Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio

[Songs 4 Hate and Devotion sleeve]"Songs 4 Hate and Devotion" (Album, 2010)  !DSO Recommended!

Out Of Line

With a title that can only be part homage or part piss-take of Depeche Mode’s multi-million selling Songs of Faith and Devotion (but is also indicative of their interest in BDSM), Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio’s have turned in a fine album that explores a rather darker world view than that of Basildon’s finest. It won’t sell as many as its similarly entitled predecessor but is likely to be as rewarding to a select few partial to ORE’s neofolk/martial sound.

In stark contrast to Kinder aus Asbest’s Inside (also reviewed this month) where every track had a one word title, ORE go for the opposite approach, with lengthy, literary titles beginning with Where I Stand On The Holy Mountain And Pray For The War which sets out an attractive template for much that follows. In spite of its subject matter of Europe at war, A World Not So Beautiful (A Song 4 The Emperor) has a resigned gentility which is a far more effective way of getting across the despair of its subject matter than the countless other acts who opt for the fast paced, loud, unsubtle route to get your attention.

Only problem with this tack is that the entire album (all thirteen tracks) ploughs this furrow and two-thirds the way through I’m yearning either for a stylistic change or a step up in tempo if only to bring a touch more variety to the proceedings. The touch more playful (both lyrically and musically) Long Knives And Little Men is the only song really that pushes the model and is a standout as a result. Nevertheless, Songs 4 Hate and Devotion remains a frequently alluring introduction to Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio. I, at least, am glad my understanding of a sub-genre I’m not overly familiar with has been expanded in so satisfying a manner. 8/10

Rob Dyer (July 2011)

See also:
Black Tape For A Blue Girl
Current 93
Death In June
In The Nursery