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Pure Order “Sons Of Belial”

Wasting no time in throwing us right into the firestorm of beats that their latest single contains, Pure Order attack the rhythm of “Sons Of Belial” as if their very lives depended on it, and whether you’re consuming the track via its original studio version or through the means of an artful, albeit grimly surreal, music video that was made in support of its release, it’s guaranteed to make an impression on you this December. Pure Order is known for coloring outside the lines when they get into the studio to make new music, but in this cut, they effectively change the pace of their scene by introducing a sound more fearsome than any I can recall reviewing in the last couple of months.

Although there isn’t a lot of tension between the verses, the track feels very urgent and constrictive in a few spots – partially because the bass is given so much room to breathe in the grander scheme of things. While I can appreciate a compressed mix as much as anyone else who follows rap and trap music can, I love the throwback to classic ‘90s hip-hop that this arrangement affords our vocalists, who share a fire that conjures up some of the most imagistic lyrics in the whole of the song. The chemistry is a big part of the reason why this act can get away with the experimental look they do in “Sons of Belial,” and something tells me that what we’re being introduced to in this performance is just a small taste of what they could do in a live setting.

The melodic componentry on the other side of the bottom end tones in this single feels a little understated, but it makes sense why. If the goal here was to reject the commonalities we’d hear on the FM dial from a lot of crossover rappers with a presence among the college radio crowd, Pure Order is doing so quite handily through a mixture of production and compositional approaches that distinguish them as being much more thoughtful than the majority of their closest competition is. They’ve got a lot of moxie in this track, but it’s not going underutilized by any stretch of your imagination – if anything, it’s the opposite.

While I wasn’t very familiar with the extended discography of this act before getting lost in the waves of rhythm and rhyme contained within “Sons Of Belial,” I was instantly blown away by the multidimensional construction of this most recent recording. There’s a raw physicality to both the mix and the music itself that almost transcends the sonic parameters of the studio altogether in this track, and while I’m certain it would sound even more angst-ridden and anthemic in person, there’s no getting around the fact that Pure Order pulled out all the stops to make this single sound and feel like a live performance tonally. I hear shades of many different elements within alternative hip-hop in “Sons Of Belial,” but more than anything else, I hear a duo that is primed to make a cratering impact on the rap world this year.

Mindy McCall



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