Camera Obscura – Imhotep



Ordo Draconis, “Camera Obscura Part 1: The Star Chamber Reviews”
Rated: 9/10.

The infosheet informs us that the lyrics for this first part are made into a conceptual album, inspired from the epic play “Lucifer” by the famous Dutch playwright Vondel. So much for the lyrics, which we’ll dive into in an interview coming later this spring of 2006.

The music on “Camera Obscura pt 1” is very far out. It lacks the red thin line that so often makes music comfortable. “Camera Obscura pt 1” is not comfortable. Rather the opposite, since we can listen to these seven creations that could just as well been made by seven different bands. The opener “[Espionage]” is, and you better believe me, jazz. When I played the album the premium time, this first track made me think about development. And, if Ordo Draconis had developed into a jazz-band, I would prefer regression and thousands of standard black metal underground combos instead. Beware not, for what this band has in mind is definitely not jazz. It’s probably meant as a “hello, we’re here to catch you off guard, but stay with us a while and you’ll be paid well”.

Basically, you have to open your mind and flow with the music. Each song takes you to a different universe, though you can rest assured it’s not cosy green gardens we’re visiting. Nah, these are wicked places where angels of darkness stick needles into our skin, where demons grab our every thought tearing them into pieces of broken glass, where our hearts beat as one big pulsating tumour that threatens to explode every single second. The only line that holds these universes together is Ordo Draconis’ choice of sound. The minor aspect of “The Wing And The Burden” was the sound, but on “Camera Obscura pt 1” it makes the album breathe in its sterile atmosphere. If the songs are spread in every direction, the sound is Ordo Draconis’ lasso. Somehow I sense that some vinyl lovers in our world will find the sound a bit plastic. Perhaps, but in my book the band’s plastic fantastic fits like a hand in a glove. A warm delicate vinyl sound would ruin the cynicism of “Camera Obscrua pt 1”.

So, what about the music and the songs then? Imagine you are going to bake bread. You have jazz, choirs, black metal, harsh vocals, keyboards, drums, guitars, Wagnerian classical pieces… And you melt all these ingredients. Do you think it’ll taste good? Well, if anything you must at least give it a chance and taste a few times before you finally decide. For, and I can assure you this, you’ve never tasted anything like this.

There are numerous details to point out, but I won’t allow myself to bore you with all these. I rather point out just one, and that’s the tape-rewind after 8.08 minutes in “Neuron Gutter, Neutron Star”. It takes us from the best two minutes of the album into black metal a la Ordo Draconis. Meaning, you know it’s black metal but it’s not like everything you’ve heard before. Or, to be exact, it’s like nothing you’ve heard before.

I must also tell you that I have got an MP3-player, like everybody else in the western society. Come to think about it, aren’t we humans excellent executioners of inventing egoistic creations with the result that we become even less attached to each other than ever? For, with headphones there’s nothing else in the world than the music and you. Anyways, the point is that I have recorded these two albums into my MP3-player, and they belong together like God and Satan. They are two different creations, but they origin from the same source (as far as the Bible goes). The alums can be listened to as one.

Yes, there is a second album. It is not a conceptual one but musically it is directly connected with “Camera Obscura pt 1: The Star Chamber Reviews”.

Roy Kristensen.