Appearing seemingly out of nowhere ‘The Wiccan’, debut album from Lucifer’s Child impressed no end. No surprise about that really as the Greek band comprises of members of Rotting Christ, Nightfall and Chaostar instrumentally along with the singer from Karma Violets. Catching them live at Incineration Festival the year after only consolidated their position as far as I was concerned and I jumped on the promo album for the follow up album ‘The Order’ as soon as it came in. Not only playing guitar on this and of course being a little busy with Rotting Christ who are currently on tour and have laid down their next album for release next year, George Emmanuel was also responsible for recording, mixing and mastering this in his own studio; busy chap indeed.

Hailing death we start with Viva Morte and a track that really hits harder than possibly anticipated, with a massive drum battery, speedy execution of flailing guitars and rasp shredding vocals. This is thrashy black metal designed to take no prisoners and comes across incredibly violent and virulent. Melody is not forgotten and as this blazes away it latches in the head and holds on like a limpet, proving a more than formidable opening salvo. By the title track the band have hit that Hellenic groove that can only come from one destination and a much darker one than seen by many visiting package holiday makers. This is guaranteed to have you banging head to its mid-paced furrow, playing guitar and getting shiver down spine raptures from its harmonic backing chants. It is kind of stuck in a time of discovery, drawing elements from the group’s combined pasts, akin to discovering albums such as Dead Poem, Lesbian Show and the self-titled Chaostar for this particular writer. It’s far from all one dimensional and the urgent clamour of ‘Fall Of The Rebel Angels’ even has a bit of the mental torture shat out by the likes of Anaal Nathrakh about it. It might not be quite so bonkers but it is certainly on the way there. However I am slightly vexed by yet another sample of Aleister Crowley at the end; talk about done to death, bands get over it!!

Things settle a bit after this and atmosphere is built up on ‘Through Fire We Burn’ the instrumentation is decadent and sparkles before boots are donned, vocals are lit and it stomps along. Some sinister guitar lines perfectly enhance the arcane feel of things and the album’s longest song has no problems sprawling out and dragging you into its depths. The acoustic guitar work here is particularly delicious. Counterpoising moments of grandiose majesty and pure driving fury El Dragón belches out a fiery tumult perfect for just losing yourself in the heaving and barrelling drum bombast and hollered out angry vocals. Perhaps this fast / slow shuffle between tracks gets taken a bit for granted towards the latter part of the album Black Heart starting off as a real slow burner and then rampaging off reminding a bit of Rotting Christ’s own cover of Death In June’s ‘Lucifer Over London’ and the final track Siste Farvel being a near-instrumental closer that’s a bit too ponderous for its own good. Still when they hit from all angles as the sandwich meat in between that is ‘Haraya’ they really are firing on all cylinders. This will do very nicely till we are hit by ‘The Heretics’ next year and proves that Greek black metal is stronger than ever with a wealth of talent running through its historic veins.

(8/10 Pete Woods)