Album Review: Wisdom by The Order of Israfel
Posted by RiffRaff
Sometimes I wonder if I’ve died and gone to Heaven. The past handful of years have seen a resurgence of doom metal unlike any other genre out there. Back in the 90s and early aughts I had to scape and scrawl to find a new band out there releasing a quality doom release, and now I can’t even keep up with the amount being tossed my way. Maybe it’s because stuff like Bandcamp has made it easier to find them or maybe record labels are getting their shit together and realizing people actually buy this stuff. Whatever it is, it’s awesome, though maybe not for my old, worn down Candlemass, Cathedral, and St. Vitus records which aren’t getting as much attention as they used to. To add to the pile of outstanding doom releases this year, the debut album, Wisdom, by a little band called The Order of Israfel landed in my lap and into my heart.
Containing veteran members of the doom community, guitarist Tom Sutton, a former member of Church Of Misery and bassist Patrik Andersson Winberg of the Doomdogs, it’s quite expected that The Order of Isafel will have quite a veteran doom style to it. And while that is true, the duo along with some other very talented musicians, have crafted an old-school doom record with a very fresh and forward sound. Elements of prog and traditional metal pepper the record and lead to a highly engaging, and above all fun listen.
Probably the biggest standout for me is how Wisdom floats between slow-burners and more immediate songs with ease. The in-your-face tracks like The Black Wings of a Demon, The Order, and Born for War simply rip with heft and speed like an unmanned train of doom. They groove, they riff hard, and they stick to your mind like peanut butter on the roof of your mouth. On the flip-side, the slow-burners like Wisdom, Promises Made to Earth, and my favorite track off the record, The Noctuus take their time to build up and establish before unleashing a deluge of chunky doom riffs and electrifying bluesy solos. It’s almost like listening to post-metal at times, where after being hypnotized in the build-up for a while really makes the crescendo pay-off that much more satisfying. And boy-oh-boy, do The Order of Israfel pull off those doom crescendos with gravitas.
Each of the 9 tracks on Wisdom have their own personality and exude various dynamics, shapes, and colors in each one making sure that your time spent within the record is well spent. Things are warmly familiar and at the same time fresh and exciting, slow and crushing and driving and…. crushing. If you fancy yourself a fan of old-school doom and are in need of some quality riffage, this is an album you do not want to miss out on. 4.5
Wisdom by The Order of Israfel is out Sept. 1st, 2014 in EU and Sept. 9th, 2014 in US by way of Napalm Records.