Dec 2013 09

Psyclon Nine - Psyclon Nine - Order of the Shadow: Act IPsyclon Nine
Category: Industrial / Metal
Album: Order of the Shadow: Act I
Stars: 4.5
Blurb: Psyclon Nine’s last official album is a soundtrack to the apocalypse and is easily the band’s best work yet.


10 years ago, Psyclon Nine released its first album, Divine Infekt, a dark, synth-heavy piece of work that was just the beginning of an evolution that would take front man Nero Bellum and his band down sinister yet successful paths. It’s been nearly four years between Psyclon Nine’s last release, We the Fallen, and the brand new album Order of the Shadow: Act I, which Bellum claims will be the group’s final album. The four year hiatus was riddled with controversy, but the trials and tribulations Bellum and company have gone through seem to have put a twisted tint on their latest work, which led them to ultimately create one of the heaviest, most damning albums ever.

Order of the Shadow begins with a 45-second intro that would fit in brilliantly with the beginning of a Hellraiser film. The clip contains one sample of a Christian protestor and a scream that sounds like a soul being set on fire. It’s an eerie welcome to an even scarier album. Then, just 25 seconds into “Shadows Unveiled,” you’re introduced to siren-like synths and shrieking guitars that could be compared to a celebration of the opening of hell’s gates. This track, like most of the others, relies heavily on guitars and focuses more on the metal than the industrial elements found more on previous albums. With Bellum’s signature snarls and screams mixing with the guitars and synths, the album instantly becomes a force to be reckoned with. “Suffer Well” follows, which takes the foot off the pedal just a tad. It’s still rocking and the momentum continues. However, Bellum’s natural voice shines through here a bit and shows he’s not all about screaming. “Glamour Through Debris” is an excellent representation of the album as a whole. Despite the grittiness and mayhem contained within Order of the Shadow, the album still has high quantities of beauty. The rhythm of the drums, the guitar riffs, and Bellum’s voice all maintain some alternative idea of exquisiteness. “Use Once and Destroy,” which was leaked to the public by the band, immediately seals the lips of any naysayers with it immense and capturing sound that easily gets stuck in your head. This track, like much of the rest of this album, is meant to be heard live. When played in Dallas, this song induced one of the biggest mosh pits the club had seen in years, proving it was an excellent choice for a pre-release single. “Remains of Eden: II” battles for the title of “darkest track;” the vocals lean more toward a death metal styling and the samples are psychotic in all the right ways. Musically, it resembles many of Bellum’s influences as it does have touches of Nine Inch Nails and MINISTRY.

Another impressive element to the album is how all the songs blend into each other. Order of the Shadow feels like one epic piece told in chapters with macabre and condemning elements that would make the Bible blush. One such example is the six minute title track; the previous track flows into it and its ending flows right into the next, but in between is a dramatic segment of music that resembles a battle scene during Revelations. “Hold My Hand While I Take My Life” is this reviewer’s favorite track. It’s similar to “Under the Judas Tree” with its suicidal and depressing vibes, but this one takes it up a notch and adds more of an apocalyptic feel to it. The whispery vocals unite with sharp screams creating a haunting schizophrenia with an amazing soundtrack. The album ends with more of the same hopeless and suicidal tones on “The Saint and the Valentine” as acoustic guitar and slightly calmer electric guitars meld with Bellum’s singing voice to make for one of Psyclon Nine’s most unique yet brilliant songs yet. It proves the band still has more sides to explore whether or not this is the end for Psyclon Nine.

By far, this is Psyclon Nine’s best album. Order of the Shadow: Act I is louder, more unique, and more dynamic than anything that’s been released in the industrial/metal genre in years. If this truly is Psyclon Nine’s last album, the band absolutely is going out with a bang and not with a whimper. All in all, it sounds like an album Cthulhu would listen to and that’s something to be proud of. Put simply, Order of the Shadow: Act I is a must own.
Track list:

  1. [Act: I] Consecration
  2. Shadows Unveiled
  3. Suffer Well
  4. Glamour Through Debris
  5. Come and See
  6. Afferte Mihi Mortem
  7. Use Once and Destroy
  8. Remains of Eden: II
  9. But, With A Whimper
  10. Order Of The Shadow (The Heretic Awakened)
  11. Take My Hand While I Take My Life
  12. [Act: I] Penance
  13. The Saint and the Valentine

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Metropolis Records Website
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Purchase at:
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Grant V. Ziegler (GVZ)

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