Latter Reign – “Order to Chaos”


Roxx Records has polished up another never-before-released gem from the vaults of Latter Reign in “Order to Chaos.” The third and final album recorded by the 90s Christian rock band showcases more experimentation and breadth of musicianship than the previous albums.

Latter Reign was originally founded by July Cardenas and Ryan Cane. They recruited other members including Luis Cardenas (Renegade, Solo) on vocals to help get the project off the ground. Before they really got going, members left the band leaving only the brothers July and Luis. Committed to the project, they recruited other musicians to fill out the band: Glenn Graff on rhythm guitar, Brad Smith on lead guitar, and Dave Bonavich on drums.

They released a demo tape in 1991 called “Live For The Day” and played shows all over southern California, including bars and other venues as a means of evangelization. In 1995, they entered the studio to record their second album “II” which would remain unreleased until the band finished recording in 2022. But at the time of recording “II,” the band had an opportunity to record in another studio for yet another album, which would eventually be “Order to Chaos.”

I struggled a little to string together the lineup as there wasn’t much information out there about who was in and who was out at the time of the recording. I gave it a good go, but reserve the right to correct it based on the band’s feedback.

To really understand this album, you need to listen to it through a 90s rock lens. Grunge and alt rock had far reaching influences, assaulting many of the mainstay elements of rock and metal. Some bands like Radiohead would take on experimentation to new levels later in the decade, but the spirit of pushing against rubrics was in the air. Latter Reign takes on much of the zeitgeist of the 90s in this recording. The result is a wide ranging album that somewhat alludes to the cover art, where once was order, entropy has created chaos.

At the surface is an album that draws comparisons to artists that weren’t in the same era or market. Most of the original songs have prevalent grunge elements found in Nirvana and their ilk such as heavy guitars, repetitive lyrics and fuzzy amorphous guitar leads. But “Throw Me A Line” shifts into a west coast punk-cross-alt rock style with a driving pace that is in stark contrast to the early tracks. The newly recorded track, “Order to Chaos” has metal sensibilities that takes nu metal with plenty of squeals and mixes with a 70s style reminiscent of Thin Lizzy with sweeter harmonies and twin guitar work. The last two tracks (same music, but one in English and the other in Spanish) reminds me very much of Latin rocker Juanes. Plenty of strings and a much softer dynamic that slowly swells over the course of the song.

The writing is definitely on the progressive end, but an organic progressiveness that shifts from one section to the next through subtle changes. However, these subtle changes are largely unnoticed in the repetitive vocal sections in “R U” and “Had a Dream,” which grated on me a little. A good example of this organic shifting is “In My Life” that starts out with all the signs of a ballad and through various subtle changes switches into grunge territory. I like when they fly over more familiar territory like the Bride-esque grooving rock in “Change” and the rock riff that underlies the song “R U.”

The highlight for me is July’s bass. It is not so much manual dexterity, but a classy sense of grooving rhythm and musical sensitivity. The opening track shows off the bass work as if telling listeners, “Keep an ear to what’s happening down here!” Throughout the album, I found the bass laying great rhythm and driving many of the enjoyable parts of the music.

Luis has a solid voice that reminds me of a blend of Robert Plant and Steven Tyler giving that rock star swagger to his performance. In some songs he is very exacting in the rhythms such as some of the triplets in “Change” and others makes a liberal use of rubato where he is singing loosely with the rest of the band. He never gets close to yelling, but he does have a raspy/ragged edge to delivery at times to emphasize intensity, while also able to deliver smooth clean vocals on “In My Life” and “Try Again.”

Some albums are best kept in the vault. Some albums fade away for a reason. But others are gems that need some cleaning, but well worth bringing out. “Order to Chaos” is definitely the latter. For adventurous listeners that have a taste for 90s and a love of the roots of Christian rock and metal, this is a release worth checking out. I appreciate the work Roxx has done in preserving these Christian rock projects for all to enjoy.

Rating: 8.0/10

Written by Sean Bailey

1 – Chill
2 – Change
3 – Had a Dream
4 – R U
5 – Throw Me A Line
6 – In My Life
7 – S.O.T. (Sign Of The Times)
8 – Order to Chaos
9 – Try Again
10 – Otra Vez (Try Again – Spanish Version)

Latter Reign is:
Luis Cardenas – vocals
Brad Smith – lead guitar
Julio (July) Cardenas – bass
Glenn Graff – rhythm guitar
Dave Bonavich – drums


Release Date: March 22, 2024

Record Label: Roxx Records

Live For The Day (1992)
II (2022)
Order to Chaos (2024)

Social Media: Facebook | Spotify

Video (audio) for Order To Chaos

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts