THE ORDER, Son of Armageddon (2006, Dockyard 1)
Stark, but not bleak, this skull looks like the logo for a comic book from Dark Horse or Vertigo: some kind of crime story with a horror twist. It’s hard to tell because of the lack of shading, so maybe this skull is just pictured from a high angle, but I prefer to think he’s just got a very tall brainpan. The band logo is even a little clever: the cutouts in the top of the Rs are silhouettes of guys playing drums and guitar (and not just any guitar: the greatest guitar ever, the Jackson Randy Rhoads Flying V!) It could be that this skull isn’t even human; it looks a bit simian, and perhaps this son of armageggon is a damned dirty ape. But those apes evolved from people (after they blew it up) so the Council is okay with the possibility.
Crunchy, sorta old fashioned heavy metal that reminds me more than anything of Judas Priest’s Jugulator. To be fair, The Order are not that bad, but they’re based on the same bad idea: namely to take 80s style Priest and update it for the 90s with high gain amps and 40% more attitude. That this was released in the mid 00s makes the offense even more grave. I’m also reminded of some teutonic AOR bands of the past fifteen years that can’t come to grips with the fact that they’re basically making hair metal, no matter how slamming their productions. They turn the distortion up and maybe add a little double bass, but the songs are still stupid ditties about women and rockin’. Again, The Order aren’t quite as cheesy as that, but an awful lot of the riffing is heavy only in the way Motley Crue’s Dr. Feelgood was heavy. At their best, The Order approach recent Pretty Maids in quality, but without the same bouyant sense of fun. This is the band’s debut, and it appears that their later albums benefit from a bit more levity, even as the music becomes more rocky and less to my taste. And none of those albums feature a big dumb skull, so it really seems that it wasn’t meant to be, for me and The Order.
— Friar Johnsen