UK atmospheric and melodic black metal band Ofnus will release their debut album ‘Time Held Me Grey and Dying’ on June 30th, 2023, via Naturmacht Productions.
The most surprising thing that comes to mind upon hearing this debut is that Ofnus have only been around since late 2021. So impressive is their raw and old-school black metal sound. What we’re hearing is the sound of band having been lost in the Nordic woods for the past twenty years. Howling at the trees, feasting on the flesh of wild animals, wandering through decaying monuments to the old gods, and crying frozen tears of pain and suffering.
That’s an exciting description, right?
You should be very excited. Ofnus are a new revelation in British black metal and Time Held Me Grey and Dying is a stunning debut release.
Kicking off with Burned by the Soul of The Moon, eerie atmosphere gives way to biting harshness and callous rawness. Ofnus making it abundantly clear that their inspirations come from the old world of black metal. Yet, at nearly ten minutes long, it’s clear this track has more to offer and as it goes on, it really delivers an experience. One that becomes grander, more atmospheric, oozes emotion, and even has a killer guitar solo.
As far as introductions go, Ofnus couldn’t have done it better. Yet, it is just the opener and there’s some much more to come.
The misery of The Endless Grey is next and here, Ofnus really let the cold seep into the soul. Combining harmonious guitars with frenzied drumming, grand melody, and scathing vocals. If you somehow felt the emotion was missing in the opener, it is on garish display here.
Speaking of garish display though… Fading Dreams is a blistering showcase of Ofnus’ blackened power and intensity. The focus is on belligerent heaviness here and it’s, unsurprisingly, an aspect of Ofnus that just slays.
Hitting the halfway point, Time Held Me Grey and Dying continues to be a delight of mystifying proportions as Ofnus pour the misery on thickly with Grains of Sand. Before the second half of the album is introduced with the light and haunting melody of Monody. Leading to one of the album’s most extravagant examples of atmospheric black metal in Exulansis. A track that drips in tension, has some of the grandest vocals, and layers the melody amongst the brash heaviness perfectly. It almost has a finale feel to it.
It’s not the last track though, there’s two more to go and they are both as dark, heavy, detailed, despondent, and massive sounding as everything heard so far. First, Echoes, that beats the senses into submission, and then A Thousand Lifetimes. Which leads the listener into the foreboding gloom to be met by a band at their most demonic sounding.
It’s a huge debut album for this new band and expect their name to spoken in the same reverence as the other UK black metal greats as time goes by.
Ofnus – Time Held Me Grey and Dying Track Listing:
1. Burned by the Soul of The Moon
2. The Endless Grey
3. Fading Dreams
4. Grains Of Sand
8. A Thousand Lifetimes
Ofnus - Time Held Me Grey And Dying (Naturmacht Productions)
The Final Score - 10/10