Orfvs – Ceremony of Darkness

Rating: 4.5/5
Distributor/label: Spread Evil Productions
Released: 2020
Buy Album: https://spreadevil.bandcamp.com/album/ceremony-of-darkness
Band Website: https://spreadevil.bandcamp.com/album/ceremony-of-darkness

Band line-up:

Profundiis – Drums, Keys, Vocals
Adar – Guitars, Bass

Tracklisting:

1. Son of Morning Sky
2. Cruor MCMXCVIII
3. The Void Around Anima Mnudi
4. My Heart of Perdition

Review

If you like music that can personify something evil or angry or even make you feel like you’ve become part of some ritual that involves hysterical and gut-churning black magic, then one duo from Finland has got you covered.

Orfvs, all the way from Jyvaskyla, have managed to conjure up some audible poetry that will have you feeling like you’re part of some cult getting up to some devilish activity in an endless forest that stretches as far as the eye can see.

“Ceremony of Darkness” is the band’s first release in nearly a decade, following on from two demos and years of lurking in borderline obscurity on the Finnish scene. But now the band have fully made their mark as first track: “Son of Morning Sky” opens its melancholic and slow butchery on the ears that will have you wanting more even if slow black metal is not what you normally listen to.

The second track “Cruor MCMXCVIII” is a much faster tempo, and in my opinion, the best on the release, and I am still wondering what happened in 1998 for the band to write about. It’s like a rainstorm of nails hitting you in the head as the drummer, Profundiis works the ride like nobody’s business whilst he howls and screams, making you picture a thunderstorm brought about by a hooded mage encircled by obedient, faceless occultists.

Third, “The Void Around Anima Mnudi” is reminiscent of In The Woods, albeit without the progressive rock influences that band became known for. Imagine nature-themed melodic black metal that has you feeling like you stumbled across some fanatics dancing hysterically around a fire in the middle of an overgrown woodland. For me, this also had me picturing the Ents arising from Fangorn Forest at the end of The Two Towers. I don’t think nature is what these blokes had in mind when putting the album together, but there is something they’ve caught in the band’s atmosphere that has me thinking of trees, mighty forests and those who seek solace and mythical knowledge in the magic of nature.

Final track “My Heart of Perdition” feels like the aftermath of the metaphorical ritual as the embers burn out and all returns to the earth. This is one raspy and has a brutal melody that fuses all the anger and perdition of the Finnish sound and goes along with the catchiest riffs and blast beats available.

I certainly feel this EP will catapult Orfvs to a new level of popularity and appreciation both in their native scene and beyond. One does hope they come and visit the UK once gigs resume and they bring the evil magic personified in this EP with them.

Review by Demitri Levantis
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