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4.4 out of 5 stars14
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 17 January 2009
Yes, I said gnarly, for gnarly is what this is.

I have to confess that I didn't think that they had it in them to come up with something so dark and horrible, especially considering the competition that Mayhem have nowadays. But I was (un)pleasantly surprised by the claustrophobic horror captured here. The first time I listened to Ordo Ad Chao I was left with a feeling of confusion and excitement, how often do you get to hear a band you like totally throw you, maybe even disappoint you at first, and yet leave you intrigued?

One of the things I really enjoy about this album is how it sounds like an amalgamation of black metal and doom metal all lovingly wrapped up in an avantgarde jumper (like the near psychedelically colorful one your mum made you wear as a kid even though you knew you were destined for supreme black metal evilness... that might just be me). It's just cool man. Another thing that really gets me is how subtle it is, I mean with the musicians involved you'd expect something truly brutal (it is by the way) but what they achieve here is so ultimately mature in it's delivery and craftsmanship that I couldn't believe my ears on repeated listens. Silly me.

The production job is stellar. It is disgustingly muddy and the bass lines of it marks it out as unusual amongst most black metal in one fell blackened swoop. Terrorizer magazine (which you should all read, you have been told) noted how the production put them in mind of the old, classic death metal style with it's murkiness and warm fuzz and I couldn't agree more. It certainly lends the music a really sinister atmosphere which was lacking on their last album and since I believe atmosphere to be as important as songwriting and ideology in black metal this pleased me until the top of my head nearly fell off from my grinning, sorry I meant grimacing.

The tunes are all refreshingly varied, ranging from instrumental weirdness to awesome doom-outs (complete with gothy gloomathon miserableness) to absolute black metal stormers, but it retains the same musical themes throughout, complemented by the Biblical like end of the world lyrics. Of course the performances by the individuals involved are terrific, Hellhammer is as interesting and tight as ever, Blasphemer works wonders, Necrobutcher shines courtesy of the production and Attila impresses as ever with his strangled cat noises.

Well done boys.
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on 3 December 2007
I was reluctant to buy this album actually, because while something of a fan, I have come to find some aspects of the BM attitude repulsive. The pseudo-fascism, the half rasist thinking just makes me scared for real. While some of this stuff continues between the lines, Mayhem has apparently been tapping new sources of darkness on this album, going beyond the pubescent Crowley, pentagram, burning churches satanism, plunging headlong into the monstrous world of the likes of H.P Lovecraft. While a continous source of inspiration in metal through the years (Metallica, The Thing That Should Not Be), Mayhem is now firmly grounded in that world, that is, the anti-world of foul, underground "creatures" operating through eons beyond any human conception. This is basically the source of the likes of BURZUM (Ea, Lord of the Deeps) and what I find to be the "true" source of Black Metal. Now, with this album, Mayhem proves that this source has not been tapped, on the contrary, dark evil reigns more than ever on the earths crust. Mayhem knows exactly what its about on this album, and where they want to go, unlike releases after Mysteriis (with MANIAC) which really wasn't going anywhere, just building musical scaffolding around Maniacs rage. Attila + Blasphemer is clearly inspired and I'm sure more is to come from their hands...
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on 11 July 2008
Basically in short, this album reprosents pure evil, at its most kick ass. At a first listen of the song illuminate eliminate, I was absolutely blown away, and that was just the beginning. Right from the word go this album pulses away with grim attitude, nihilistic stylings and unholy atmosphere, the end product is like too much acid in a cemetary. The thing that really sets this bands sound apart from countless other black metalists is the vocal offerings of frontman Atilla, he embodies so much evil and anguish few other vocalists will ever acheive. another stand out point is the musicianship between blasphemer (guitars) and hellhammer (drums,) they really have produced the goods. I've noticed on a few other reviews alot have spoken poorly of the recording and production, I think they are all just totally missing the point, an album like this would not be right with a polished pop production, and don't get me wrong, it isn't badly produced at all, far from it, infact i'm bold enough to say its the freshest most inspired production to be found on any modern metal album, the emphasis on the bass frequences and the way the guitars sound sometimes distant are all done to add to the atmosphere and i think it totally worked. Also, Atilla's lyrics are gob smacking, in one song there is even a word i have never heard in my life, "Somnambulism." all in all if you like it dark, atmospheric and eccentric you should check this out, as this is my favourite purchase of the year and right up there next to alot of other true classic black / death metal cd's i own, granted though its not for everyone thats for sure!
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VINE VOICEon 19 February 2016
OK; there are 33 reviews on Amazon USA at the time I'm writing this so I will not describe the album extensively since many reviewers have already. Suffice to say it's kind of a conceptual album dealing with ecology, anti-religion, politics and opression of the people instead of the usual satanism. This is the most impressive black/avant garde metal album I've ever heard. I nearly passed on it because of all the ¨raw lo-fi¨ reviews I read, but the completist in me wanted to give it a chance, and boy am I glad I did !

The production approach is purposely weird, but hardly lo-fi. Drums are thunderous yet it seems Hellhammer is beating them through a blanket; muffled, but still powerful. They rarely bury the guitar in the mix like most reviews claim save for a few intentional moments. Guitar sound shreds, bigtime. Cymbals have to be enhanced a little with an equalizer but they're there, and are darn good. The toms do clip a little though.

Necrobutcher didn't play any bass here for Blasphemer needed total control to record all the strings in order to materialized what he had envisioned. Bass is trebley, twangy and distorted.

Atilla's vocals are quite good but quite buried in the mix. They are of a more varied kind than Maniac's, lacking the conventional, trademark shrieking of most black metal vocalists; a welcome variation.

People saying the album sounds horrendous are in need of decent amps and speakers. This will suck through a boombox for sure. If properly played, the production actually adds to the sound and atmosphere instead of detractiong from it, and I'm a discerning audiophile ! I loathe bad production ! Only track 7 sounds downright bad but I successfuly fixed that by raising the 1,2 and 4 Khz sliders just 2db each.

Now I understand why this grim, bleak beauty won the ¨Best Metal Album ¨ award. Give it a chance; you will love it.
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on 13 September 2009
I wouldn't say I'm a fan of any genre in particular but I do like guitars and, well music that pushes the listener to expand their notion of what is music...BUT without being pretentious. I had stumbled upon negative reviews of this record that for some reason caused a stir of interest, so I tracked it down.

Now this is a heavy record in every sense of the word, anyone that has any interest in any sort of music should listen to this a number of times because its rewarding. Ordo Ad Chao is a record in the true sense of the word, yes the tracks individually are strong but as a whole this record takes you to another dimension. All the players here are excellent, incredible guitar lines that defy structure yet contain a lot of melody. The drumming is some of the best I have ever heard and unlike a number of 'heavy' records the drums sound totally organic rather than a machine and that lends very well to the evil and heavy nature of Ordo. Mention has to also go to Atilla on vocals who really takes the record to another times giving it an almost religious feel. The whole record is avant garde - like a canvas with paints intentionally thrown here and there - but with a few listens the structure becomes normal(ish), yet the production which is murky ensures that you are forever hearing bits you hadnt before.

Its been a long long time since a complete album came along and really took hold of me and Ordo Ad Chao is that record (the last was probably The Beastie Boy's Pauls Boutique and that was in 1989).

I cannot recommend this record more highly and would urge anyone serious about music to go and get this record.
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on 8 April 2010
at least thats what i used to think.
Having been blown away by the likes of Anaal Nathrak, i decieded that maybe adventures into this realm of Black Metal might be worth a go. Normally i think the corpse paint stuff is a tad too goth, however i struck on some real gems in this genre, namely Wolves in the Throne Room and Portal. I kept finding references to Mayhem being someone i REALLY should check out and when Ordo came out to rave reviews i thought it might be worth a look.

Its dank creeping atmosphere is something it took a while to get, but trust me, songs like Illuminate Eliminate are what its all about, crushing drums and riffs with some delicate melodic lines picked out over the top. This is what i have hungered for.. if someone can point me in the direction of more stuff like this, even within their own catologue i would be grateful.
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on 28 October 2008
This fine offering by black metal legends MAYHEM is immense, - just to the posers who have rated this great album like 1 or 2 stars, yes its lesser quality in production values ... but if you know anything about Mayhem then you would have realised they were trying to return to the original sound (hence return to form)
All in all a very dark, evil album - one of my favourite albums - Attila is great on this one - buy with confidence! brilliant masterpiece of black metal - ignore all others that slate this album! They probably think Cradle of Filth is black metal for all we know !!!!! hahaha now thats a joke!
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on 16 October 2007
I'm sort of betwitx and between with black metal and it's production values, but if you want to hear some metal that is truly disturbing to listen to then throw this on your player, turn the lights out, and then prepare to spend the rest of your life sleeping with the lights on as you try to work out whereabouts satan is creeping around your room.
One word.... malevolent
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on 15 May 2007
This is the most sinister and evil album i have ever heard, but what would you expect with the return of Attila Csihar and his amazingly ghastly croaks and screams, it must be said though his style of vocals are not everyones taste even within the black metal scene but apart from that most fans of the less melodic variety of black metal will love this album.

The two longest tracks Illuminate Eliminate and Phsychic Horns are truely excellent they are both slower in tempo than the other tracks but they make up for this with the sheer malevolence that is almost hypnotic, i am not a fan of much slow music but i do not find myself skipping these tracks but even though they are the slowest they do have flourishes of speed to keep you interested.

Anti and Wall of Water are good classic Mayhem songs not far from the style of there magnum opus De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas.

My personal favourite song is Key to the Storms it is a great combination of a great creeping evil riff mixed with some delightfully insane vocals from Attila a great moment indeed.

This is one of the best black metal albums ever and probably one the best metal albums of the year.
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on 26 May 2015
I love this album. Its nasty - very dark, atmospheric and disturbing. At the same time it has a heavy brutality. Screaming vocals, bloody gore. What more could you want?
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