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Interesting, Melodic, *AND* Brutal As Hell - 90%

corviderrant, December 28th, 2005

Orion is not only a great bassist with Behemoth, he also proves himself a highly talented vocalist/guitarist/songwriter in his own right (nothing against Nergal at all, of course) in this project. I am not at all surprised that Behemoth could not contain his talent (he actually had this band going before he joined them) and that he still operates this band as an outlet for his own ideas. And what ideas the man has!

This is very much a "symphonic" black metal band along the lines of Emperor and maybe even Dimmu Borgir, only giving just as much attention to the heaviness and power as much as they do the orchestral keyboard bits. Those are in evidence but are nowhere near as overbearing as those two bands got with their use of such features. The polished production job adds to the overall industrial vibe, to me, as the sound is machine-like enough to imply this influence, especially the obnoxious "clack" of the kick drums.

Orion's vocals are heavily processed, industrial-sounding howls and roars that are intimidating, and his riffs are solid and strong (he only plays rhythm, no leads, though Vader guitarist, Mauser, chips in a sweet little solo on "The Mystory"). Vader drummer Daray puts on a stunning performance with lots of blasting and double kick thunder along with a plethora of tasty rolls and fills that makes me forgive his overly triggered drum sound. I can see why he was chosen to replace the late, great Doc in that situation. The songs are involved and involving too; they really pull you into Vesania's twisted little world. The howling vocals even manage to evoke some of that elusive Csihar Attila vibe that few can come close to, and that says something.

The material is by turns blasting fast, doomy, and epic-sounding, and many songs are worthy of mention (opener "Rest In Pain", "The Mystory", the title track, "Phosphorror", and the hair-raising "Legions Are Me" in particular stand out). The tracks are broken up with a variety of instrumental interludes that convey a variety of feels and are actually not half bad, but I prefer to skip them for the most part. Orion and company manage to pull off the rare feat of writing epic-feeling songs whilst absolutely fucking your shit up while they're at it, mowing you down with intense melody and insane fury, and even some memorable parts like the chorus parts of "Rest In Pain".

Orion is no joke, and this proves it. He is not just a sideman in Behemoth, he is a worthy and worthwhile artist in his own right, and while I love Behemoth and his basswork in that band, I encourage you all to give this band some love too. Seriously, pray that they tour America some time soon so you can see for yourself, and get this CD while you're at it.