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Reciprocal – New Order Of The Ages

New Order Of The Ages
by Tim Bolitho-Jones at 01 October 2014, 4:38 PM

When the cover art to an album features the Statue Of Liberty holding up an hourglass and being engulfed by some monstrous serpent, it’s a pretty safe bet that politics is going to crop up as the subject to a song or two. There’s nothing wrong with that of course, metal is rebellious music and what better way to express that than with an insightful critique of the powers that be? Well the trouble with politics is that sometimes people go too far and with NEW ORDER OF THE AGES, that’s exactly what RECIPROCAL have done.

It’s all very well and good criticising social inequality, political corruption and illegal wars for instance, but RECIPROCAL aren’t content with that. The Bush and Obama administrations both get a kicking here, not because the people involved are corrupt and greedy but because they’re all engaged in a vast conspiracy to enslave humanity. There are nods to the 9/11 conspiracies, references to the Illuminati, Satanic Masons and all manner of nonsense that makes RECIPROCAL seem less like free-thinking intellectuals and more like paranoid stoners ranting on a street corner.

This tendency to go over the top extends to the music as well. This is highly technical Death Metal with a definite NECROTICISM-era CARCASS feel to it, (to the extent that you could probably convince yourself that Jacob Enfinger was actually Jeff Walker using an alias) but again it goes too far. They’re all very talented musicians, but they appear to have spent more time obsessing over their instruments than honing the songs into the razor sharp cuts of Death Metal they should be. None of the tracks are especially memorable and at a whopping sixty-nine minutes run time, the album seriously outstays its welcome. There are plenty of intricate drum rhythms, flashy guitar histrionics and unusual time signatures, but they appear to have been stitched together haphazardly rather than with any thought to the overall structure.

Nowhere is this more apparent than on "Saintan", where RECIPROCAL turn their ire on the Catholic Church. Enfinger rants over spiralling bass riffs and lightning fingered guitar masturbation, but it never gels and they come across as a band where all four members are fighting for space, rather than working together as a unit.

And just to hammer the final nail home, they’re also far too fond of overly long samples. There are montages of news clips and speeches before each and every track and they get increasingly annoying as the album goes on. The odd reference to evil corporations is no problem, but some of them go on for minutes at a time and they detract from the experience rather than add to it.

In other words, this is a very difficult album to like. It’s essentially an hour long Alex Jones speech set to music and there are a wealth of bands trading in technical Death Metal who do it much better. RECIPROCAL are terrific musicians, but they need to work together more and spend less time reading David Icke books.

And while we’re at it, there is no Illuminati.

1 Star Rating

1. New American Century
2. Esoteric Agenda
3. Profit Before Protocol
4.Guilty Until Proven Innocent
5. Illuminati
6. New Order Of The Ages
7. Saintan
8. Mystery, Babylon The Great, Mother Of All Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth
9. Tyrannicide
10. Oblivion
11. RIP (Memento Mori)
Andy McLeod – Guitars
Dustin Perle – Drums
Jacob Enfinger – Vocals
Jeff Hughell - Bass
Record Label: Lacerated Enemy Records


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