Dark Order

Cold War Of The Condor

Written by: PP on 09/01/2011 14:49:30

Thrash metal bands often focus their lyrical universe around political commentary, but few do it as explicitly and in as great amounts as Dark Order, an Australian aggressive thrash metal band that has been dubbed by many to be the very best in the genre that the country has to offer. "Cold War of The Condor" is their third album, and an exceptionally ambitious one. Not just because it is a concept album about the violent and bloody history of the US-backed Pinochet regime in Chile, but because its fourteen songs span a total of one hour and sixteen minutes of vicious, punitive thrash metal. Prepare for a serious onslaught of speed and aggressive yelping aimed at rupturing your eardrums.

Stylistically, Dark Order sound like your ordinary Bay Area revivalist band. Their cues are directly taken from the likes of Anthrax, Kreator, Testament and so forth, with special consideration for Kerry King-esque blistering, lightning speed soloing from any classic Slayer record. But that isn't to say Dark Order is a clone band - they just wear their influences proudly on their sleeves, while focusing on delivering their concept in the best way possible. And this, my friends, is what makes Dark Order special. The Pinochet regime is examined in meticulous detail and with wonderful interpretation of the events that took places during its reign. The angrily yelled lyrics are all perfectly decipherable, allowing the listener to submerge himself into the message in the songs within, an extremely rare scenario when listening to any thrash metal album, which I'm sure you'll agree with. Vocalist Raul Alvarez's yells about state-sponsored terrorism, communism and other powerful ideological concepts are spot on in every song, to the extent that you're sometimes wondering if you're listening to a right-wing (Republican) thrash metal band given the amount of time they spend talking (well, yelling) about terror during the album.

Moreover, the concept is dressed in some of the most interesting thrash metal I've listened to in recent years. The solos are insane, there are lots of tempo variations, and the music never ceases to innovate or attempt to distinguish itself from the peers. Whether it's a chord progression, a nicely structured verse-bridge-chorus passage, or just sublime riffing in general, Dark Order rarely disappoints. The vocals, too, provide variety from the Tom Araya-style yelling to occasional growls and semi-clean yells. Pretty much the only problem you can associate with "Cold War Of The Condor" is that it's looooooooooooooooooooooooooooong. Thirty minutes or so could have been slashed off with no real effect on the album, because few will ever get past the 50 minute mark. After all, despite the variation within, it is still essentially thrash metal through and through.

Download: State Of Siege, Operation Condor, Operacion Siglo Veinte
For the fans of: Slayer, Testament, Overkill, Sepultura, Kreator
Listen: Myspace

Release date 20.08.2010
Battlegod Productions

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