Genus Ordinis Dei - Great Olden Dynasty 01What is the nature of God? Countless philosophers—both theist and atheist—have considered the question. Abrahamic religions consider only a singular creator and ruler, a supreme being that is inherently impossible to understand. Norse and Greek mythologies, in contrast, feature pantheons of very human gods, who squabble and fight and love as we do. Nature religions such as Shinto see gods in every element of the natural world. Genus Ordinis Dei (GOD for short) by their name wonder what the biological classification of an Abrahamic God would be and they do this by seemingly breaking the rule-book and combining symphonic death metal with elements of the traditionally blue-collar of deathcore.

Great Olden Dynasty (GOD for short redux) demonstrates the potency of this mixture. It’s bombastic yet graceful, and more than deserving of the overused adjective “epic.” The compositions use filmic orchestrations alongside chunky, angular riffs that dive headfirst into stop-start patterns. The few breakdowns feel less like breakdowns thanks to the symphonics; instead, they become hard-hitting enhancements to the bevy of choirs and strings. Though the classical elements were added in post-production by guitarist Tommy, they don’t sound canned or superficial at all: they are an integral part of the band’s identity. The biggest natural asset is the vocals by Nick K, which operate on a sliding scale between a potent growl and a shattering hardcore-style shout reminiscent of Randy Blythe (Lamb of God), moving from one style to the other effortlessly. His performance is a man possessed, and it’s hard to believe there’s only one vocalist at work here sometimes, besides the guest appearance of Lacuna Coil’s Cristina Scabbia 1 on the mysterious “Salem.”

If there’s one thing Italian bands know it is drama, and indeed GOD have a knack for theatricality. The tracks exude a larger-than-life grandeur, particularly in Nick’s belting, but unlike some of their peers, they don’t overdo it, thanks to the moderation in the symphonic dosage and the earthen riffs. Occasionally they do teeter on the edge, though, such as the schmaltzy “Morten.” The opening here is especially egregious in its cheesiness, and the grand piano is overused to cringy effect, despite the bludgeoning effort from the rest of the band. Another weak spot is “ID 13401” which suffers from awkward vocal lines in the chorus, repeating the number in the title too often (ID numbers don’t usually make for compelling lyrics unless you’re Neil Fallon.) But these are rather small issues, easily offset by the amount of passion beaming from the music.

Genus Ordinis Dei - Great Olden Dynasty 02

The production is modern but thankfully refrains from crushing the dynamics. The choirs, horns, and strings all subtly interweave with the metal, which sounds as solid as bedrock. The mix is balanced fairly well, though the tight drumming deserves a slightly brighter bulb in its spotlight, and as usual, the bass is the ugly duckling who must be in the family picture but merely peeking over the shoulder of a tall sibling. Considering the bad rep symphonic death metal bands have with dynamic mastering (looking at you, Aeternam and Fleshgod Apocalypse,) I count a solid but nondescript production as a win, even if it feels a little on the safe side.

Few populaces put their emotions on display the way the Italians do. This consistently reflects in the metal bands from the country, and many a wheel of cheese has emerged as a result. But GOD strike the balance perfectly: it’s grounded in solid technical ability, with chunky riffing and pounding drums, but contrasts with heartfelt vocals that soar and crush, sometimes in the same sentence. The symphonic elements underline, rather than upset, the delicate equilibrium, setting an air of grandeur without getting too cheesy or overcrowding the sound. Despite a small dip in the middle, GOD is an excellent slab of symphonic death that teems with personality.


Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Eclipse Records
Websites: genusordinisdei.com | facebook.com/genusordinisdei
Releases Worldwide: November 24th, 2017

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  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    I want to make a God-related joke before Brutalist Receptacle arrives and steals all the upvotes but I can’t get past how ridiculously trite that album art is.

    Nice review, Glockenspiel. You are pretty good at this writing thing, huh

    • Brutalist_Receptacle
      • wayne the devil

        It’s Kim the younger….

    • GardensTale

      I guess.

      Thanks, ArnoldBeefcakeFrozensingalong.

    • Mollusc

      GOUDA – Grate On yer Dinners/Tea. Or maybe not. I’ll get my coat.

    • ssorg

      Coming of age as a teenage extraterrestrial in colonial south america: the coloring book… now with extra bears!

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        Needs more sloth.

        • Eli Valcik

          They used to call me the sloth.

    • Zadion

      Random Stranger on the Internet, how dare you discredit my ego by expressing a conflicting opinion! I love the album art!

      • basenjibrian

        Hear hear! Why do we even allow a Furry to comment on this site, amiright?

    • Thatguy

      And an upvote for you.

      The music is trite too.

  • Wes Allen
    • GardensTale

      And fewer pixels?

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Top hats made of cheese? Contact Tuomas Holopainen ASAP, he needs a lifetime supply!

  • Nate Sweet

    I think you’re forgetting the most compelling numerical lyrics…867-530nai-ee-aiin!

  • Its funny, not only did I immediately think Fleshgod when I first heard this, I immediately knew it was Italian. For so many years, we had easily identifying regional metal “German Power Metal”, “Gothenburg Melodic Death”, “The LA Big 5”, but the country shaped like a boot has their own distinct sound too, and I like it!

    • Nag Dammit

      I thought fleshgod before I heard it. Then I thought best and didn’t hear it.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      What’s the LA Big 5? Or who are the LA Big 5?

      • Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer, and the honorary “Big 5” Testament.

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          Anthrax are not fron LA…

          • Bystander

            Yeah, those are Bay Area bands, not the same as LA.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Well, Anthrax are not from the Bay Area either…

          • Bystander

            No, NY. But Metallica, Testament, Exodus… Slayer I’m not sure about. Just always associate the ‘big four’ with SF more than LA.

  • Nukenado

    So in recap, December has given us three 4s and five 3.5s, and we’re one week into the damn month.
    This is troubling.
    This God² thing is pretty cool though.

    • GardensTale

      This is not December as we know it. Let’s not forget Diablo Swing Orchestra is releasing Pacifisticuffs tomorrow as well.

      • Not Patrick From HoE

        2.5/5, calling it now

        • GardensTale

          Insider trading, you gonna lose that call.

        • Nukenado

          Nope, at least a 3.0.

          • Tofu muncher

            A 3.0-3.5 is about right. Nice tunes tho’ too much going on at times IMO. Kristin Evegård’s sings great (sounds sexy, but I’m a moron so…)

          • Nukenado

            Kristin sounds sexy, but the best part is that she knows how to sound sexy in about four to five different ways. Her voice is definitely non-traditional, but she can manuver between croons on Lady Clandestine Chainbreaker (my favorite delivery of hers and the one that I feel fits DSO best), weird shouts on Knucklehugs (that I don’t think worked), her poppy, near-autotune singing, some out-of-the-blue and welcome harcore screams (Superhero Jagganath), pseudo-operatics (also Superhero Jagganath), and more introspective, tuned down singing (Climbing the Eyewall).

            Honestly, I was prepared to hate this album.
            I’m happy to say I don’t. I’ll see if it clicks after more listens.

      • Nukenado

        Gulp.

    • Eli Valcik

      Midnight

      • Nukenado

        That scissoring…

  • hallowed

    Oolon Colluphid’s favorite band.

    • Kronos

      Now that’s an obscure one.

    • GardensTale

      Isn’t that the bad guy with no legs from the Martin Freeman Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy movie?

      • WhamBamSam

        In the books he’s the writer of Where God Went Wrong, Some More of God’s Greatest Mistakes, Who is This God Person Anyway?, and Well, That Just About Wraps It Up For God.

        • GardensTale

          I knew it was from HG2G!

  • Septic

    A more aesthetically pleasing cover while still paying homage to the original.
    http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ed4f21a0e2a9450ae8a9189312c37791d3590532ddcece96cbb185839019f220.jpg

  • Solrac Avan

    Good God G.O.D G.O.D is Good… God

  • sir_c

    Just watched their Cold Water clip on Youtube. That is a pretty damn nice song. Nice nice nice.

    • GardensTale

      Yep, that was another solid one. Coulda linked either.

  • “(ID numbers don’t usually make for compelling lyrics unless you’re Neil Fallon.)”

    I humbly submit “1010011010” by Aussie band, Cog, for your consideration…

  • I don’t want to hit play on the embedded track because the preview screenshot is so damn hilarious. I guess I’ll just never know what this sounds like.

  • Gena Gorin

    This music video is hilarious because of how br00tal this guy wants to be.
    And he sounds almost exactly like Randy Blythe.

  • Lithophyte

    Listening to this now – VOLUME MAX! Love it. The balance between death and deathcore is almost perfect. Powerful and chewy.

  • Tofu muncher

    a very nice album deserving that 3.5. I can even forgive some djent-sounding riffing in some of the songs.

  • Adrian Shotbolt

    This is a pretty damn good album. Like a more listenable Fleshgod Apocalypse.