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Android Meme

Ordo Ab Chao

Review by Gary Hill

I originally had this slated for the progressive rock side of Music Street Journal, but in retrospect, it really doesn’t fit there. I know, it’s the first time we’ve put a Magna Carta release anywhere but under “progressive rock.” And, yes, there are some prog moments and prog elements at various times on the disc. Overall, though, this is essentially nu-metal. I’d consider it closer to Tool than just about anything else. It’s quite good nu-metal at that, but a bit limited sometimes. There tends to be a bit of a monolithic nature to the early portions of the set.  Still, this is entertaining. However, while I’ve got a pretty wide range of what I’ll put under progressive rock, this is decidedly heavy metal. Some extremely creative metal, though.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
The Machine Stops

Keyboards bring this in, then it seems about to fire into some metallic prog, but it settles into something closer to fusion. The metallic elements do rise up from there, but they drop it to a more stripped down techno meets prog arrangement for the verse. The cut runs through with that sound and the heavier ones bouncing off one another.

Sumii
While in some ways this piece is far more metal than the opener had been, it’s also got a lot of real progressive rock built into it. At times it’s not that far removed from something by Dream Theater.
Polar Rose
Mixing nu-metal with progressive rock, this is another tasty tune, even though it doesn’t vary greatly from the music we’ve heard to this point. This one does get a lot more into the pure metal side of things.
Sigma
This one is definitely almost all heavy metal. Sure, there are some prog elements here, but really this is not that far removed from the bulk of nu-metal out there. That said, it’s a great tune.
Ordo Ab Chao
Serious metal, including extreme vocals, bring this one out. While those extreme vocals are heard throughout, this is a somewhat generic techno metal tune with some more extreme elements over the top. There is a cool effects driven movement that ends the track.
Left Right Parasite
Coming in extremely heavy, the vocals come with a real death metal scream. There are some prog keyboards and some weird timings here, but overall this is extremely creative and very tasty modern metal. It’s nothing close to generic or predictable, though, and is one of the coolest tunes on show here. There is a nearly pure progressive rock movement that appears later. The piece is one of the most dynamic on show and certainly one of the highlights.
Esoterika
Extremely heavy and dense, this is a powerful piece of music. It’s very much in keeping with something like Tool.
Spook
The main motif is heavy and hard rocking, but there is a drop back to mellower tones later in the piece.
Whistleblower
Incredibly heavy with major gothic textures, this is a real killer. There are definitely hints of shoegaze music here. Around the two and a half minute mark it fires out to a jam that’s quite prog-like.
Stranger
While this is extremely heavy and Tool-like, it does have some definite progressive rock-like tendencies. It turns extremely heavy later.
 
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