It seems this is a week for writing about bands making long overdue albums, as following in the footsteps of Texan legends At The Drive In are Sheffield rockers Order Of Voices with their superb second album Constancy.
Seven years on from their self-titled debut album the five-piece are back with a bang, but it’s not been without difficulty. Describing the undoubted toil that went into the album, the band summarise: “The journey has involved some show stopping technical glitches, many hours of late night soul searching, elation, anger, desperation and joy; not forgetting the odd birth and death.
“All this and more has contributed to the album, all this is present in the notes recorded and when the album title is dissected, you’ll find everything you need to know about Order of Voices present in the meaning of constancy: ‘The quality of being unchanging or unwavering, as in purpose, love, or loyalty; firmness of mind; faithfulness.'”
Opening track Hand In Hand starts as the band means to go on, an epic smash of rock led by the superb vocals of Leigh Oates that ooze emotion and feeling. That’s followed by the edgy guitar riff intro to Long For Air, which soon gives away to Oates’ engaging vocals that jump between delicately fragile and powerfully rocky as the track progresses. Check out the video below:
Despite a relatively relaxed opening to the record, including slow ballad Raise A Glass, Constancy soon evolves into a raw, aggressive monster, beginning with Diametric. It starts slow, with a lone guitar riff and vocals, then kicks into life with a prolonged cry and funky riff, then some huge rock vocals. The band certainly feel much more naturally suited to this big rock sound, and I love the contrast of the wah-effect guitars with Oates’ vocals.
An atmospheric track follows and flows into the more upbeat Affirmation, which features choppy distorted guitars in support of a laid-back verse that builds into a more intense chorus.
A real high point on the album is the excellent Shatterproof, which opens up with a high-pitched guitar riff that feeds into an edgy, intense opening verse with flitting guitars in support. The guitar riffs continue as the track builds in atmosphere culminating in a big vocal-led chorus before diving down into another edgy verse. The vocals on this track are stunning, with able support from some cool rocky guitar.
The album concludes with Sever This, which starts off slowly with winding vocals supported by light drums and guitars. It builds gradually into a big chorus with distorted guitars and driving drums and cymbal crashes, followed by a heavy guitar rock-out. The track drops down into repeats of “Fear holds me” that increase in intensity alongside some huge high-pitched guitar that bring the album to a delightful end.
Constancy deviates between light and atmospheric tracks and full-on anthemic rock, the latter of which I feel reveals Order Of Voices at their very finest. They are masters of crafting the big singalong chorus, partly because of Oates’ fantastic vocals, but also the excellent combination of rocking riffs and their undoubted ability to mould beautifully crafted tracks. Let’s hope they don’t leave it eight years for album number three.