Artist: The Order Of Ennead
Venue: Santos Party House (New York, NY)
Opener: Mobile Deathcamp
Label: Earache Records
The Order Of Ennead is a relatively new band that was started up by drummer Steve Asheim who is prominently known as a member of the blasphemously incendiary Deicide. With OOE, he joined forces with guitarists Kevin Quirion and John Li and took his Metal in a fantastic new direction. Don’t worry if you were thinking this might veer off an expected course because the material is intense and heavy as all hell. Having recently sunk my teeth into their second album “An Examination Of Being” I was more than interested in seeing them perform on the live stage. I would get my chance at this seemingly last minute of a gig that was also supposed to feature their Earache Records label mates Wormrot but something prevented that band from leaving their native Singapore so we would instead only have Mobile Deathcamp as openers and OOE doing their headlining set. The show was set for Santo’s Party House and I would arrive only minutes after Mobile Deathcamp had took to the stage. Here’s what I saw.
Mobile Deathcamp: MDC is a new band to my Metal ears but their leader is Todd Evans who is known to a lot more people than they might actually realize. You see for many years Todd toured with the legendary GWAR as their bassist Beefcake The Mighty. With Mobile Deathcamp the musician has switched over to guitar and now he sings as well. The music delivered by the band is along the lines of Punk meets Thrash and it was very intense and heavy which seemed to go over well with the minimal audience that was there for this part of the set. The band is signed to Sacrifice Records and I will hopefully get the chance to absorb some of these recordings in my hands soon to examine the band a little more closely. My guess is that they played for about 45 minutes which was more than enough for an opening slot and after the set the guys hung around the bar to mingle with fans and enjoy a couple of cold beers. The changeover for Order Of Ennead would be quick since all of their gear was ready to go.
Order Of Ennead: Before getting started into my overview of the set performed by Order Of Ennead I wanted to make mention that while the gig was at Santo’s Party House, that this particular show would be in the downstairs club which was a lot smaller than that of the main room. I had seen a few shows in the main room but tonight would be my first visit to the lower section of the venue and in some sense it reminded me of the Tap Room area of the now shuttered Manhattan location of the Knitting Factory. That club was on a lower level and smaller than the above venue but I digress. Depending on the show the lower space would be a good choice from time to time and tonight was one of them based on the amount of people that decided to come out for this show.
The band hit the ground running which I expected to be the case and having very little background in them other than hearing the CD, was not sure what else I could feel. It was without question an incredibly intense delivery but under the crescendo of thundering drums and razor sharp riffs was a fantastic sense of melody that immediately let you know this was a different kind of band from Deicide. The last time that Deicide hit NYC for the gig at B.B. King Blues Club, they had Quirion on guitar along with Jack Owens and he did a superb job. Clearly that was only a small example of his playing technique as he was doing some justice tonight as they began their set with “Dismantling An Empire” from their debut album. The band continued onto their aural assault by sticking to their first release for the next two numbers but after this they would play a game of back and forth with their new one “An Examination Of Being”. I love their titles as they are so profoundly thought out but what is more important is the level of technical Metal that one is getting from these tunes. Kevin Q’s vocals are very different from that of Glen Benton so fans cannot say that this is Deicide II in terms of the phrasings that they are hearing. I had to say that while I had always enjoyed the level of drumming destruction that Asheim is capable of, I was always more of a casual fan of Deicide, so this was giving me the chance to enjoy his superb technical ability a little more. The drumming he does in this band is no less brutal at the end of the day, but it is quite visibly more focused on the melodic side as well. There are patterns that we don’t find him doing in Deicide in this material and I think it’s safe to say if you are a fan of his that you will also enjoy the difference.
The band also features lead guitarist John Li who was a new name to me until I heard the bands first album. He is a phenomenal player with a terrific sense of melodic structure to his playing. He also seems capable of insane speed on the axe but this does not cause him to sacrifice the integrity of the tune or make you lose interest in what he is doing. He is not playing fast just for speed sake and I think that many fans of bands like Arsis who bend the airwaves around us with both speed and technique will appreciate what Li is bringing to the table with Order Of Ennead. Watch out for him folks, he might be one of the future greats. Rounding it all out is the bands bassist Kevin Patrick who holds it all together and pulls the adventuring back into synch again and again. As the band finished their presentation of original material they teased us with a little Deicide as their final tune. Well, at least I believed it to be Deicide because it started out that way. During the final tune Kevin got down onto the general floor area of the club and had the fans within inches of his head banging and his guitar. When it all was added up the band ended up playing about six or seven songs from the new album and the rest were from the debut. It was a smart idea to present a healthy sampling of both albums since they do need to sell both or them to this crowd. The bands debut now comes with a DVD and each are available on Earache Records.
After the show was over, the band hung out and had beers with the fans that were sticking around. It was this kind of space which allowed you the ease to do that and like I mentioned there were far too few people in attendance, so crowding was a non-issue. As I thought about the show it was clear to me who the fans were that were truly paying attention to the underground scene and I shook my head at the ones who I felt should have been here supporting the gig. Maybe the price for access was too high, or maybe Wormrot’s cancellation had something to do with it, but all I know is that if you missed this one you really missed out. The band was impressive and gave you a new way to view Technical Death Metal and the opening Mobile Deathcamp delivered a solid performance as well. The fans that complain that nothing different comes around are to be chastised for not being in the venue as there was literally nothing else going on in Metal outside of a local band showcase over at Crash Mansion. For the fans at Santo’s and myself, passing on the local band show was a no brainer in order to appreciate in living color, the Metal acrobatics of Order Of Ennead. I hope that they can come back soon as an opener for a band with a bigger audience because there is a lot of cool stuff going on with this. I know I will see them again for sure.
1. Dismantling An Empire
2. Seeking The Prophets
3. Reflection, An Endless Endeavor
4. The Concept Of Our Extinction
5. Lies Upon The Lips Of Judas
6. This Mortal Journey
7. A Cry To The Perilous Sun
8. In The Mirror
9. A Portal To Rapture
10. The Scriptures Of Purification
11. As Long As I Have Myself I Am Not Alone
12. The Culling
13. Loss Of Denial
14. Homage To Satan (Symbolic intro)
There was no real venue marquee to shoot with the bands name on it this time around and I didn’t see any flyers so I apologize if I just happened to miss seeing them somewhere. I did try to make up for it with some other random inclusions. Please enjoy. Here we see the full Order Of Ennead band membership with Earache Records own Al Dawson. We’ve known Al since becoming a Metal scribe/photographer and always enjoy his company at gigs.
Next we caught up with drummer Steve Asheim who was enjoying an ice cold brew after a killer set. Don’t worry, he had plenty of company with this activity and was not on his own at all.
I then took the time to get all of the folks from the Earache Records NYC office in a photo with the band. I felt that was a nice shot waiting to happen and as luck would have it, I was correct. Sometimes I am with that stuff. LOL
Folks who have talked to me at shows know that I am a bit of a maven for collecting certain things when it comes to my concert adventures and one of these is the guitar picks. As luck would have it, Mr. John Li had these cool signature guitar picks in his possession and he gave me a couple to add to my collection. I love how he had the panda on them. It was different. One of these designs is the most used, but you will need to see a show to find out that detail. Sorry.
Sadly I did not manage to get any from vocalist/guitarist Kevin Quirion, so that will be a side mission the next time the band returns to this part of the East Coast. To close up this grouping of side observations, I did enjoy the sign that was hanging behind the drums area on the club’s wall. So I included it for you as well.
Before I forget, here are a couple of examples of the guitar technical implements that help Order Of Ennead get the crushing sound that they deliver again and again. I forget which one is John Li’s and which is Kevin Quirion’s but I think each does a lot of the same thing for them.
Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/mobiledeathcamp/
Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/Order-of-Ennead-130553480303839/