Duo formed by Resurgemus (guitar, vocals) and Asbath (drums) of the much better known Darkestrah, originally from Kyrgyzstan but long since transplanted to Germany (in Leipzig in fact), Faustus is a side project inspired by the monumental "Faust" by Goethe, here at the debut on the long distance, actually published in 2019 but which only now manages to enjoy a distribution worthy of the name. Let's say that the care of this aspect was obviously not among the priorities of the group, as well as the continuity in the publications, since this full length follows by fifteen years the release of the debut demo, "Symphony Disaster", dating back to the now distant 2004. All this seems to be consistent with the absolutely autarchic and underground spirit of the project, which moves away from the folk and epic influences of the mother band (of which I would like to mention above all the debut-masterpiece "Sary Oy") to dive dead weight into the cold and dark swamp of the most traditional and integerrime raw sounds. "Leipzig" is in fact a concentrate of old-fashioned true black metal, which mixes, without worrying in the least about being original, evident Darkthronian suggestions with a more painful and melancholic spirit, which could recall some things of the first Nargaroth or Judas Iscariot, as well as a lot of black metal of the German school (Vargsang, Graven and company). In short, the references and influences are very clear and emerge with monolithic evidence in the three central tracks of the album (from "Natur Ist Sünde, Geist Ist Teufel" to "Der Drudenfuß Auf Eurer Schwelle", which incidentally is also the best piece of the lot), net of an intro and the two completely pleonastic final instrumental pieces, in particular "Leipzige Mitternacht": can you explain to me what is the point of a song that starts with a nostalgic and obsessive arpeggio, repeated for about four minutes (and there can be), and then resolves into nothing more than a kind of useless tick for the next eight minutes? It will be a stroke of genius that I can not understand but so it is.
In any case, the actual songs are absolutely not contemptible, especially for their poignant and angry trend and for the gloomy melodic subplots that emerge through a cold and obsessive riffing, still managing to capture the attention. As long as you can tolerate the absence of the bass and the second guitar, a particularly dry and minimal sound rendering, a unidirectional and obsessive setting and a screaming that is the simplest and most standard you can imagine, even if not without its expressive incisiveness. And of course a handmade recording, so much so that the whole thing seems to have been recorded on an old and broken cassette recorder in an abandoned basement (and this can also be there).
What can I say ultimately? The intent would seem to be to capture for the umpteenth time that particular feeling possessed by the old black demos, and indeed if such a work had been published in the mid-nineties today perhaps it would have acquired its place in the great book of "classics for connoisseurs" (so much a bit of cult is not denied to anyone, or almost) but by scafati musicians, that in the past have shown that they know how to do it, frankly I would have expected something more: in the end, however, it is a side project, an outlet valve for Resurgemus and Asbath, who probably have channeled here the most naïve and "Norwegian" impulses of their creativity. And, considered from this point of view, the disc manages to snatch a (generous) sufficiency. - Blackbloodvomitorium
Release Date: July 18, 2019
FFO: Darkestrah, Serpent Column, Sørgelig
Inspired by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 's " Faust . Eine Tragodie ". Front cover by Rembrandt van Rijn, 1652. Black metal side project of Darkestrah .
Faustus is a jewel of the underground, I must say. It represents almost an optimal state of raw black metal, a genre with a strong focus on the atmosphere and the melodies instead of a high level of technical performance.
The intro contains several archived wind sounds, which are covered by noise as it approaches its end. Admittedly, intros are not necessarily a good addition to most albums, but the sheer cold atmosphere immediately threw me into the scene, and I just can't listen to this EP again without hearing it. The first real track on the album is "Die Natur ist Sünde, Geist ist Teufel", German for "Die Natur ist Sünde, der Geist ist der Teufel" and a quotation from Goethe, which matches the Faust reference on the artwork and the band name. It's very exciting to watch how the atmosphere slowly builds up and develops in a sad and very cold direction, which is simply the main feature of this EP. The harsh vocals of Resurgemus simply cut through the sound of the guitars and despite its incomprehensibility, it is very pleasant as it melts with the music.
Resurgemus, the vocalist and guitarist on this album, has done an incredible job. The sound of his riffs is typical for the raw and atmospheric nature of early German black metal and can be compared to many bands from the transition of millennia. The riffs are technically not too complex, but more than justify themselves by the skillful use of the fuzzy sound. The production quality is comparable to a recording made with a Nokia 3310 in a basement, but that's where part of the charm lies. Good production quality is not necessary with metal as long as the available resources are used intelligently, which is the case here.
Asbath was responsible for the drums and did a pretty decent job. His style is not too much based on blasting parts, which are quite pleasant and can be found on this album at certain times. The overall sound was not too loud, which is a very wise decision for this kind of music, as the focus should remain on the melodic and dark tones of the guitars. I was not openly impressed, but I am certainly far from being disappointed by the drums. - Vanass Heluphicclo - Metal Archives
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1. The Witches of Brocken Mountain
2. Nature is Sin, Spirit is Devil
3. And Satan Leads the Ball
4. The Pentagram on your Threshold
5. The Leipzig Midnight
Recorded in December 2004 in Leipzig, Germany by Asbath and Resurgemus.
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