Album of the Day: Arkhon Infaustus – Orthodoxyn
It’s always a little surprising to come across artists in this day and age who haven’t pasted themselves all over the Internet, but if any artists are likely to shun such tools of self-promotion, it’s the reclusive individuals that inhabit the bizarre realm of Satanic black metal. Aside from a derelict Myspace page and one exceedingly bizarre interview, French maniacs Arkhon Infaustus have remained silent since the release of their 2007 masterwork Orthodoxyn. Like their fellow countrymen & Satanic brethren Deathspell Omega, Arkhon Infaustus approach black metal with a jagged, broken-glass bent, twining infernal melody with surgical cacophony. Orthodoxyn resides further down the death metal spiral than Arkhon’s earlier material, replete with hazy, narcotic gutturals and a technical, percussive compulsion that’s not too far removed from Ulcerate.
The ante has only been increased since 2004’s Perdition Insanabilis: all whispers of insipid cliché have been shed from the band’s previous incarnations, replaced with articulated lyrical passages and thoughtful album art. The compositions have become more refined, and Orthodoxyn hasn’t lost any of the intensity of the band’s earlier material. Dissonance stills acts as the band’s depraved medium, but there’s newfound arithmetic in their guitarists’ piercing needlework; calculated control despite the chaos.”When They Have Called” is a phenomenal example of this direction: the track is a volatile, rickety conveyance that threatens to collapse under the weight of its angular, seizing palpitations, but which manages to (just barely) maintain its course.
The album continues to perpetually evoke Angelcorpse, but Orthodoxyn transmits a viscous, devoted malevolence that’s unique to Arkhon Infaustus. Arkhon Infaustus, like many other members of the French black metal underground, are devout Satanists, and are fixated on their music’s affect. A suffocating, doomy trawl warps its way through the album, pairing with convoluted chord shapes to shape soundscapes more evil than any mythical demon. Orthodoxyn’s near-hour of back-to-back 6-minute onslaughts crushes us flush against the teeth of the maw of hell, only letting us lapse rawly back into reality after we’ve had a healthy glimpse of the void.