ORCUSTUS - Orcustus (WTC - LP 2012)
Once in a while the Norwegians come up with an album, which immediately is putted into the category of the best and most inspiring black metal LPs of the present times. Obviously there’s still the unrivalled mightiness of “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” floating over everything, but throughout the later years there were at least dozen of albums, which were not much behind and which are defining what the Norsk Black Metal Art is about. The last decade hasn’t really came up with so many albums of this kind as there were in the early to mid 90’s, but still I can guarantee that such LPs as “Liberation”, “Over Bjoergvin Graater Himmerik”, “Hordalands Doedskvad”, “Through Thick Fog Till Death” plus few others, which I have forgotten about now are worth being mentioned here. And here is another album, which I dare to say must be remembered and get all the deserved honours. At the same time the debut LP of Orcustus was probably one of the most anticipated albums of the recent times. I mean the couple of EPs, which Orcustus has unleashed in the mid 00’s were very promising, but it is also the line up a major factor for high expectations for “Orcustus”. Featuring Taipan, but most notably Dirge Rep (Gehenna, Enslaved to name the most important bands he played in) as well as Infernus and Tormentor from Gorgoroth it must have promised something exceptional. And for me personally “Orcustus” is exactly like that.
Music wise “Orcustus” offers pure, traditional black metal in the Norwegian vein. While listening to this LP quite few Norwegian bands pop into my mind, what may mean that the music is not the most original of all out there, but I don’t care about that, especially as I think that the quality of this black metal is better than in the 99% of the current black metal albums and that this music really awaken the proper feelings.
For the bands, which I can compare Orcustus to, I would mention Mayhem from “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas”, Taake, Gorgoroth (“Antichrist” era), Urgehal, 1349… For example the opening track “Coil” evokes a strong feeling of resemblance to Taake’s style, with this characteristic type of riffing, combined with exceptional fury and aggression, at the same time focusing on creating specific atmosphere of something cold and inhuman. It’s a killer opener, which puts me in the correct mood straight away, as the same time forcing to bang the head and scream in frenzy. And the following tracks just follow this same direction, delivering even more bestiality, hatred and wrath. The fast pace is definitely dominant (“Coil”, “Death and Dissolution”), but there are also more mid paced oriented tracks like “Of Sophistry, Obsession and Paranoia” or “Jesus Christ Patricide” (the best song from the whole LP?). And however Orcustus would play, it all works… with this sort of riffing, plus with the raspy vocals of Taipan and blasting drumming of Dirge Rep, the album never fails and is like a constant avalanche of sound. There’s also really great production, I do must admit I like the sound a lot, especially the drums sound awesome. Altogether it feels like someone picked up the parts of the best Norwegian bands and albums, which I have mentioned above and glued them all together into one lethal piece on “Orcustus”. The whole material is also incredibly even, there isn’t a song, which would really go above the rest and maybe that’s a minor fault of “Orcustus”, but from the other hand there’re no fillers or weak parts neither, so who would care about that? If I mention some of the songs below as the standouts then it’s just due to some excellent riffs, which really hit me and left unconscious. Note though that I mention four tracks there and the whole album has seven tracks hehe! That must say a lot, I guess.
Oh, hold on… you must know that ”the purpose of your existence is to make others laugh when you die…”. Beware then! Excellent album. It finally got released on vinyl in 2012, by W.T.C. and I must admit it is really well packaged vinyl and the whole layout equals the excellent releases from NOEVDIA. “Orcustus” comes in the gatefold sleeve, with an insert for the record with the entire album info and band photo, plus there’s 8 page booklet, with all the lyrics and additional graphics and photography (which differ from those from the CD version, where the booklet had photos of the dead people all over it). It’s really worth getting, if you’re a vinyl collector plus a black metal maniac, trust me. It definitely is a great addition to my own collection.
Standout tracks: “Coil”, “Of Sophistry, Obsession and Paranoia”, “Jesus Christ Patricide”, “Death and Dissolution”
Final rate: 90/100