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Athanasia - The Order of the Silver Compass

The Order of the Silver Compass
by John Paul Romero at 25 March 2019, 4:41 AM

Exactly eleven days ago, metal trio ATHANASIA released their debut album “The Order of the Silver Compass”. The press material says they are a thrash/black metal band and promises a combination of anthemic stadium metal hooks with elements of bay area thrash and Scandinavian black metal styles. But don’t be deceived though, the sound of the album is nowhere near thrash nor black. By their own description of the album, you might think you’ll get a killer SLAYER meets GORGOROTH kind of sound. But the truth is, I don’t know why but for some reasons, the album is labeled thrash and black metal while it actually sounds like BREAKING BENJAMIN covers SLIPKNOT featuring MARIYLN MANSON. To me that is a fucking mortal sin.

The opening of the album would make you imagine that it will be a classic heavy metal attack. But when the riffs drop, you’ll all be like “okay tell me what the fuck this is”. The lyrics are mid-tier, the riffs are generic, and the overall mood is simply boring. “Spoils of War” has an intro that is almost AOR with more distortion. But compared to the first song, it was a bit more decent. The song would sound like a slower edition of SISTER and/or WEDNESDAY 13. The vocals and the drums did all the job for this sleaze glam appeal. The lyrics are also a lot better and poetic (still compared to the first song). The title track is the most energetic song in the album, and even though it is still not that good enough, it is the most memorable track. Caleb used different vocal styles all throughout the song, bragging his versatility. And for a moment, they have showed a little shade of that black metal but that’s all by Caleb’s Shagrath-like shrieks. “Cyclops Lord” has lots of crazy shifts when it comes to tempo and mood. Remember when I said the album sounds like BREAKING BENJAMIN? Listen to “The Bohemian” and there’ll be no further explanation needed.

It’s like BREAKING BENJAMIN but edgier and a bit angrier. “Mechanized Assault” is another awkward attempt to sound dark. Yes, the vocals did well. And yes, those lyrics are decent. But what about the riffs? The drums? It’s simply so generic and boring. And lastly, talking about the closing track “White Horse” – it’s a completely out of place power ballad. I don’t know, maybe they thought it would showcase their versatility? Now time for the consolation. Caleb is not good at writing riffs, but he’s got some amazing solos particularly in the first couple of songs. I’m not really big into his first band FFDP but I heard some of his stuff there and I think he fits more to this band than FFDP.

There is one thing surely unforgivable about this album, and that is the tagged genre. Random thrash metal and black metal fans might stumble upon this album and quickly pick it up for the sinister cover art and end up listening to something they’d surely call shit. Geezz, I can only hope Satan forgives them for calling the album Black/Thrash.

Songwriting: 5
Originality: 4
Memorability: 2
Production: 3

Overall: 3

1 Star Rating

1. Read Between the Lines
2. Spoils of War
3. The Order of the Silver Compass
4. Cyclops Lord
5. The Bohemian
6. Mechanized Assault
7. Nightmare Sound
8. White Horse
Caleb Bingham – Guitars, Vocals
Brandon Miller – Bass
Jason West – Drums
Record Label: ROAR! Rock of Angels Records


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