Another band we encountered at Bloodstock – and who thrust a CD at us – were The Heretic Order. This was another “special festival edition” disc with bonus, free, limited edition spelling mistake on the label! Again, this is a band that went down well with our on-site reviewers – Sean certainly liked them – though again I was too busy elsewhere to see them for myself.
The Heretic Order are a band with the theme, a look. They’ve very “gothic horror” in a wonderfully creepy way that I’m sure comes across well on stage which is why I’m annoyed I missed them – especially seeing them walking around the VIP area in full costume! Their music comes across as a mix of Pantera, Ozzy and Wednesday 13 in terms of the schlockiness of it all.
On the strength of All Hail The Order, they’re a band who’ve taken doom metal and added some bounce to it. With the extended breaks in some songs, I can really see them milking the stage-act side of things with a live show. This is a band that needs to be seen after midnight.
Dark and yet catchy, “Burn Witch Burn” is a great opener and one of the strongest songs on the album. With some individual shredded guitar solos along with twin guitars doing a fine impression of Iron Maiden back in the day, plus Ozzy style vocals with a bit of harsher heaviness, they’ve poured elements of so many great styles into the melting pot and forged an incredibly strong first impression.
“Death Ride Blues” is the next on the album to really catch me from the get-go (nothing against the intervening tracks) with a brilliantly pacey intro. For once I hear “ride” and due to the rhythm I don’t think of cars, I’m picturing horses. Likely four of them, with very unwelcome riders.
Showing opposite in terms of tone “The Dark Light” is a much slower, heavier and more orchestral work. It shows the breadth of the band’s influences and skills compared to the more upbeat earlier tracks.
The album ends with “Entombed”, a near nine-minute opus that does get a little widdly in the middle sections but overall holds up to its extended running time very well.
All Hail The Order made a welcome change for me. I don’t get a chance to listen to much in the way of doom, which is a pity as I tend to find myself enjoying it when I do. This is a great, evil-sounding album with some huge riffs and excellent solo guitar work.
Header image by Bukavac Photography.