Once you get past the obvious graphic nature of the CD cover (which I'm sure will be plenty distasteful to some), the goods contained on the full length debut of Norwegian black metal supergroup Orcustus are actually quite solid. Formed in 2002 by singer/guitarist Taipan (Abattoir), the band was rounded out by drummer Dirge Rep (Enslaved), and guitarists Infernus & Tormentor (both from Gorgoroth). This self titled release is indicative of the early/mid 90's black metal scene that was happening in Norway, so if your love for the genre includes acts like Mayhem, Gorgorth, Emperor, and Immortal, then you've come to the right place. Lots of brutal riffery and blast beats flying about the mix here, Taipan's vocals quite savage and raw on all of these thunderous tunes. Gorgoroth founder Infernus actually plays bass here (along with additional bass work from Radek and Vrangsinn) so the bulk of the guitars were done by Tormentor and Taipan, and there's plenty of icy cold tremelo picked riffs and even some tasty fills & solos along the way. Highlights are the epic "Of Sophistry, Obsession and Paranoia", the weaving "Conversion" (which has some of the best guitar playing on the CD), the black 'n' roll stomp of "Jesus Christ Patricide", and the raw, primal, old school flavored "Ego Sum Chaos".
In addition to the cover, if you have a weak stomach the booklet might not be your cup of tea and could be a tad offensive to you, as the band included all sorts of black and white photographs of various scenes of death, none of which are too pleasant. However, if you are familiar with the black metal scene, shock value is always the key, so perhaps these grisly images won't come as to much of a surprise to you. Latest word has it that the band's line-up has once again changed since the recording of the CD (as it has numerous times over the years), with both Infernus and Tormentor moving on to other projects. We shall see what the future holds for this black metal horde, but in the meantime Orcustus is a fine release for all you old school fans.
1. Coil 05:13
2. Of Sophistry, Obsession and Paranoia 08:49
3. Conversion 05:21
4. Jesus Christ Patricide 07:45
5. Death and Dissolution 04:42
6. Ego Sum Chaos 06:03
7. Asphyxiokenisis 03:50