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Dormant Ordeal - The Grand Scheme Of Things review

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Band: Dormant Ordeal
Album: The Grand Scheme Of Things
Style: Death metal
Release date: December 2021

01. At The Garden’s Gates
02. Poetry Doesn’t Work On Whores
03. Bright Constellations
04. Here Be Dragons
05. Letters To Mr. Smith
06. Let The Light In
07. Sides Of Defence
08. The Borders Of Our Language Are Not The Borders Of Our World

Poland has a strong legacy when it comes to death metal, and Dormant Ordeal are intent on sustaining that legacy.

The Grand Scheme Of Things is my introduction to this Polish trio, and what an introduction it is. It seems that this album has been a long time in coming; five years after sophomore record We Had It Coming, The Grand Scheme Of Things is the first record from the band as a three-piece, with Maciej Nieścioruk taking over bass duties in addition to guitars following the departure of previous bassist Kacper Działdowski. It’s the guitar work that really stands out on this new album; The Grand Scheme Of Things is a 40-minute onslaught of immense riffs, solos and atmospheric turns.

I’ve seen fellow Polish death metal bands such as Decapitated and Behemoth used as reference points for Dormant Ordeal; maybe I’ve just not heard the Decapitated records that are being referred to, as I can’t say either band came to mind whilst listening to The Grand Scheme Of Things. Due to the restrained but persistent presence of dissonance in Dormant Ordeal’s death metal, I instead had several moments where I found myself thinking of Nero Di Marte, and to a lesser extent Ulcerate, as well as a hint of modern Wake.

In contrast to Ulcerate’s infernal dissonant chaos, however, there is some levity within Dormant Ordeal’s sound. This mostly comes from the solo work; right from the off, the ballistic attack of opener “At The Garden’s Gates” is interrupted halfway through by a strikingly melodic solo. However, after this solo, the song itself mellows its tones for a surprisingly spacious bridge before returning to the vicious assault of blasts and tremolo riffs. There’s further exquisite solos on the likes of “Here Be Dragons” and “Let The Light In”, as well as other tasty moments of release slipped in between onslaughts on the likes of “Poetry Doesn’t Work On Whores” and “Letters To Mr. Smith”, and the band really push the more slowed-down, atmospheric ideas to the fore on the lengthy closer “The Borders Of Our Language Are Not The Borders Of Our World”.

At the end of the day, however, as excellent and hugely appreciated as these moments are on every song, they shine even brighter because of the unrelenting conveyer belt of tasty grooves and memorable riffs they are intertwined with. The Grand Scheme Of Things, without being overwhelming, is fierce in its persistent percussive attack and waves of dissonant tremolo. It’s hard to pick out favourites when the whole record is as consistently emphatic as The Grand Scheme Of Things, but some of my top moments come in the forms of slick grooves midway through “Poetry Doesn’t Work On Whores” and “Bright Constellations”, and a grandiose outro to “Let The Light In”. When the frenetic attacks, potent grooves, melodic solos and compelling lulls all come together as irresistibly as they do on “Letters To Mr. Smith” and “Sides Of Defence”, it’s hard to think of greater pleasures to be found in this sphere of extreme metal.

After a somewhat unremarkable first half to the year in terms of death metal (said as someone without an interest in OSDM, before I start getting Asphyx and Cannibal Corpse thrown at me), there have been regular great discoveries for me in the last few months, with impressive albums from the likes of Cutterred Flesh, Qrixkuor and The Temple (NZL) in particular winning me over. However, even against this stiff competition, Dormant Ordeal really stand out, putting The Grand Scheme Of Things right up alongside Noctambulist’s The Barren Form for my favourite death metal record in 2021. For those with an appetite for killer riffs and an appreciation for dissonance and melody working in harmony, this album is not to be missed.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9

Written on 14.12.2021 by Hey chief let's talk why not


Comments: 4   Visited by: 130 users
14.12.2021 - 18:40
Rating: 9
Thank you so much for bringing this band and album to my attention! One of the albums of the year for me without a shred of doubt.
My one-man project's Bandcamp with free downloads:
15.12.2021 - 19:29
Rating: 7

Thanks from me as well, lately i just cannot get enough of this deathly melancholy, just finished listening to The Temple record, so perfect timing.
02.01.2022 - 00:32
Rating: 10

This album was a huge surprise for me, it shot up my AotY list with each listen
24.04.2022 - 06:13
Rating: 9

The riffs are absolutely delicious. Very very strong output.
Leeches everywhere.

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