Across the years, I’ve come across loads of different atmospheric black metal bands that absolutely love to stretch the style in all different sorts of directions in order to try and provide us experiences that we don’t get often. When I came upon Orquìlux almost a year ago, the band really put the atmospheric part of it all in the forefront with not that much black metal taking the center stage often. It was solid but had loads of improvement to be made given it was the band’s debut, and it’s with their first full-length album they show us what they’ve learned in that short amount of time.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t expecting more black metal to be on display here given that it’s literally fucking two-thirds of atmospheric black metal, but that still didn’t stop Orquìlux from trying to provide a deluxe experience that puts the atmosphere in front. I also wouldn’t normally expect a great amount of growth to be had in barely a year, but it’s with “The Desire to Vanquish Myself” that Orquìlux has found a much better soundscape to call their own where they can bring all the flavors they want to provide with just about every aspect having something good to call its own. There are eleven tracks that adorn this album and they all have a very good amount of diversity with each track having something good to call its own whether it’s the black metal that, when it’s shown, is pretty solid, a somber moment of calm that really pierces the heart, or a good mix of both that really show us the layers that “The Desire to Vanquish Myself” does its best to display. This is very much a record to just put headphones on for and lean back as Orquìlux takes us through plenty of different sounds that all somehow either lead to or protrude from some tasteful black metal. Yet, there is something to say about the overall quality as you can tell in some areas of this album that the recording is very much DIY which I have no problem with, but it becomes jarring in some areas that takes you right out of a decent listen that Orquìlux was doing wonders with and it’s particularly with the clean vocals that this happens as you can really hear the vocals bouncing off what sounds like the guy’s basement walls. It just doesn’t gel well, but that’s a hurdle I’m very okay with overcoming given the rest of “The Desire to Vanquish Myself” in all of its peculiar wonder that is quite respectable come its end.
There’s still loads of improvement to be had throughout this album, but it’s clear that Orquìlux has already come a respectable distance in a year with so many folk instruments and calm works mixing quite well with black metal that’s also performed quite nicely all things considered. “The Desire to Vanquish Myself” definitely does the idea of more atmosphere-focused material of this style justice and every single one of these eleven tracks are, easily, for anyone who’s ever thought the concept would sound good.
LISTEN to “The Desire to Vanquish Myself” on Bandcamp here.
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