Critical Extravasation - Official Website
Order Of Decadence
Review by Greg on March 27, 2023.
Every self-respecting technical thrash lover should get why this recent band piqued my interest. Not only their name contains the transliterated title of what's probably the subgenre's most hidden treasure (Аспид's Кровоизлияние), but they also come from Russia, and even their genre of choice reads suspiciously similar, although with a more prominent death metal influence. After a rather unimpressive debut EP, Critical Extravasation are now at their first full-length Order Of Decadence.
The seven songs contained here go further down the Death (especially around "Human"-era), or maybe Atheist, route that was only teased in the aforementioned EP Morbid Existence, and the vocals of Alexander Mokin follow suit, arguably not reaching the same viscerally hysterical scream of Kelly Schaefer, but coming close. However, the band doesn't neglect the occasional, inevitable nod to Аспид, for what said in the first paragraph. Talk about a trifecta of influences I can't really complain about. That also means that the band has improved by miles on a purely technical level, in the lapse of three years. Mostly the middle songs 'Feast On Dreams', 'Redeeming Flames' and my absolute favourite 'Doctrine Of Atrophy' make every instrumentalist stand out, be it the busy guitar work of Sergey Stepanenko, the ever-present bass of Victor Khaychenko, or the scene-stealing tempo changes of the drummer, who goes by the clever pseudonym of Vladimir Udarnov ('udarnye' means simply 'drums' in Russian). Both the first and last mentioned go all out Piece Of Time-meets-Аспид, with adequately insane instrumental mindfuckery, and I couldn't be happier.
I just don't think the band has nailed all the songwriting choices yet, and this is most evident on 'Redeeming Flames', despite its highlight status, since it has just about the two best parts of the album in the bridge – the reprise of the clean intro, incredibly similar to 'Кровоизлияние' while we're at it, and an amazing solo – only to hear a disappointing, heavily stop-start section between them, which leaves an unpleasant aftertaste. Nor I was convinced by the solo in the opener 'Waltz Of Hypocrisy', where the band, maybe in an attempt to show off a bit, periodically slows down the riff in a simply awkward way. The last couple of tracks also fail to keep the momentum built up to that point, despite the usual mastery of the instruments, especially the 'Там, где ночь'-like bass intro of 'Devastating Virtue'.
I might be in the minority by saying that my favourite Death incarnation was up to and including "Leprosy", but Order Of Decadence will surely be on the radar of many other metalheads' perennial quest (got it?) for some bands which happen to love the band's unique middle era as much as them.
*On a serious note, this album was also meant by the band to express their utmost disdain for the absurd situation still going on in that part of Europe we all know about too well, and shows once again that the majority of Russian people is far from endorsing this folly. After finishing this review, I later learned about the fact that every band member has fled from Russia and is now in a different country from the others. I really hope they're doing fine, and hope for this madness to stop, as any sane person would do.
(The album was already intended for release before the beginning of the war, if you're wondering.)
Rating: 7.6 out of 10263