Genus Ordinis Dei - Great Olden Dynasty - (6/10)
Published on November 29, 2017
Genus Ordinis Dei formed in 2011, releasing debut album The Middle in 2013, a self-titled EP the following year and now their second album, Great Olden Dynasty. The sound is a modern take on Symphonic Death Metal and it’s executed well. Nick K’s vocals are about as varied as one might expect from the genre; a range of growls, howls and hollers. However, the quality of the songwriting is just as varied, which is where Great Olden Dynasty shows plenty of room for improvement.
There’s some good, but lots and lots of average on Great Olden Dynasty. “The Unleashed” gets proceedings underway in solid fashion, with some dramatic backing synths and Modern Metal-sounding rhythm work. It’s reasonably good, but possibly not one to come back to time and time again. “You Die In Roma” has a very nice melodic guitar solo and is fairly catchy; “ID 13401” is straightforward modern-sounding Death Metal which is catchier and boasts some excellent guitar leads; “Halls Of Human Delights” has some nice synths and a great guitar solo, which is way too short and therefore a massive missed opportunity; “Salem” features guest vocals from Lacuna Coil’s Cristina Scabbia which adds a different dimension, but like many of the tracks here, it’s still missing something to lift it above mediocrity. There’s a clear theme running through these songs of being nearly there but not quite making it.
Fortunately, there are exceptions to this rule. “The Flemish Obituary” starts with the grand sound of pipe organ and develops into an excellent modern Death Metal track, with orchestral elements appearing intermittently, including a female choir and pleasant piano. Just at the point that the song feels like it’s crying out for a guitar solo, that’s exactly what we get and the whole thing comes together really well. It’s a strong example of what the band can achieve and shows what many of the other songs are missing.
“Morten” has everything but the kitchen sink: a gentle piano start, with subtle bass, a foreboding spoken section, great melodic keys, brief Power Metal-sounding guitars and some thrashy riffs, but the track does lack flow and cohesion. It’s nearly a great song, but just misses that mark because the numerous elements don’t come together as naturally as they do in “The Flemish Obituary”.
Great Olden Dynasty isn’t bad by any means and has some strong moments. Fans of Modern Metal and Symphonic Death Metal who like the idea of the two genres being combined may be well-advised to check this out. Others, however, may be left wishing for more of the quality songs that Genus Ordinis Dei have shown that they are capable of producing.