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Order OF Nine - A Means To Know End (CD)

Order OF Nine
A Means To Know End
by Grigoris Chronis at 27 June 2008, 11:26 AM

This is the third album for these Pennsylvania, USA metallers. ORDER OF NINE has been around since 2001 and A Means To Know End would possibly confirm why every US Heavy/Power Metal fan should wish to have more bands like this playing the kind of 'Metal the American way' music we know and have put trust in the last 20+ years. Who say's there's not Metal being played in the US? OK, if you only trust major labels/Media, then this is your problem.
In the vein of renowned US Metal bands of the past - some of them still kicking ass today - like SANCTUARY, SHOK PARIS, LETHAL, (early) QUEENSRYCHE, (some of) METAL CHURCH, to-the-core JAG PANZER and 'mainstream' LIEGE LORD, this quintet (in prior acting as TEMPLAR) features Michael Degrena guiding the band with an all-new remainder lineup and now releases its third album, again with heavy and solid-as-hell guitars, full of riffs/leads/themes/dual fights. The bass/drums lines are also powerful, with various tempo changes but efficient enough not to fall in the prog-keen trap and lose the 'power' vibe. The vocals of Michael Degrena stand tall, on the other hand; he has gradually developed his voice dynamics all these years, and he sounds confident and swaying, while he does both flirt with mid and high pitch frequencies where relatively needed. His base, still, is harsh and would not be easy to be compared to some other 'classic' singer's voice. The man's kinda unique.
The songs themselves, as also mentioned above, are US-keen, with a strong base in the 80s Power Metal side and glimpses towards Prog Metal, classic Heavy Metal and some of on-the-edge Speed/Thrash peaks. The tracks' average duration does not exceed four minutes or something, and there's no way you'll find yourself feeling bored at all, provided you do dig this specific blend. A blend that's mainly old-school bur with enough pieces (in instrumentation and arrangements) of more 'fresh' stuff. You'll bang along to all tunes, but Single Shot, A Means To Know End and Gods Of War did grab me by the balls lightning fast.
Fans of European Heavy/Power Metal (the nowadays way) will not find much of interest in this release, even if they should try it on order to hear how real Power Metal's played. Fans of the US side of Metal will nonetheless enjoy A Means To Know End; they can even have a brief initial picture from the cover artwork; the 'book' inside is quite relevant. Featured in tribute albums for QUEENSRYCHE (with The Thin Line) and BLACK SABBATH (with Disturbing The Priest), this release can as well be the finest - so far - of all Nightmare Records' recent 'export' products. The finest ORDER OF NINE album so far this CD is, no doubt.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Single Shot
A Means To Know End
Devotee
In The Know
An Offered Hand
Ghost Of Memories
Gods At War
Ninth Knight
Show No Remorse
Last Dance
Lineup:
Michael Degrena - Vocals
Scott Haggerty - Lead & Rhythm Guitars
Steve Pollick - Lead & Rhythm Guitars
Tom Donaldson - Bass
J.R. Jameson - Drums
Record Label: Nightmare Records
     


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