Few bands go out with a bang the way Order of the Dead did this year. On May 12, Order of the Dead performed for the last time at Montage Music Hall. Their “retirement party” was everything you hope a local metal show will be. The place was full of energy, the lineup was perfect and the night ended powerfully and on point; the culmination of 10 years of hard work in the Rochester metal scene and beyond. Read our full show review here.
Now however, we’re here to talk about The Jackals Hold Us Captive, which is both the most recent and final record to be released by OOTD. The album was dropped at the retirement party, so it should go without saying that more long running bands need to release albums on the day they call it quits. It’s a pretty badass way to “drop the mic”.
Order of the Dead have written a lot of great songs over the years, but there’s something different about the 8 tracks on their newest release. It’s unclear to me as to whether or not they knew the end was near when these songs were being written, but it sounds as though the guys had something more to prove with this effort. Their brutal sections are more aggressive this time around and their melodies are of an even greater epic nature. After listening to the entire album front to back, I felt like they were just going for broke. Something to the effect of, “Let’s give it all we’ve got one last time, mother fuckers.”
The opening track, “Into Nothing” starts with a gorgeous fade in with dark guitar harmonies. From there, it’s driving riff after driving riff, insane guttural vocals and a nice catchy chorus, keeping both the angry and melodic aspects of the song in check. Order of the Dead have always done this very well. I’ve never felt right calling them melodic death metal, but they definitely know how to write hooks in the right places and at the right times.
However, my favorite intro on the album is in track 3, “Ritual Magick”. It’s as sinister sounding as any of the great death metal intros of decades past from any staple death metal band you can name. The blast beats, drum fills, filthy/low end riffing, along with the onslaught of Bill Lander’s fantastic gutturals make this the death metal anthem of the record. It’s a short and sweet ripper about the weak minded’s desire to stay that way (from how the lyrics come off) – a great track!
Then there’s track 5, “Reaggravate”- an 8 minute epic that showcases everything OOTD have always been about. During the duration of this song, you’ll hear everything death metal and melodic death metal. There’s a part of me that wishes this had been the album closer for its length and artery severing riffs and leads. Whether it be a melodic hook, a classical sounding tremolo riff, or a low end monstrosity, the entire track kills from start to finish. “Reaggravate” is easily my favorite on The Jackals Hold Us Captive.
As for the rest of the album, pick it up for yourself and discover what you’ve been missing. Fans of Cannibal Corpse, Abysmal Dawn, Hypocrisy or Morbid Angel, just to name a few, won’t be disappointed.
Most importantly: Just because these guys don’t plan on playing out anymore, doesn’t mean that those unfamiliar with their work should continue to live in the dark. Follow this link and check out the rest of OOTD’s discography.