Returning with this third album to date is industrial/black metal act Decoherence. Differing from 2020’s Unitarity, which skewed slightly more into the atmospheric-meets-melodic metal, Order is a more unapologetically black metal oeuvre. This definitely lends a more pronounced style to the album – blast beats and arpeggiated, overdriven riffing characterize its length, with the typical washed out bellows suffusing the background. “An Unconfined System” is the most conspicuous example of this, evoking bits of the demo days of Slipknot with Anders Colsefni in all his brutal vocal ugliness. “With No Pre-Existing Direction” keeps the brisk percussion snapping away, guitars braying and ultimately ending with a gentleness that’s deeply welcome after the chaos exhibited thus far. “The Future Behind Them” and “Quintessence Field” signal a more predictable pattern to the compositions, unfortunately; the blast beats and arpeggiated licks shift down into power chords, starting to feel anticipated more than attention-grabbing, and the consistently distanced feel to the mix makes it seem slightly more like something for background listening rather than art to actively engage with.
Fortunately, “Degenerate Ground States” manages to buck the trend of the album at its tail, a slower, more grungy, and sludgy affair that’s more tortured than torturing. The guitar’s more mournful, quiet chimelike tones twinkling in the background of a drum and bass driven melody that draws back into a truly twisted cinematic soundscape, one wishes more of the album had this Unitarity-esque sense of dynamics. One can also appreciate the effort to shake up the band’s sound, although perhaps it’s more something of a return to form in that it’s slightly more like 2019’s Ekpyrosis. Sadly, in the consistency of style and production, Order loses some of the discreteness of individual songs. Although stylistically par for the genre course, it ends up feeling more like an album-long song than a collection of individual pieces. Black metal connoisseurs may detect greater variances, but the more casual consumer of industrial noise and the like is liable to find songs starting to blend together. It’s a laudable effort full of fury and violence, but one that doesn’t quite stand out despite that.