The Order of Israfel


Written by: BV on 26/12/2014 23:01:48

While it is evident that it has been a fine year for music, an unheralded act has quietly snuck out their debut release – an album that could quite easily escape notice unfairly. The Order of Israfel is a nothing less than a project created by Tom Sutton, known for his involvement in Church of Misery and Patrik Andersson Winberg of Doomdogs. Their debut effort “Wisdom” is a grandiose fusion of classic Sabbathian doom, 70’s hard rock, and utterly monolithic riffing.

Opening with the title track, the album sets off on its first lengthy journey, reaching the nine minute mark with the very first outing. On “Wisdom”, the band seems to play it safe while showcasing some very traditional doom outings featuring a very Ozzy Osbourne-reminiscent piece of vocal work and fairly straightforward riffs. They’re hardly breaking down barriers or heading for a new frontier here, but it is a solid showing nonetheless. Far more interesting things can be said about “The Earth Will Deliver What Heaven Desires” which opens with an eerie acoustic arpeggio riff and the aforementioned Osbourne-esque chanting vocals, only to then erupt into a massive sonic assault with a riff that sounds a bit too grandiose and, well, ‘epic’ for my liking with some impressive results to follow.

The album’s longest track, “Promises Made to the Earth” is, perhaps, also the most intriguing. Spanning more than 15 minutes the attention span of the general masses face a severe challenge here, but if one can endure the runtime, one might just find that the time has been used fairly effectively. Transforming from its spacious, droning beginnings, the track soon erupts into a howl of feedback noises essentially proclaiming that the riff has arrived – which it most certainly has. The lazily chanted vocals add an eerie presence to the slow-burning and heavy soundscape, giving the proceedings an edge not unlike Electric Wizard – though with a focus much more towards the occult than illegal drugs, although Electric Wizard seem to blend the two with fine results. The odd thing about “Promises Made to the Earth” is that even though I personally feel like the excessive runtime has been effectively utilized to some extent, it still seems to lack something that really justifies the runtime. Using the time effectively is one thing, but trimming out parts that aren’t really doing much for the track might be even more beneficial in the long run.

It is an issue that sadly haunts “Wisdom” as a whole, as can be heard on the supposedly eerie, yet somewhat inconsequential “The Vow” which takes the reciting of occult literature to a point that is a bit too far from its charming novelty and renders the point of including it somewhat moot.

The Order of Israfel have still managed to craft one of the more interesting doom releases of 2014, yielding a vague promise of a more focused outing at a later time. The individual parts for greatness are certainly here, now they just need to fine-tune the assembling.


Download: The Earth Will Deliver What Heaven Desires, Promises to the Earth
For the fans of: Purple Hill Witch, Pallbearer, Cathedral
Listen: Facebook

Release date 29.08.2014
Napalm Records

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