What do you get when you mix Taipan from black metal band Amok with three other members from black metal bands including Aura Noir, Gorgoroth and 122 Stab Wounds…well black metal evidently.
Orcustus take their name from the underground zine ‘Orcustus which Bård ‘Faust’ and since making their demo available free online have a found a home with the dark masters at Southern Lord for their eponymous release.
‘Coil’ begins the ceremonies in a fashion that pretty much sets the precedent for the remaining seven tracks, old school black metal riffs matched in tandem with break neck speed drum playing and lozenge requiring vocals.
‘Of Sophistry, Obsession and Paranoia’, far be it to produce variations on a theme, follows the chosen path of brutal straight forward black metal at warp speed, thundering along like some hellish juggernaut. So too does the wonderfully named ‘Jesus Christ Patricide’ which, through its title and composition, should be included in dictionaries as defining entirely the most basic of Norwegian black metal requirements.
Yet despite the combined talents that make up Orcustus the output itself, as enjoyable as it is, still very much rests on the strong laurels of a black metal sound established already, making it hard to defend against those who’ve found this a lacklustre and straightforward achievement.
This said there are still some great tracks to be found here, such as ‘Death and Dissolution’ and ‘Ego Sum Chaos’ both of which provide everything one needs for when looking for strident and abrasive black metal to slap on full volume.
While not the most remarkable record for Southern Lord to release, Orcustus still manages to hallmark black metal respectfully and passionately and this release would, as a result, easily find a good home in any black metal library.