Review: Genus Ordinis Dei “Glare of Deliverance” [Eclipse Records]

Review: Genus Ordinis Dei “Glare of Deliverance” [Eclipse Records]

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Combining dreamy arpeggios, orchestral swells, and guttural vocals, Genus Ordinis Dei (or GOD to their friends) return with their third full-length symphonic metal concept album from Lombardy, Italy.

Glare of Deliverance (also abbreviated to GOD) is the final instalment to their non-linear trilogy, which started when The Middle was released in 2016, and tells the tale of the Holy Inquisition’s pursuit of the story’s protagonist, Eleanor. As if there wasn’t enough drama in the music alone, each song has an accompanying video detailing the pursuit and capture of our young heroine, with each scene as beautifully produced as the album itself.

Every musicianship muscle is flexed on Glare – from the song structures to the honeyed production, the ethereal intros to the operatic backing vocals. Studied separately, the diverse metal background of each member is easy to identify – the thrash-like gurgle of the bass, the refined metalcore drumming, the epic orchestral keyboards, the powerful death growls – and together they form an immense omnimetal force.

Viewed from a traditional metal background, i.e. having a love of riffs, it might not feel like the album starts proper until Edict, which would have been a more suitable follow up to the intro track rather than pushed to the number 3 slot, and you’ll have to wait until near the end to hear the first solo, which means a full 13 minutes for any lead guitar work. Sweetly picked chords aside, the absence of any noticeable chugs or riffs will be a bugbear for some, and their almost too perfect production might turn some metal purists off: in a 2018 interview the band discussed their use of digitized effects programmed via a Kemper amp – plugged straight into the DAW – and their use of cabinets, i.e. none.

The tracks mostly clock in around the 6/7 minute mark, with the last track ‘Fire’ being just over 16 minutes long: you’d be forgiven for yearning for the more efficient song structures on their previous offering Great Olden Dynasty (also abbreviated to, you guessed it, GOD) but given their talent and tradition they can be forgiven a little self-indulgence. If you’d prefer an abridged account, the accompanying videos contain an edited version of each track, sometimes shaving a good 2 minutes off the LP runtime (at the time of writing, only the first 5 tracks have videos – plans to release the last 5 presumably delayed due to the pandemic).

As a whole, Glare can be summarised with many of the words used to describe their previous work – visceral, muscular, impressive – but there is no stand out track on the album to wear out on repeat. Each track contains the usual G.O.D. formulas – ethereal intros, operatic backing vocals, galloping drums – and the band charges through every melody with conviction. This may not be their best offering, but it’s still a fine addition to their canon and is a fitting full stop to the GOD trilogy.

Release date: December 4th, 2020

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