Review Summary: TOOE have crafted a good deathcore release with a great deal of potential. They are set to release an album in 2015, and hopefully, it won’t be disappointing.
Missouri metal band The Order of Elijah was formed in 2009 by core members Shannon Low (vocalist) and Bryan Cox (guitar). A major reason behind forming the band was exposing hypocritical Christians (the Order of Elijah is a Christian band) who use scare tactics to convert people to Christianity, and also false Christians who selfishly use and preach the word of God. Later adding second guitarist Myk Lee Foder, drummer Josh Newlon, and bassist James Copley, the band released an independent EP and went on to tour with bands like Impending Doom, Upon a Burning Body, I See Stars, and After the Burial. Their 2013 full-length debut, entitled “Dethrone”, is a decent-if-clichéd deathcore release.
Let’s make this clear up front. TOOE does nothing new for the genre. They don’t do anything innovative, and they sound like those they tour with, especially Impending Doom. However, while they aren’t original, they aren’t bad. The album has strong tracks and weak tracks, for starters. Order seems to be going for a spiritual warfare vibe, and they make it blatantly clear that Christian should be at war with the devil. At times it pays off, at times it doesn’t. “Intro” has blatant quotes from the Bible about the last days, with air-raid sirens and gunfire in the background. It leads well into album highlight “New Line of Defense.” “Line” has some decent guitar playing throughout, but if it’s not mini-soloing, it’s just straight up heavy chugging. Vocally, the band is pretty standard as well. Shannon has a standard growl/shriek, and while not amazing, it conveys the needed intensity. The bass isn’t audible, drums seem pretty standard fare. Other standout tracks include “Daniel’s Frozen Sword”, “The Reclaimer”, and “Nails Over Duct Tape.” Both “Daniel’s Frozen Sword” and “Nails Over Duct Tape” have some great guitar work, and there’s some cool programming as well in “Nails.” “The Reclaimer” blends cool programming with cleanly picked guitar in the beginning, but the track’s overall intensity is what makes it a standout, as well as the gang vocals. Keyboard-dominated instrumental “Stiches” is alright, but it’s nothing special. The keyboards are there to create atmosphere, but that's really all they do. Now, there are the not-so-good tracks. “Bringing Down Hell” sounds far too similar to Impending Doom’s “Anything Goes”, while “Greed Machine”, “The Ballad of Jimmy Baker”, “Conquer”, and “Starscream Symphony”, are moreso typical deathcore chugfests. The band has potential, but doesn’t seem to know what to do with it at times. Speaking of potential, the Order of Elijah is a strong band, they have some great intensity. Also, they show they aren't afraid to go into tougher lyrical places, and when the guitarists veer out of typical playing, both sound great. Shannon has a great voice and conveys his point well. The filler tracks are unnessacary and boring, and the album doesn't have a ton of replay value. Drums and bass are practically non existent, drums are just for rhythm, you can't hear the bass at all. Order could be better if they would clean up on these details.
The Order of Elijah does a good job of being confrontational and honest. If you enjoy deathcore at all, get this. However, if you are looking for something amazing and captivating, look elsewhere.