Order of the Wolf/Pessimista – Split (Review)

Order of the Wolf Pessimista - SplitThis is a split between two solo bands rooted in black metal – Order of the Wolf from the UK and Pessimista from Brazil.

This actually came out last year originally, but is now getting a tape release. This is my first encounter with both bands, and this split acts as a very good introduction to them.

Order of the Wolf offers up 18 minutes, (including bonus track), of traditional, melodically-enhanced black metal, mixed with some hardcore and punk influences.

These songs are raw and unforgiving, with an abrasive sound and a venomous attitude that could flay skin at a hundred paces. Spitting blackened bile and embracing the melodic, punk-edged, aggressive side of the genre, these tracks may be virulent and harsh, but they’re not without atmosphere or skill. I particularly enjoy many of the riffs, and the artist behind the band has a good relationship with both melody and songcraft in general.

Hard to pick a top track, but ¡No Pasarán! is such a storming opener that it’s an easy early favourite. A Future of Promises, a History of Lies boasts a strong melodic streak though, which elevates it up in my opinion. Moving Ever Closer Towards the Light is even catchier than the previous tracks, and even boasts some tasteful keys near the end. However, closer, and bonus cut, This Is Not a Brave New World, has a melodic backbone to die for. Damn. Every song is great, it’s as simple as that.

Order of the Wolf’s side has seriously impressed. I like this sort of underground rawness, and I’ve apparently just found s band that can write songs better than most too. Great stuff from Order of the Wolf.

Pessimista’s side of the split lasts 21 minutes and belongs to the atmospheric strain of black metal.

Utilising synths, ambience, and immersive melody, the artist behind Pessimista creates an expansive atmosphere, drawing the listener in with surprising ease. The tracks are less immediate than those of Order of the Wolf, despite the atmospheric aggression on display, but this is not to their detriment as they truly spread their wings over time. The music stands as a worthy counterpoint to the blistering hatred of Order of the Wolf, allowing the listener to explore at their leisure, rather than being chased down and run to ground.

Pessimista’s music has a good grasp of blackened dynamics and of how to craft engaging soundscapes for the listener. All three of the tracks are of high quality, yet I do have a clear favourite here in Memórias Póstumas. The other two come close, (Proferindo Podridão especially), but this one takes the crown with its variety of delivery and emotive core that bleeds out over everything.

Like Order of the Wolf, Pessimista’s music has also seriously impressed.

The music on this split is underground and raw, yet has a quality to it absent from many higher profile bands. I thoroughly recommend both bands on here, and as a holistic package and listening experience this split is hard to fault.

Essential listening for connoisseurs of the underground.

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