Ordo Draconis “Camera Obscura part 1 & 2”
June 10, 2007
Ordo Draconis – a rather interesting band, coming from the Netherlands with a strange combination between post black metal and avant-garde music. This musical style may remind you about Arcturus, and truly, this band is on one hand plays a similar style of music, but on the other hand differ from the Norwegian Arcturus. It is an avant-garde and experimental band, therefore the whole idea is to be different.
Their last album, Camera Obscur[a] (released in 2005) represents their style in the best way possible. Black Metal vocals and of course clean vocals, accompanied by atmospheric and exotic guitars and synthesizers; often electronic effects and even chants are added, like in the song The Star [ = Vesper X], which starts with beautiful chanting and towards the middle part of the song, the other instruments slowly connect with it.
Black Metal influences – i.e harsh black metal grim vocals with fast double-bassed drumming – can be heard in almost every song in this album, but they are mostly highlighted in songs like Mock Trial, Writ[h]ing Tongue and The Don of Venice.
Electronic effects are often used in the songs, but pieces like Angeldust just remind me about the last Ulver stuff, although a bit more heavy, but still an ambient piece of music.
In Sirius Fever, they even managed to add a darbuka drum and other middle eastern instruments, alongside with the melodic electronic beats, followed by Tyrann’s grim vocal performance.
Neuron Gutter, Neuron Star would be the song which demonstrates the musical idea of this album, where all the elements from other songs are mixed in the Camera Obscure cauldron. The song starts with epic synths, and black metal guitars and vocals.
Later on the synths are used for different adorning and completing effects. The rhythm slows down until the middle part of the song, where a totally avant-garde part is heard.
After that part, they even managed to insert some viking-metal chanting!
However, the song ends with a more aggressive melody, thus closes the frame which was opened in the beginning of the song. It is amazing, there are so many layers in this song!
Every song in this album is different music-wise. Some are more electronic, when others remind me about the harsh black metal style of playing. This album is basically a compilation of many styles of riffs and melodies. Ordo Draconis broke every rule and tradition, combining Black Metal elements with whatnot, but surprisingly, the music is just amazing, at least in my opinion. Not many bands can do what Ordo Draconis has done so well in this album.
To end this review, I will recommend the album to all those who have heard Arcturus, and to those who want to try something fresh and different, beacuse Ordo Draconis are just that, different.
By the way, the album is divided into 2 parts, so make sure you get both on 2 CDs when you purchase this release.