Order of the Owl is here to collect the crown
New album defies sludge metal tropes
Order of the Album by Hors d’oeuvre of the Meowl
It’s been four long years since Order of the Owl released its debut album, In the Noon of the After Day. In that time a few 7-inch singles came and went. A couple of drummers also came and went. Anyone standing in the room when the group took the stage bore witness to a wall of demonic sludge metal slowed down, sped up, and slowed down again. After four years spent fleshing out a more sophisticated chemistry, it’s no wonder Order of the Owl called its second album We Are Here To Collect Our Crown, as that is exactly what the group is here to do. The album revisits Order of the Owl’s stoned and primordial guitar soup with dramatic flair, adding fuel to the creative spark that set the group in motion while reaching for all new highs.
We Have Come To Collect Our Crown (DG Records) picks up right where In the Noon of the After Day left off with “Brought Below.” The song kicks off with a blazing hell-bound charge of familiar riffs, and singer and bass player Brent Anderson’s most Satanic vocal delivery yet. “Resurrect, eyes toward the one. Once again, blood begins to flow. Satyrs and Martyrs and all in between. Once again, all will bleed,” he growls as though summoning the dark lord himself.
As the album moves along, however, guitarist Casey Yarbrough and drummer Dwayne Jones quicken the pace. Songs get shorter, the fog lifts, and out of darkness comes light. Producer Josh Lamar (Krrth) outdoes himself, creating a blackened canvas for the band’s grinding sound: Distortion rips through thick, billowing tones, and the bass, drums, and guitar all move as equal players.
“Wolves of True Diamond Hate,” “Hell Ride,” and “Wood Valley” are bound by a reductionist aesthetic. The songs take shape like a hybrid of searing, Sabbath-heavy metal and the Ramone’s short, fast, loud attack. The group packs in six songs at just under 20 minutes — with previous efforts that would’ve been more like a song’s intro!
The album’s closing number, a lo-fi acoustic jam titled “Golden Dawn,” pushes higher still. Guest guitarist Juan Montoya (Killer Be Killed, ex-Torche) plays acoustic guitar while Anderson twists knobs on a sine wave generator, carrying the group to brighter and noisier new highs. Even though Order of the Owl has found a home in the deep grooves and heavily trodden realm of sludge metal, it isn’t sticking to its tropes. ★★★★☆