In the Wake of Collisions by The Arcane Order
Release date : January 2008
Reviewed by Mark Fisher
In the realms of Metal, The Arcane Order ranks amongst the greatest kept secrets. To adequately trace the group's initial beginnings, one's research needs to delve into the history of guitarist Flemming C. Lund. Lund's erstwhile outfit Autumn Leaves winded to a permanent conclusion during the summer of 2000, an unfortunate circumstance that precipitated the axeman's employment within Invocator. This same period witnessed Lund's initial compositions penned for the benefit of The Arcane Order, a project provisionally entitled Scavenger. Time restraints and an arguable disillusionment with music bore consequences, and so the group's early years wielded little of note. Blessed with a resurrected passion for music, in 2003 Lund began to pen a hefty amount of fresh material. Seeking fellow musicians, the following names pledged their services; former Autumn Leaves comrade Boris Tandrup (who boasts stint as part of Koldborn, Slugs and Submission), and local twenty year old (at the time) sticksman Morten Løwe Sørensen (also of Koldborn, Slugs, Submission, and the little known Strangler). A famed Swedish vocalist whom Lund held in noble regard agreed in principle to submit contributions, a decision Lund was to regret somewhat during future months.
Jacob Hansen Studios in Ribe, Denmark played host to the group in June 2004, a venue where instrumental parts were laid down in support of a forthcoming promotional release. Following a seven month wait, vocal parts had still yet to be committed to tape. Sensibility dawned, causing the immediate termination of said relationship. Longtime Lund associate Kasper Thomsen (Raunchy) proved to be the axeman's next choice, and Thomsen expressed an evident interest in the position. Thomsen cut the vocals during May 2005, drawing the promotional release's lengthy saga to a timely close. Aiding to garner interest courtesy of multiple labels, the group finally inked a record contract with Death Metal label Metal Blade Records during September 2005. Following this development, the name Scavenger was revised to The Arcane Order. The group made a return visit to Hansen Studios, with producer Jacob Hansen in tow, in April 2006. The creatively inclined aspects of Heavy Metal music invest their finest elements into The Arcane Order (both Strapping Young Lad and mid-career Extol being notable examples), fusing those ingredients against the fist wielding aggression of groups such as Kataklysm and Grip Inc.
The Arcane Order's inaugural full length album, namely August 2006's The Machinery of Oblivion, garnered critical acclaim courtesy of Metal journalists. Sophomore effort In the Wake of Collisions, as an immediate consequence, is “highly anticipated” under the warmth of such glowing praise. In the Wake of Collisions' lone minutes under the critics' surgical knife finally arrive, an obligatory procedure which thankfully avoids disappointment. Collectively, “Death Is Imminent” and “Eruptions of Red” shrewdly demonstrate The Arcane Order's immense capabilities. Smoothly marrying countless themes, “Death Is Imminent” comprises a formal introduction to the album. The latter predominantly features luscious keys in the vein of Cradle of Filth, though a heavy, grinding demeanour underpins the track. Also, chaotic vocal intonations present themselves. The Danes ably retain the mightily strong hook, a pleasantly surprising development. Flowing ever more, the track's erratic nature defies genre categorisation. If you especially wish to maintain a listener's attention undivided attention throughout a song which varies in length from four to six minutes, then it's an absolute necessity to pen musical hooks whose range and appeal extends beyond the fact they're simply punishing. In this instance, The Arcane Order majestically display a vast knowledge of their said craft. “Unleash the Tyrant”, teamed with “When Oceans Become Deserts”, carve an equally favourable impression, optimistic aspects that can be primarily attributed to an intense, straightforward delivery. In the revered tradition of Napalm Death, their modest length mirrors that of an altogether brief explosion. An eternity before shattering realization progresses into motion, the respective explosions hastily dissipate. As a valid partnership, the two compositions register the defiant statement that The Arcane Order can pen unadulterated Metal in a seamless fashion - a blossoming fashion as the group's refusal to willingly submit to genre classification.
In the Wake of Collisions' extreme application of Metal takes reign, yet only amongst the more supreme breed. Black Metal paired with Death Metal, cohesively gelled together to form a rigid unit, comprise the weighty foundations laid down via the song's respective structures. Having said that, it's The Arcane Order's brave utilization of Metalcore style breakdowns combined with flamboyantly classical soloing which strive the group towards remarkable distinction amongst a host of peers. Admirers of Cradle of Filth, Strapping Young Lad's early material, or comparable Metal Blade artists such as The Absence and Hate Eternal, will discover much scope for delight on this album.