Review 1796 : Ofnus – Time Held Me Grey And Dying – English

Ofnus awakens with a debut album.

Formed in 2021 in Wales by William Philpot (vocals, Asbjorn Daemonium de Noctis, Black Pyre, Asbjorn Perversus), James Ponsford (guitar, Blind Divide), Alyn Hunter (guitar, Agrona, Mors Vincit Omnia, Tywyllwch), Richard Rees (bass) and Ethan Reed Spargo (drums, Black Pyre), the band signed to Naturmacht Productions in 2023 for the release of Time Held Me Grey And Dying.

On opener Burned By The Soul Of The Moon, the band first establishes a heavy ambience, then lets its dark melodies mingle with ominous growls over a solid rhythm. The haunting dissonance floats slowly over blast and more impressive parts of this long composition, including when the majestic choirs mingle with screams, leading us to The Endless Grey and its as heavy as heady melancholy. Orchestrations play a very important role on this track, sometimes echoing those massive voices before offering us a few more lively accelerations, then a voice drives us to Fading Dreams and its sharp riffs. The energetic Old School sounds are also perfectly matching the leads hazy intoxicating approach riding the frantic rhythm, but also to the occult moments populated by choirs, creating a contrast with the first notes of the very gentle Grains of Sand. Even when saturation shrouds the riffs and covers them with ghostly howls, they remain haunting and soothing, letting the pressure drop with a melodious break in relatively dissonant clean sound before a final and heavier wave which drives into Monody, a rather short interlude compared to the other tracks. The almost fairytale-like sound lets us hover for a moment before Exulansis drowns us once again in this heavy, dark storm, punctuated by the various complementary vocal appearances the band conjures up to bring its intense seismic aftershocks to life. A few leads once again bring transcendent sounds we also found on Echoes, a composition which perfectly handles the rawest elements to couple them with ethereal melodies. These are also used to temper the ardor of the wrenching rhythm, while occasionally giving way to demonstrative orchestrations, before A Thousand Lifetimes brings the album to its end with a final melancholy and harmonious storm adding sweetness and appeasement to the deep darkness for over eight minutes, with only a short break bringing out clean voice before it is swept away by the riffs’ power.

Ofnus is very young, and already possesses a strong identity and an incredibly precise sound between its hazy tones and massive rhythm. Time Held Me Grey And Dying sounds like a promise of gripping melancholy, orchestrated by transcendent vocals.


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