No artist out there today comes close to replicating the magic of early KMFDM classics or Front Line Assembly’s more guitar-driven forays into the Industrial genre. That is, until Rise In Fire by Order Of The Static Temple drops. As an original banger, it owns. As an homage or history lesson for the uninitiated, it’s kind of perfect.
I’ve been saying that music coming post-pandemic is going to be some of the most innovative and interesting with many a musical outfit frustrated by the lack of a proper creative outlet and Rob Robinson’s Order Of The Static Temple is just that. Dark, driven, and simply divine, Rise In Fire may have been born early in the COVID daze but has the feel of something road-tested at many a Goth-themed club night across the country over a long period of time.
“Ridin’ In Sin” is like Angst-era KMFDM mixed with Electric Hellfire Club around the time of Kiss The Goat while “Dark Sounds Dark Time” treads My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult territory a little with disparate and desolate mechanical sounds coming at listeners like a 21st Century version of the soundtrack for Hardware. “Hour Of Power” brings to mind recent ohGr beauties (Robinson, coincidentally, helped produce 2018’s Tricks while guitarist Matthew Setzer has worked with both ohGr and Skinny Puppy) but easily slips into its’ own skin with the way the synths slither and entwine much the same way that Robinson and Damsel In The Dollhouse’s electronic-tinged vocals do amidst a bevy of samples creating a solid cacophony of robotic racket.
“Shadow And Agony” is built from a steady sonic bludgeoning and this harmonious hum from Robinson that lords over all to act like a protective cloud and then “This Is Not The End” let’s it all hang out for a moving, beats-heavy bouncer that relies on Setzer’s razor-sharp riffage to complete the ominous aura facilitated by Robinson’s programming. “In The Dark (The Secret Me)” creeps and lurks before “Mangled Ethos” grows into an Electro shredder that’s just futuristic fun.
Further in, “We Will Rise” is a combination of ’80’s Dance/Electronic (Believe it or not, “Rockit” comes to mind at times), Vangelis’ Blade Runner score, and a sound reminiscent of the more guitar-driven Industrial revolution of the mid-’90’s. “Ascension” begins the march toward the end with a precision puncher that’s highlighted by the playful back and forth between Robinson’s robot-like verses and Damsel In The Dollhouse’s ethereal vocal delivery and then, after a brief bout of sonic experimentation in the form of “Death Cult”, “Mark Of The Devil” brings it all home with a blistering final blast of full on Electro bliss.