Review by Carl Pickles
Hands up if you miss Pantera, and think “no-one makes ‘em like that anymore”. Well, the first part of the statement is fair enough, but the second part of it makes you a bit of an idiot. There are quite a few bands who “make ‘em like that”. Beholder are one of them. Fusing a certain level of anger and brutality that is very familiar to the Texans with razor-sharp riffage is something that the Midlands wrecking crew, fronted by former Handsome Beasts’ frontman, Simon Hall, are really rather good at. This band are one of the UK’s best kept secrets, which is unfortunate for them and the rest of the world.
The Order Of Chaos then, is Beholder’s second full album, following 2009’s The Awakening. As with the debut album, this is a real statement of intent. This album grips you from the very beginning of Black Flag to the last second of This Blackened Earth. The balance of aggression and melody is pretty much pitch perfect. The band have obviously grown since The Awakening, tempering the anger with more control. This is definitely not a bad thing.
It’s difficult to argue with an opener like Black Flag. Angry vocals, a switching time signature and a riff that makes you want to headbang. Good start. To my mind, Profit Of The Lie, is one of the highlights. The muscular riffing, matched with Hall’s full-throated roar (yes, he is actually singing, rather than screaming, yet the emotion is obvious – emo and –core bands please take note!) driven by a pulverising rhythm section and a switch between time signatures shows how good this band are. Here I Stand, which follows, is much more straight ahead. The opening riff to Splinter turns the tempo up before settling back into a mid-tempo groove that still manages to crush all comers. The eerie beginning to The Tale Of Eleanor Grey soon gives way to a controlled piece of precision Metal. Add some keyboards and I could see this one being covered by Cradle Of Filth. As for Killing Machine, the title says it all! Morphine Serenity is probably the nearest you’re going to get to a ballad on this one. Hall shows that he really can sing on this one.
I think you get the idea.
There really are no weak moments on this album. To use the well-worn phrase, The Order Of Chaos is “all killer, no filler”. If you like your heavy music with a touch of melody, but still like a bit of a Thrash, get this one bought. It’s only January, but this one is already stating it’s case as a contender for Album Of The Year at Wyrd Ways Rock Show Towers. I’m a tight marker, but I really can’t think of any reason not to give this…