1. Seventh Year Of The Broken Mirror 2. Words That Were Said 3. Dreamspeak 4. Spiral Staircase 5. Changing Of The Guard 6. Innocence 7. Third Wish 8. Eye Of The Enemy 9. Green 10. Twelfth Talisman 11. Reign Down 12. Winter's Call
Order Of Nine Seventh Year Of The Broken Mirror
“Dark, Symphonic, Emotive, Progressive, and Shred…their own brand of metal, a perfect amalgam of thrash and accessible progressive metal with the dark voice of a seven foot Vampire.” This description from the record label’s website couldn’t be closer to the truth when describing this band.
Order Of Nine formed in 1997 under the name Templar, but changed it in 2001 to what it is today. They have released two albums for their current label, Nightmare Records, and two tribute albums on other labels. Seventh Year Of The Broken Mirror is their fifth release overall, and the most recent since 2008’s A Means To Know End.
Keeping the description in mind, on paper this sounds like a veritable feast for a metalhead’s ears. It is, and how.
Seventh Year Of The Broken Mirror is a balanced album, which lives up to each adjective given to it. “Third Wish” is very thrashy but stops in the chorus to keep things interesting. As far as length, songs stay close to the normal four minute mark until then, and not until “Eye Of The Enemy” do we get past eight minutes. “Spiral Staircase” is kind of an outlier, which clocks in at seven, and whose guitar solo I was most impressed with. Oh, and that vampire for a vocalist? It’s totally true; the vocals sound like a tribute to the late Peter Steele and fit the band’s sound much better than I thought at first.
It’s not a standout album, meaning it doesn’t really have one element that jumps out and blows you away with its greatness, but it is overall a great release. It’s simply well–executed metal. It’s produced beautifully. The orchestration is very well done. My one complaint is that the band doesn’t go to the absolute extremes, in terms of speed and rhythm, at least every once in awhile. They tend to stick to moderately fast tempos (except for “Dreamspeak”) and time signatures that are tricky but not impossible. This isn’t a black mark against the band, it’s what they like to do and they do it well. My complaint (if you could even call it that) is just personal taste coming out. Progressive, Symphonic, and possibly even Power metal fans should all find something to like about this.
Key Tracks: Words That Were Said, Spiral Staircase, Third Wish