Monday 25 August 2014

The Order of Israfel - Wisdom (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 29/08/2014
Label: Napalm Records / Spinning Goblin

“Wisdom” CD/DD/LP track listing:

1). Wisdom 09:32
2). The Noctuus 04:14
3). One Black Wings, A Demon 09:05
4). The Earth Will Deliver What Heaven Desires 08:25
5). The Order 01:25
6). Born For War 04:05
7). Promises Made to the Earth 15:41
8). The Vow 03:09
9). Morning Sun (Satanas) 09:16


It’s guaranteed that Ozzy Osbourne could have fun with Wisdom, Zakk Wylde would carefully listen and members of the currently paused cult band Cathedral could creep up with the feeling of having their legitimate successors found. THE ORDEROF ISRAFEL combine early seventies Doom with progressive cross-references and interspersed cleverly with Folk elements. Who are the makers of this leaden sound? It is primarily guitarist Tom Sutton, a former member of Church Of Misery and bassist Patrik Andersson Winberg of the Doomdogs. Sutton and Andersson Winberg are brothers in spirit, quote Saint Vitus as well as Monster Magnet or Opeth and turn out as champion of biodiversity in 'Promises Made To The Earth', an almost magnetizing pamphlet on the respect towards nature.
The Band:

Tom Sutton
Patrik Andersson Winberg
Hans Lilja
Staffan Björck


The album begins with a nice folksy acoustic passage then the heavy hits like an acme anvil on a coyote. Never letting up throughout its length with some sweet guitar work and a great vocal performance “Wisdom” is a must-buy.

The lyrics on the second track “Noctuus” are campy retro doom/horror at it's finest, with the singer sounding like a drunken madman raving about vampires bellowing ‘he had the eyes of a rat! And the wings of a bat! The blues shred fest solo after that verse into the thrashy early 80s underground metal riff is absolute gold. This is probably my favorite track on the album and as the song progressed it kept surprising me with how slick The Order of Israfel's song writing is.

“The Earth will Deliver what Heaven Desires” is a nice surprise in the middle of the album channeling the vibe of your favorite Ennio Morricone soundtrack blended with a folk chorus. This is another song that surprises you, a really cool bridge/middle section with a crushing chugging guitar riff after the moody beginning of the song.  I can't stress enough how good the songwriting is on “Wisdom.” Closing the bridge section with a tasteful extended bluesy solo leading back into the acoustic sections from the beginning.

The production on “Wisdom” is pretty badass everything is nicely balanced and clearly audible with a balanced drumkit and some sweet guitar tones. It's also a nice surprise, as a bass player myself, to hear such a powerful and audible bass tone throughout the album. Particularly the fuzzy bass wah on the intro to “Promises Made to the Earth” (please post your signal chain so I can copy it). A fucking great track! The only promise The Order of Israfel makes on this song, is that you will be doomed beneath the weight of their riffs. A totally different kind of band but “Wisdom's” song writing reminds me a lot of Baroness' seminal ‘Red Album’, in that it channels the best parts of the 70s and doesn't feel forced, everything is both familiar and unexpected and on first listen you will be constantly engaged by the changes.

A powerful and moving effort, this is a strong contender for album of the year for me. I would honestly say this and Triptykon's amazing “Melana Chasmata” are the most interesting albums I've heard so far in a year filled with plenty of disappointing albums that you stop listening to after the first week or two. Do not lump The Order of Israfel into the whole stack of retro-satanic-doom bands everyone is being inundated with recently.  This is an absolute must buy.

Words By: Chris Tedor

You can pick up a copy here

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