of 5. (Or, if you can locate the secret stash of the karaoke versions: 4.25 out of 5)