Obsession – Order of Chaos


obsession_artwork_0To be honest, I had not heard of Obsession before receiving this album to review. When the album is from say a little-known black metal band from Armenia, one can understand that, but Obsession is a band that I really should have at least heard of in the past. So, with my ignorance and looking at the cover, I was readying myself for some black/death metal and then I hit play and was greeted with some classic power metal that has influences from all the bands I love from my youth.

So for those who may be somewhat ignorant like me, Obsession is a metal band from the US, formed in 1982 when they debuted on the Metal Massacre 2 compilation (Metal Blade Records). Metal Blade went on to release their ep Marshall Law in 1984, and then Obsession put out two albums on Enigma before disbanding in 1989 (Scarred for Life and Methods of Madness). Obsession reformed in 2004 and released Carnival of Lies on Mausoleum Records in 2006 and began writing Order of Chaos in 2009.

I would characterize the sound from Obsession as later-era Rainbow/Deep Purple if the band had two guitarists of equal caliber as Ritchie Blackmore and if Joe Lynn Turner had a voice more like Ronnie James Dio. Granted, not the best description, but hopefully you get the idea. As a band, each member has quite a resume. Guitarists Scott Boland (MVP) and John Bruno (X Factor X) trade solos in an incredible fashion, not relying on pure speed and tricks like so many guitarists today, but showcasing some great emotion and feeling in their playing that is really lacking in many similar bands today. Vocalist Michael Vescera has a voice that literally was made for this style of music and could be used as an example of what vocals in this style of metal should sound like. At times his vocals are soaring to the upper ranges while also being able to convey great feeling throughout his range. Learning more about Obsession and seeing that Michael has played with Yngwie Malmsteen, really makes sense and comes as no surprise. The rhythm section in power metal bands always miss the spotlight due to the focus on the guitars and vocals, but without a skilled, solid rhythm section, it all falls apart and Obsession has no worries with Chris McCarvill (House of Lords, ex-Dokken) on bass and BJ Zampa (ex-Dokken, Yngwie Malmsteen, House of Lords) on drums. Obsession sounds like one of those bands that has been together for quite some time, there’s a quality in their sound where nothing seems forced. Since several of the band members have spent time together in other bands, this should come as no surprise.

For those who were listening to power metal in the mid to late 1980’s, you will find familiar themes and sounds throughout Order of Chaos, but none of it seems stale or contrived. I found small sections or parts in several songs that seem like they were taken straight from some of those older albums, but in every case it was brief, almost as if they were thrown in to make sure the listener was really paying attention. Maybe they’re in their as some sort of homage to an older time or maybe I’m reading way too much into what I heard, but no matter what, the songs are very well-crafted and will catch the listener’s attention. Lyrically, Obsession addresses heavy, dark topics around fallen man and the consequences of sin and skillfully rely on imagery to create the vision in the listener, all things one would expect within this genre.

Rating: 9/10

Written by John Jackson

1. Order of Chaos
2. Twist of the Knife
3. Forbidden Desire
4. When the Smoke Clears
5. License to Kill
6. Wages of Sin
7. Cold Day in Hell
8. Act of God
9. Mercy Killing
10. Dark Shadows

Band Members:
Michael Vescera – Vocals
BJ Zampa – Drums
Scott Boland – Guitars
John Bruno – Guitars
Chris Mccarvill – Bass

1983 demo [1983]
Marshall Law EP [1983]
Demo [1986]
Scarred for Life [1986]
Methods of Madness [1987]
Carnival of Lies [2006]
Obsession (comp) [2008]
Order of Chaos [2012]

Record Label: Innerwound Recordings, Oct. 2012

Weblinks: Website / Facebook

Buy the album here:
 First Paradox 
 Nordic Mission

Teaser clip for Order of Chaos:

One Reply to “Obsession – Order of Chaos”

  1. This new Obsession album is amazing! More people need to know about it! Fantastic true metal.

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