ORTHANC - SACRIFICIA MORTUORUM
Orthanc - Sacrificia Mortuorum (Split 2014) By xDemoNx

Here we have the new split release of two old and quite mentionable bands of the French Black Metal scene, Sacrificia Mortuorum and Orthanc. Sacrificia Mortuorum were formed in 2000, they consist of four members and they have released so far a demo, an EP, three split and four full length albums. Orthanc, who were formed in 1995, they consist of two members and they had released an EP, two split and two full length albums. So in this split album, which has the simple title “Orthanc - Sacrificia Mortuorum”, the first part belongs to Sacrificia Mortuorum who participate here with three new compositions of their own and one quite good cover to the track “Cathari Sects” of the Polish Infernum, of overall duration of forty minutes. The second part of the album belongs to Orthanc, who present four compositions of their own and a cover to the track “Murders in the Rue Morgue”of Iron Maiden, of overall duration of a little less than thirty minutes. For many of you it may seem a little strange who these two bands cooperated in order to present this split as the one belongs to the nsBM while the other not. However if someone knew the two bands, he would understand that there is not so much of distance between them.

Sacrificia Mortuorum as they have shown also in their previous releases, they are not a typical nsBM band. The music that they present us is quite technical and it consists of quite a lot of different elements matched together very well. The riffs are long, tremolo, other times fast, heavy and dark, other times fast-chaotic full of hatred and others toned high and they remind of classical music. Many of them are also of medium and slow speed depressive parts which reminded me of Peste Noire. The structure of the tracks is very good and despite their long duration, they don’t tire the listener. The performance of the instruments is flawless with the ruling one to be the guitars which deliver the riffs with a lot of power, passion but at the same time with very good technic and accuracy. The vocals are harsh Black Metal very expressing that they add more intensity to the compositions. The production is bass and clean it produces a very solid and heavy sound. The mixture is balanced. The lyrics are written in French but I don’t know what they are about.

The part of Orthanc is more experimental. Here the band present us the harsh Black Metal with the Heavy and Thrash elements, the interesting riffs that other times they are chaotic and violent, other times rhythmic Thrash and other times slow and depressing. But apart from that you will come across intensive experimental elements from traditional music, acoustic guitars, symphonic keyboards and others that brought to my mind Peste Noire. Maybe this is the connecting link between the two bands. Despite the similarity, Orthanc create very interesting compositions combining all these elements in an intelligent way, showing that in every one of their releases, they make one step forward. The tracks are structured flawlessly with beautiful passages and interesting changes which cause you a pleasant surprise. Here too, all instruments have flawless performance with the leading instrument to be the guitars, which have a clean sound and they deliver the riffs perfectly. The vocals are harsh and strange Black Metal vocals, expressing and full of power and passion. The production is clean, somehow bass in here too, and combined with the very nice mixture they deliver that kind of balanced, massive and solid sound. The lyrics are written in French and they are contained in the cd.

The work that has been done by both bands for this split is very good. Every band from its own aspect has delivered the sentiments and the images that it wanted to create with its compositions vividly. I don’t have to say any more. Here we have a very good release and I think it worth to buy it.

1. Sacrificia Mortuorum - Germe d'un Vortex 10:13
2. Sacrificia Mortuorum - Désert d'Ebene 09:42
3. Sacrificia Mortuorum - Chaos d'Ecume 12:24
4. Sacrificia Mortuorum - Cathari Sects (Infernum cover) 07:46
5. Orthanc - Le Bal des Inutiles 07:36
6. Orthanc - Prêtresses des Dieux Anciens 05:34
7. Orthanc - Les Forges d'Angband - Uruloki 06:14
8. Orthanc - Crimes 03:55
9. Orthanc - Murders in the Rue Morgue (Iron Maiden cover) 04:13