Orcustus- Orcustus

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Thursday, June 4, 2009

The name Orcustus should be a familiar one around some of the black metal circles out there. Originally formed in 2002, this black metal super group of sorts was formed by Taipan (Amok) and Dirge Rep (Gorgoroth, Enslaved) and also featured Infernus and Tormentor up until recently. After a demo and two EP releases, the group finally unleashed their self titled debut full length through Southern Lord and it’s a raw, old school style release. And although the arrangements might be a little simplistic for a band with this level of talent, those who don’t mind the slightly retro feel of this one will still want to give it a listen.

One of the first thing that people are going to notice is that Orcustus has gone for a very raw production on their debut. However, unlike some of the other black metal bands out there they have realized that “raw” doesn’t have to mean that the album sounds like complete shit. So although there is a bit of a lo-fi feel to this release all of the different instruments are audible and they all sound quite menacing. If you’ve heard older black metal (such as early Gorgoroth) the material here should sound familiar and while it is not the most original or technically complex music it still has its moments. Listeners may be disappointed that the majority of the tracks offer similar ideas, but if you’re in the right mood this is a decent dark and eerie black metal album to put on.

Orcustus’ vocalist Taipan has that familiar Norwegian black metal scream down, which is in part why the material on this album sounds so similar to many of the other acts out there. Taipan, like so many of the others from the same region, has that demonic sounding screaming voice that occasionally reaches blood curdling levels. There are also some sound clips on a few of the songs which add to the sinister and dark themes that the album establishes, and it is clear that the lyrical content is fairly traditional.

Some listeners may be disappointed that this band is made up of so many well known players from the Norwegian black metal scene and sounds old school. But when you really consider just who these guys are, would you expect anything else from them? Orcustus’ debut isn’t my favorite genre release to come out this year, but if you’re in the right mood it’s a decent one to listen to and is proof that all of these guys can write decent compositions outside of their main bands.

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