Metal Review – Ordo Obsidium – Orbis Tertius (2011)

Ordo Obsidium - Orbis TertiusOrdo Obsidium is a nice mix of black metal and funeral doom, both of which just sound right together on this release. If you take the black metal elements by themselves, they sound like your run of the mill black metal band, but when you inject the doom elements that they incorporate, it takes their latest release, Orbis Tertius, to a new level.

As far as debut albums go, this is a knockout. It really makes you salivate waiting for more releases from Ordo Obsidium. Production-wise, the album sets the perfect mood for a black metal release. Ordo Obsidium is not afraid to play around with keyboards or various other instruments to add another layer of depth to their music and it sounds like a perfect fit.

The album opens with Nequaquam Vacuum, which is a 12 minute romp that pretty much hits you with everything that Ordo Obsidium has. There are black metal elements, doom elements, the subtle keyboards movements and the solid vocals. There is not a weak moment on this opus.

The second track, Into the Gates of Madness, does just that. It sends you into madness. The tempo is turbo-charged for this track. The guitar work is solid throughout and the drums just hammer straight through your heart. There is some serious riffwork going on with this track and then there is an acoustic break that hits you at the perfect time just as the madness reaches its peak.

Orbis Tertius comes at you full force in funeral doom mode and there is no escaping the haunting, cavernous feel to this gloomy track. Clocking in at six and a half minutes, this dark track changes vocal stylings a bit, but still comes across as the Ordo Obsidium that we have familiarized ourselves with during the first two tracks.

By the time the next track, Emptiness Under the Moon, comes in, you are fully blown away. After such a dark romp as the previous track, we are treated to some more frenetic-paced black metal and it was just the break that we needed after that trip to hell that we just took. Emptiness Under the Moon mixes the classic black metal mood with updated tempos and almost progressive-style riffwork. Once again, the drums just bang through your chest.

The final opus, By His Unflinching Hand, comes in at over twelve minutes and as you wait for the album to close out, you begin to feel like something special is coming up to close this intense album. The album opens with a straight doom melody and haunting vocals and blends so many riffs, none of which feel forced or out of place.

Overall, Orbis Tertius is a very solid album blending multiple subgenres of metal effectively. If I had to notpick, I would say that people may have an issue with the amalgamation of styles as they would want a straight black metal or funeral doom album, but I like the chances that Ordo Obsidium took with Orbis Tertius and I applaud them for it.

After over a year lurking behind a shroud of silence, ORDO OBSIDIUM will unleash their debut album, Orbis Tertius in North America via Eisenwald on October 10, 2011. Shifting between sprawling sorrowful black metal and hopelessly despondent funeral doom, Orbis Tertius boasts rich, continually developing compositions that set it apart from the glut of static and insipid modern bands of the genre.

In the uncompromising spirit of the ‘90s, Orbis Tertius was committed to two-inch tape in August of 2010, at Louder Studios in California (Wolves In The Throne Room, Weakling, Thrones, Melvins, etc.) in August 2010 standing in vehement opposition to the sterility and over-compression of most contemporary metal.With striking cover art by Ba’al  Graphics (Corpus Christii, Sonne Adam, Lugubre, Teratism, etc.)and layout by Erebus Studio (Feigur, Drudkh, Isolation, etc.), the five-track offering sounds like a mix of early Emperor, Mortifera and early Katatonia.

Marching the perilous road between orthodoxy and progress, the album will surely be met with both praise and condemnation. However one thing is clear, ORDO OBSIDIUM is not a carbon copy of a carbon copy of a carbon copy.