The Order - Rockwolf (Dockyard 1/Riot)

A blast from the past with recognisable themes, sounds and vocals. The Order are a Swiss band who are heavily influnced by all the favourites from the 80s.
Release Date: 
25 Sep 2009 (All day)

The Order is a band made up of guitarist Bruno Spring, Andrej Abplanalp on bass and Tschibu Casciero on drums. These guys have been playing together in various bands for two decades; in The Order they are joined by Pure Inc singer Gianni Pontillo.

Rockwolf is this Swiss band's third studio album and opens with the aptly named Sex, Drugs & Rock'n'Roll, The Order hit you full force with the ingredients that makes classic hair metal so attractive. Rock screams, melodic guitars with intense bass and drums. This leads you nicely into Love Ain't A Game To Play, which has a guitar solo that makes the song stand out all by itself.

On And On has a catchy melody and lyrics but there isn't really anything else to make this song anything more than enjoyable. Following though is the tender ballad Endlessly, which opens with a beautiful acoustic guitar solo and leads into gritty but soulful vocals that are reminiscent of an Alter Bridge ballad.

Angels In Disguise has a very AC/DC feel to it, with story-book lyrics and gritty musical accompanyment. Then the album moves on to the much heavier Reorder The Disorder, where the band reintroduces its heavy metal grinding (which, unfortunately, only lasts the duration of this song). Next up, This Song Is For You slows things down for another ballad, this one is a bit grittier than Endlessly and has quite an epic feel to it.

Miss Paradise has a very upbeat pop-rock sound to it; this is the sort of song that gets lots of radio play, it has appeal to the wider audience and the radio producers can pat themselves on the back for playing something metal! In all honesty it's just too pop for my tastes and I'm soon ready to hit skip and take in some of the title track, Rockwolf, which is the standout track on this album. It features gutsy guitar work and satisfying lyrics: this is the song that will make this band a hit with fans of the genre.

The same cannot be said for the final song on the album, Wild Boys. A cover of the Duran Duran song, which, quite frankly, should never have been recorded in the first place. This cover does a bad song no justice and if you're anything like me, you'll dissolve into fits of laughter the minute it starts. This album would have been far far better off without it and as the last song on the album, guess what stays stuck in your head for the rest of the day?

Overall, Rockwolf is enjoyable, well produced, well performed, and the vocals are intense. Gianni Pontillo has an outstanding voice which isn't done justice on this album. This is nothing special, we've heard it all before in various guises by various bands. If you like 80s style heavy metal then you'll like this, but don't expect it to set your world alight, because it won't.

The Order's Rockwolf is out on 25 September on Dockyard1/Riot.