Band: Orcus Nulify
Album: Death Hag
Label: Self release
Members: Bruce Nullify – Vocals, Guitar, Bass/Leonia Teaneck – Lyrics on Death Hag and Rose Veneer/
Drum tracks, mixing, mastering and all around big help Ant Banister of Sounds Like Winter and Lunar Module.
So Orcus Nulify is a wonderful project by Bruce Nullify out of South Carolina. Bruce is one of those wonderful people in this scene that is always going out of his way to help everyone else in the around him. So I was really excited to get this EP and really dig into it. The sound has a lot of heavy old school goth guitar riffs, I would almost call it doom metal. His voice is a deep mellow chant and his lyrics are extremely theatrical and over the top. I get how it might even ride that line too much for some, but not for this guy. I think Bruce glides the absolute razor wire of creating a dramatic picture of allegory while keeping just enough in reserve to not cross the line into cheesy. It’s a real art in this day and age to create something this involved without coming across as ironic. As a listener you have that question in your head but you also have to face that this is extremely well done rock music with depth and substance. The Sisters of Mercy did this, Rosetta Stone did this, and I feel like Orcus Nullify is walking the same path. I think another great strength of this EP is that Bruce is doing every voice, guitar, bass, drums, when it all comes together I think it really gives the songs a singularity which are essential to the effect he is creating.
This was a four song EP I found myself wanting more of. He covers a lot of ground artistically in just four songs. Bruce got some help from Ant Banister of Sounds Like Winter who is an incredible song writer in his own right. He really smoothed out some of the edges and added in some drums beats that give motion to the tracks and make it feel more modern. Leonia Teaneck did the lyrics for Death Hag and Rose Veneer which are two of the strongest tracks. I don’t know any of her work but the lyrics here are truly unique and wonderful. “Drags her fingers through the leaves, and in the night, the veil is lifted.” This EP is full of power and vulnerability at the same time. It’s a memorizing combination.
As I have continued to listen to this EP more an more I think it is important to add a note to the original review. The guitar work in these songs really stick with you. It’s a lot of of rhythm and lead blending and twisting and the more I heard these songs the more I felt they were the true stars of what is making these songs so powerful. Bruce is doing both and I think that is part of what makes them blend so seamlessly and become another voice in the pageant of this music.
Since it is a 4 song EP the best tracks could be any of them, but I will narrow it to two.
Rose Veneer – This is the quintessential bomb track and single. Powerful driving drum intro. Textured guitars that have a very old school Alien Sex Fiend British goth feel. When Bruce comes in with those winding thick vocals describing a crawling graveyard culmination of life and death. It really optimizes what Orcus Nullify does so well. It keeps you guessing as to how serious this is and leaves you as a listener questioning your own perceptions.
The Wind – Here things kick up a notch, a slashing static whip of guitar undercut by a driving Peter Hook bass line. Bruce’s vocals again are a chant in an off kilter rhythm that captures your attention. Then the chorus jumps up an octave in a traditional Cult like rock ballad. I love the dynamics here. The drums really add so much to this track with those crisp merciless snare snaps. I can picture the music video in my mind without seeing one.
Overall this EP is a brave and fresh challenge to the so much cooler than thou feel of modern post punk and goth and I found myself falling in love with it’s unabashed extreme darkness with a standard rock feel. This is an album that needs more appreciation and attention. Find the straight forward spooky romanticism of Orcus Nullify