(Forever Plagued, 2014)
Forever Plagued is a label known for their strong underground attitude and deep respect and appreciation for old nineties Black Metal feelings. Orcultus from Sweden – whom released their first demo last year – definitely fits this category. Nothing is known of the members or their past, but one thing is certain: They surely know how to cast those nineties Black Metal spells.
“Black Rust” starts off with and old Aura Noirish “Deep Tracts” kind of vibe, but we soon discover the music actually has more in common with old Gorgoroth or “Dark Medieval Times” era Satyricon, although slower, warmer and heavier. The more I continued listening to this release, the more I got the feeling of Gorgoroth’s “Pentagram” meeting the ’93-’95 demos of Manes, which sounds like a match made in nineties hell. And it is.
The Vocals sound a bit old Burzumish (but not so high), with quite a lot of distortion, and also the above mentioned “Pentagram’s” Hat comes to mind.
The drum machine (or software) sounds very natural, relying mostly in mid-tempo pace, with very rarely heard faster blasts, perhaps in order to keep the drums sound as organic as possible, or perhaps Orcultus just likes their nineties Black Metal a bit more slower and heavier.
The riffs are as typical and true as they can get, very ugly and raw, heavy as a frozen hell most of the times, although some hauntingly beautiful melancholic parts are heard as well. In general the guitars serve not too much melodies, besides some leads and pickings here and there.
Slight synths sound in the background to give that atmospheric feeling, but not too much to take charge from the guitars at any point. Sometimes the synths sound even robotic or mechanic, which brings a bit of originality to the music.
The whole release has a very nice distorted but audible sound, like gone through a metallic resounding filter, which makes the whole thing sound even psychedelic and ambient like.
This tape totally fits the style of Forever Plagued, “where the past is alive”, as this is as nineties demo-tape of a release as it can get, really. As mentioned above, if you’re into old Manes and Gorgoroth, you can’t go wrong with this tape!
8/10 – Antti Mikonmäki