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THE ORDER Welcome To The Metal Casino (2007)

A big, brash, in your face slab of melodic hard rock from Swiss outfit The Order that at various times reminds me of Pink Cream 69, Skid Row circa that classic first album, Dokken, 80s Kiss and with a bit of AC/DC riffage thrown in for good measure on a couple of tracks! Boasting a selection of songs that manage to sound nice 'n' modern thanks to a superbly heavy production there's much turning back of the clocks to the mid-80s in terms of the songs, and all this from a band who's lineage stems from thrash and alt-rock. Quite why they've decided to go down the classic rock route isn't shared but if their objective was to produce an album of classic yet modern sounding hard rock then its mission accomplished.

"Satisfaction" is the first track to really drive the Kiss comparisons with singer Gianni Pontillo sounding uncannily like Paul Stanley, although the similaritiess aren't all that evident elsewhere as "Bridges Burning" introduces itself as a superb hard rocker and "Let The Good Time Roll" lights the way to the second half of the disc with clichés aplenty yet remains hugely enjoyable. The slower songs are represented by the strong Nickelback-like "My Last Goodbye" which makes fresh use of the of an old Randy Rhodes lick, and if I had to choose one track to really listen out for then I'd struggle to separate the dark "Down With The Rain" and the more commercial "Forever", both excellent heavy rockers.

A fine album which draws from the 80s hard rock template but nicely updates it, this will surely appeal to anyone who just wants an hour of good, heavy, classic hard rock.


Review by Bill Leslie

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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