Ordinance
Relinquished LP

I don’t now a whole lot about Finland’s black metal duo Ordinance, other than it’s a couple of guys who have served in or helped out the likes of Algalzahanth, Night Must Fall and Slugathor. Now I know that the band’s debut album, Relinquished, released on a double LP containing 3 20-minute plus “sides”, broken into 9 tracks, is one of the most virile, creative and stunning black metal releases I have heard in a long time.

Side A, contains the movements “Relinquished”, “The Shadowcast” and “Yielding Servitude” all blending into 22 minutes of music, and as the album opener it actually takes a while to get going. But once it does it’s utterly stunning. If you melded traditional top notch, grimmer Scandinavian black metal (Horna, Watain, etc.), and the riffs and croaks of Inquisition but injected some organic experimentation (Fluerety comes to mind), keys and epic elegance of Spectral Lore, you have some idea of Ordinance‘s brilliantly twisted, regal sound.

As I mentioned, the opening movement, “Side A,” especially what appears to be the 12 minutes or so that comprise the title track, takes a while to warm up but when “The Shadowcast” gets going a few minutes in (about 14 minutes into the total time of side A), it delivers some amazing, layered melodies, a nice acoustic backdrop (a banjo maybe?) and some nice tempo and time changes.

It’s Side B, another twenty minute trio (“Ascending into the Unknown”, “Peregrination Unto the Inevitable”, “Cipher”), where the album really takes off. It gets to the tremolo salvo pretty quickly before a stern march, but 8 minutes in, the thing just explodes with a simply gorgeous riff and somber bass line that might be one of my favorite black metal riffs of the year, and it’s not a fleeting riff either, it’s revisited for a good chunk of the track’s middle 22 minutes, along with a nice almost country ho down, an acoustic bridge and a controlled final 3 minutes

Side C (“Sword of Division”, “Waning Light”, “For Satan my Soul”) starts with a cat mewing, but ends up being the best of the sides with some vicious, frosty blasting, a flamenco bit, an epic solo, and a rousing trot around 13 minutes in and a close out that cements the track and album perfectly with 5 or so minutes of chants and folky acoustics that comes across like an epic tribal jam session.

There is A LOT going on on Relinquished, maybe too much for some folks that want their black metal moire direct, but if you want Spectral Lore with a bit more Finnish gnarl, then Ordinance has delivered that sound as well as a truly special album that could well be a landmark debut album in future years. Look for a CD release earlier in 2015, where this will more than likely be atop my year end list 2 years in a row.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
September 24th, 2014

Comments

  1. Commented by: stiffy

    Whoa! Sounds awesome. Love that track


  2. Commented by: Juan Manuel Pinto

    horna and Inquisition in the same sentence? Sounds like something I MUST check out!


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