[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
One thing you can count on in this uncertain musical world is that originality is the key to longevity. No matter what the pundits opine or the fickle taste makers pronounce, true artistry will endure. However long you’re gone, if what you’ve done in the past stands out and follows no one’s whims but your own, you will never be forgotten. You might disappear for just a few years, or in the case of OES you might vanish for over a decade… but your fans will remember. Even if they were only 16 when they discovered you.
And so it comes to pass that Deraclamo and Leithana bring a new record to us after all those nights in the wilderness. They still sound like no one else and their potency as a duo remains absolutely untarnished. They have added a new member who goes by the name Maury, everyone. Make him feel welcome and try not to press too closely, we all know what this band did in the 1990s. Their debut I remember buying like it was yesterday, if I’d only known what kind of grief their label at that time was going to cause them I’d have held off. But I know that even if I had known, I still would have wound up going home with it.
That’s the kind of double edged sword you accept should you choose to follow this band. They really are just too good to pass up.
I’m not sure why it ended up the way it did, so unresolved. I am beside myself having this new record. OES have been around long enough (formed 1988) to have outlasted the implosion of World Serpent both as a label and a movement. Even though Tony Wakeford aided them early on, this outfit bear resemblance to those days in name only. Get ready, my friends, this is not the same Ordo Equitum Solis you remember from their days of yore. Supported by a hat-full of incredible new tunes, OES remain true to their roots but they’re not how you remember them. Somehow they have added even more depth, more intensity and even more lushly enticing sounds.
Her vocals still command your absolute attention and his arrangements defy convention. Even though they disguise themselves as a very strange rock band on a couple songs, there’s no getting away from the swirling undercurrent of subconscious regimenting they’ve always been so extremely good at. To listen to this band is to be transported elsewhere, to a garden in winter or a crumbling sentinel’s tower in the spring. The undeniable romanticism which almost bleeds from their compositions will root you to the spot.
This is the work of people who only emerged again when they had something that they, not their label, were completely satisfied with. I welcome you back to the land of the living, Ordo Equitum Solis. I’m really going to try and not read too much into the title of this record because it in itself may contain the answer to why they dropped off for so long; picking right up from 2000’s triumphant “Metamorphosis – Personam Impono”, “Killing Time Killing Love” pushes ever deeper into the splendidly tailored darkness of the psyche without any hesitation in doing so. We fans will stop our vigil now and do as we have always done with your works: listen in a reverential silence.
Ordo Equitum Solis – Killing Time Killing Love
CD, Digital 2013