Compendium Ordinis by Ordo Omegae Absolutae

Release date: September 9, 2016
Label: Altare Productions

Bands need to adapt and survive. There’s less hype around metal bands these days. The scene has diversified much, genres branching off into more sub-genres that make use of a variety of near-disparate elements. So, its great to hear a band trying a different approach to writing and recording an album. Ordo Omegae Absolutae is comprised of five members composing music with each member’s own personal preference, hence five different takes on the black metal template. Often times, band members don’t get to show their true colors in collaborative efforts, where a dominant member holds a greater responsibility in composing the lyrics and music. The members of Ordo Omegae Absolutae realize that this method of writing music can be less cathartic, hence less-thrilling, so they try letting each member have his share of songwriting duties.

Just like Darkthrone’s take on Circle the Wagons, where Fenriz and Nocturno Culto trade tracks with each of them doing a different approach, the five members of Ordo Omegae Absolutae share the stage. It’s a commendable effort, and one that is more likely to find an audience interested in a particular style of play. This is true more so than a band taking cues from a leader.

My favorite happens to be Necrosophia’s portion of the runtime, as the two tracks he is responsible for sound visceral, raw, and powerfully reminiscent of second wave black metal. The take on tracks seven and eight are also interesting, featuring death metal growls atop slower black metal with plenty of rung notes. Make no mistake: this is still largely a black metal album, and the approaches range from raw, melodic, folk, to atmospheric.

Track one, ‘Nihilistic Reveries’, also wins me over with the rather fine intro and blistering black metal that follows it. That and second track,’ A Stain Upon the Shroud of Eternity’, makes a good impression on folks who think that this review signals at watered-down black metal with plenty of acoustic segments. Still, I can’t help but feel as though this band reminds me a little of Wolves in the Throne Room. ‘A Stain in the Shroud of Eternity’ also features a rare melodic lead.

Track’s five and six are my least favorite of the bunch. Just a heads-up.

The album, entitled Compendium Ordinis, might not be as challenging for fans of particular sub-genres as people might think. Though clear differences in approach might be perceived sometimes, the consistency in production values helps ground most of the compositions. I would recommend a listen, as there is plenty to like in Compendium Ordinis, in spite of the diversity here possibly serving as a deterrent for some fans who are too narrow in musical preference. Open-minded metal fans will find it worthwhile to see what style they like most. As I’ve mentioned, tracks nine and ten are my personal favorites. On these two tracks, the screams are demented and the production is classic necro.

You won’t find progressive touches on Compendium Ordinis. It has it’s share of tenacity, and the album’s approach to songwriting is novelty for this day and age. While it’s hard to tell whether other fans will agree with my tastes, I doubt fans will turn down an opportunity to find out what style fits them best. Open-minded fans are encouraged to give Compendium Ordinis a listen. So gather your friends, do just that and after a few listens, start an enlightening discussion.

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