ORDER OF NINE – A Means To Know End

ORDER OF NINE - A Means To Know End
  • 8/10
    ORDER OF NINE - A Means To Know End - 8/10


Release date: April 1, 2008

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Lance King of Nightmare Records has brought us many Power Metal and Prog Metal highlights over the last years, and not only ones where he sings. Now his label dips into the classical US Metal style with Order Of Nine. The third album of those five Pennsylvania Metalheads is certainly their strongest to date, as usual, Nightmare delivers quality stuff, but still this one will divide the audience more than most other releases.

Why is that? Because two generations of Metal fans will experience a different album. Fortunately, MER has had the opportunity to get two old friends back to tell us their view of the album. We hope you still remember Rufus and Edgar.

We start with Rufus, who has aged a bit since our last encounter. Several new piercings add a few ounces more Metal to his face, and his sleeveless Lamb Of God shirt reveals several tribal tattoos around his triceps. After several attempts to scrounge a cigarette, a can of beer or ten bucks, he takes off the headphones of his iPod in order to get a taste of Order Of Nine. Now, Rufus, how is that?

“I have to give you that: It is better than last time. Just…. Where the frag do you dig up these bands? On a cemetery? This must be how Metal sounded a century before Elvis was born. A ball-less singer, senseless tootling on their six strings, and tedious rhythms that, due to the lack of pace change, lulls one to sleep. Such an album would end any party in an instant, and take the bubbles out of my beer. Then again, I would never download it in the first place. The guys look like they are 50 while trying to be 20 with their chick hair. Somebody should give them all a pigtail. Fantasy Metal about knights and stuff, even love songs, and they end with a ballad? That is a sign, I got to go guys…”

As one would have suspected, Edgar does not concur with that assessment. For the occasion, he put on his old Judas Priest shirt, Painkiller-Tour, and begins to smile from the first note.

“Great, that is just good old school US Metal. The singer sounds a bit strained during the first song, the only fast one on the album which I would say, is somewhere in the wake of Omen or early Iced Earth. It seems he likes the epic, powerful, diverse hymns better as the five guys deliver throughout the rest of the record. Just like a US version of slower Dio songs with Iron Maiden influences or Crimson Glory! Only the singer Michael DeGrena cannot deliver the high shrieks so he remains lower in key. But there are so many wonderful details that set each song apart from the one before, although Rufus is right – most of the tracks tend to be paced similarly. But that is all those songs have in common, except for the sheer abundance of razor sharp riffs. Just listen here: the acoustic, slow introduction of “A Means To Know End” exploding into a real hymn, followed by this verbally introduced “Devotee”. The Spanish guitar section is one of the coolest parts I have heard in the last ten years. And the solo at the end! And it continues like that, be it the Yngwie-ish beginning of “An Offered Hand” or the undistorted guitars in “Ghosts Of Memories”, a song which reminds me a bit of Fates Warning. They end the album with a heartfelt ballad that guys like Rufus are just too young to cherish. Old school US Metal it is, but unlike Rufus I don’t want to turn away, but ask one important question: Is there a vinyl version available?”

So if you lean to the Edgar side of life, this is 80’s Metal of high quality, if you like it modern, this album will give you the rash.


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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