OREMUS - Popioly CD
Toxic Holocaust Records
Genre: Black Metal
For some folks thirty five minutes of raw brutal yet atmospheric black metal from Poland is outright torture and considered worse than waterboarding. For me it's a blissful excursion into the dark depths and I'm also a fan of BLAZE OF PERDITION who the two members of OREMUS are part of. Whether or not this new duo's debut full length will give em a new lease on music's life remains to be seen. That will have to be left up to fans but in all honesty I'd encourage them aka: S. on vocals and VCIII guitars, to keep this project going. The release title translates into "Ashes" which seems adequate since the music doesn't burn you. Instead it's more lamenting, a fact that it's burnt. There are only four cuts on Popioly all quite long obviously but all the while exciting. The close to twelve minute opening number, "Siódma Pieczec" (The Seventh Seal) is a powerful blackened opus that carries your senses to the highest peaks and then lowest of pits. It's quintessential orthodox black metal DARKTHRONE minus Fenriz's drumming skills and fills. The influence is more evident on the shorter "Tyrana Grób" (Grave of the Tyrant). VCIII's guitar work is invitingly eerie as well as an assault especially since S. sounds like blood is flowing from his mouth as he barks out the lyrics. It's all in Polish but hey anyone into BM can understand a pilgrimage into darkness and despair.
The title cut is also a shorter number and coveys a more somber tone albeit frosty. It doesn't last long and by the two minute mark the song turns into a torrent of painfully harsh riffs, blast beats and S screaming like it were all a storm of discontent. It's the epic production on Popioly which turns something so simplistic into a ferocious saga. The triumph of this style is best represented on the final cut, "Białe Oblicza" (White Faces). It's on here that the unswervingly weight finally crushes you. I found it truly enjoyable the first time out listening to this. VCIII's riffs even go a little beyond the simplistic orthodoxy of early DARKTHRONE. There's a surprise chanting sequence at the end of the cut which also keeps you from being entranced by the riffs which really drain and drag you in. Listening to this is equal to staring at a strobe light with some unseen hand controlling the speed of the bursts. That would be my one misgiving about this since other then the assault on your senses there's no real break from the monotonous tone. It's an audio version of hyperthermia and will take a few minutes of quiet time to thaw out from it's effects.