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Order of the Ebon Hand – VII: The Chariot

Order of the Ebon Hand
VII: The Chariot
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 04 September 2019, 6:13 AM

THE ORDER OF THE EBON HAND is a Black Metal band that, at the moment, is going through a creative period of Reforming the Order. We have three new members: Kalma (Keyboards/Backing Vocals), Baron Bonisagus (Bass/Backing Vocals), and Deimos (Drums/Percussion), their talent, passion, and dedication has brought new air into the band. Their new album is a Tarot card, named "VII: The Chariot". It is a work of dynamic Black Metal, an album with attacking riffs and immediacy. In the production, mixing and mastering of Victor Santura. With the eye of their imagination, they often see the challenge that is a live show, as a medieval battle, the world that comes to the concert is the ones who fight with them. The enemy Invisible.

“Dreadnaught” leads us off, with some muted production and some old school keys. The cadence is mid-tempo and the vocals are semi-spoken. It’s loosely Black Metal, but the focus is on the main riff instead of blast beast that you often hear in the genre. “Mores (Night’s Mare)” is more Black Metal sounding, with a full riff and thunderous drumming. The vocals go for broke with a villainous sound. “Wings” opens with a riff that builds amidst rolling percussion and angry vocal shouts. It moves quickly with a wall of sound. It ends like a fireball exploding and then there’s nothing.

“Sabnock” brings that full sound to the table. There is some loose structure here in the riffing pattern if you can pluck through the layers of the riff and drums, letting out a little bit of melody into the picture. The sound changes a bit around the half-way mark, slowing down just a bit. “Knight of Swords” opens with clean guitars and the sound of the howling wind. Suddenly the hasty sound breaks loose like a caged tiger and rips you to shreds with its claws. It keeps up in intensity throughout the entire song. “Aiantas” is another shorter song but with no less intensity. The vocals are spoken at times but hard to distinguish. I have the sense that they are not talking rainbows and unicorns. “Bae” has a low and thunderous opening but sounds similar in pace and mood to other tracks on the album. They really aren’t able to build much in the area of diversity.

“The Slow Deathwalk” is an eight-minute closer. It opens slowly and methodically, and with a hypnotic riff. Keys can be heard again here…I wonder what happened to them since the opening track. They may have been lost in the mix. This song reminds of A FOREST OF STARS a bit. The main riff pounds away at you. Overall, I wonder why they were not used more prominently. If nothing else, they bring an element of variety to the table. I get that many Black Metal artists are not willing to change the formula. But with so many techniques at your disposal, why limit yourself to the same sound over and over?

Songwriting: 5
Originality: 4
Memorability: 4
Production: 4

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Dreadnaught
2. Mores (Night’s Mare)
3. Wings
4. Sabnock
5. Night of Swords
6. Aiantas
7. Bae
8. The Slow Deathwalk
Lineup:
Merkaal – Vocals
Phlaigon – Guitar
Kalma – Keys
Baron Bonisagus – Bass
Deimos – Drums
Record Label: Satanath Records
     


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