Order From Chaos Frozen in Steel

Box Set


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Regular edition with 9 x LP in jackets, hardbound book casewrapped in cloth with foil stamp on all sides, double sided A2 poster, and casewrapped box bound in black cloth and foil stamped on four sides.

(Description by J. Campbell)
During the short span of the band’s existence, Order From Chaos garnered emphatic support from a relatively small faction of the underground, but went mostly unnoticed by the scene at large due to a confluence of factors including various labels’ mishandling of the band’s releases. “When it comes to the worldwide scene of underground Metal,” says Jon Metalion (Slayer Magazine), “there were more than a few examples of bands that, like Order From Chaos, really had something extraordinary to offer and fell under the radar for most people.” Perhaps most significantly, the music, imagery, and conceptual foundation of the band were too advanced compared with the majority of Order From Chaos’ contemporaries. As time passed, however, the scene began to catch up with Order From Chaos and their music has by now attained its well-deserved canonical stature.
Shortly after the three Kansas City, MO teenagers – Pete Helmkamp, Chuck Keller, and Mike Miller – united to form Order From Chaos in 1987, they clarified their mission: they would channel all their creative energy into the band, perfect the presentation of their message, and terminate the project after three albums in order to preserve the integrity of their statement. The band members adhered to this directive and after recording three albums (though they augmented their discography along the way with various demo and EP releases), they disbanded in 1995 following the completion of their magnum opus, “An Ending in Fire.” (Owing to difficulties with the label, the album would not be released for three more years.) Thus, in just eight years, Order From Chaos produced an unparalleled body of work, the undeniable influence of which permeates much of the music produced since that time.
To bring the music of Order From Chaos into proper focus, the band (the members of which have all remained continually active in the underground metal scene since their days in Order From Chaos) worked together with NWN! Productions to produce this definitive discography collection. “Frozen in Steel” contains all of the material Order From Chaos released during its existence. The demos and early EPs reveal the band’s obsession with the likes of Venom, Sodom, Slaughter Lord, and Voivod and represent the raw materials out of which Order From Chaos would later construct its monumental statement of intent, the debut album, “Stillbirth Machine.” Originally released by Wild Rags and Decapitated, “Stillbirth Machine” established Order From Chaos as one of the most unique bands active at that time. While clearly maintaining the integrity of their approach on previous releases, the debut album extends beyond the confines of any particularized genre or subgenre instead, it reflects a style that is wholly and completely that of Order From Chaos. Meticulously crafted with an unmatched attention to detail, the album operates on both an instinctive, visceral level as well as an intellectual one. With their second album, “Dawn Bringer,” Order From Chaos’ ability to refine their sound became remarkably apparent. As with any genuine musician, author, or artist, Order From Chaos was not content with remaining static. “Dawn Bringer” shows the band expanding the borders of its sonic and thematic universe. Its inclusion in this box set marks the first time the album has ever been committed to vinyl. (The artwork for this vinyl version was culled from original layout materials sent to Decapitated Records for the “Stillbirth Machine” LP, but for unknown reasons, the label disregarded the band’s intentions and never used the layout materials.)
Finally, if their first two albums and their impeccable collection of shorter EP releases did not secure Order From Chaos’ legacy, the final album, “An Ending in Fire” is irrefutable proof of the band’s genius. It is, in fact, nothing short of a masterpiece. The first side of the album contains the five-part series of tracks that comprise the “Conqueror of Fear” suite. Fans of Order From Chaos will recognize the Conqueror of Fear as the foundational conceptual pillar around which much of the band’s visual, musical, and lyrical content (particularly that of Helmkamp) revolved. The second side featured the epic, “There Lies Your Lord, Father of Victories” – a 12-minute track written by Keller based upon Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen.” Closing out the album was the three-part song sequence “Somnium Helios” detailing the life cycle of a star (astronomy being one of Keller’s favored lyrical topics).
In addition to the three albums, “Frozen in Steel” contains every demo and EP as well as little known rehearsal recordings that the band released in extraordinarily small quantities. The depth and quality of the band’s discography is truly remarkable and, when examined together, all of the releases take on added significance due to their relationships with each other, which underscores the complexity of the Order From Chaos catalog.