Orphique – Consécration Cadavérique [Things You Might Have Missed 2022]

Way back in November of last year, a Steely voice from up on high spake, saying: “there’s an interesting Quebec-based black metal thingee.” I’m not what you’d call a black metal fanatic (most of those serve 12-year prison sentences in cushy Bergen-based apartments) but I still tend to find several BM releases each year that resonate. Amongst those, a precious few somehow worm their way onto my top ten lists. While this one didn’t, it fits well into the TYMHM realm. The promise of Canadian BM with a French flair held a certain je ne sais quoi, so I was quick to answer the call from above. This one-man wrecking crew is known as Orphique, the debut album is called Consécration Cadavérique, and as it turns out, it’s well worth your time.

Consécration Cadavérique is a relatively brief album, clocking in at just over 38 minutes, but that’s across only five tracks, meaning it boasts both a tight runtime and lengthy compositions. I generally avoid the latter in my black metal, as trem-heavy, blast-beaten repetition can quickly grow tiresome, my mind begins to wander and the unrelenting wall of sound quickly becomes indecipherable background noise. Yet Orphique make it work. That success can be attributed primarily to David Potter, the mastermind who concocted this entire Quebec-based BM affair, while also serving as lead vocalist, chief lyricist and songwriter.

“Concocted” is the operative word, because it’s clear Mr. Potter and his chosen musicians have worked hard to imbue each track with its own unique melodic backbone. There’s a healthy but controlled reliance on recurring riffs, atmospheres, and accents which helps to ensure cohesion without amplifying tedious repetition. You always feel connected to the beating, hideous heart of each track, even as tempos change, intensity ebbs and flows, and different corridors of sound are explored. “Onirique” is a perfect example, with its transition from a straightforward opening riff into a blackened, melodic onslaught, all before a controlled dive into sparse plucking that evolves into a 80s-inspired neoclassical solo. “Vampirique” brings the trudge and the mid-paced riffing, introducing orchestration and an acoustic interlude, while “Chim​é​rique” features simple, mournful keys over pained, echoing screams. Despite so many shifts, it’s abundantly clear that the same deft hands are at work here, resulting in an album that is both explosive and subdued, as melodic as it is chaotic. The frustrated barks that precede actual lyrics on “Sporadique” and the harsh vox effectively shoehorned into a more traditional vocal cadence on “Orphique,” “Vampirique” and “Chim​é​rique” are emotive high points on an album already full of them.

Steel Magnolias in all his ancient, hairy wisdom, was quite right to suggest Consécration Cadavérique.1 None of the minor issues I have takes away from the overall success of Orphique’s debut. I may not have understood a single word that was shrieked at me, but I fell under its spell all the same. So take this beautifully-balanced cadaver for a spin. You’re sure to walk away consecrated.

Tracks to Check Out: “Onirique,” “Vampirique,” “Sporadique”

Show 1 footnote

  1. You will pay for this. – Steel Corpse Flower
« »