Review by Alex on February 14, 2020.
First EP by German band Faustus titled Lipsia sees them draw a thin line between raw black metal and clarity, if such be an applicable term. Originally recorded in 2004, however only arisen to the surface in June 2019, is a commendable collection of songs and intermezzos playing to the old-garde era of raw Scandinavian black metal. Fully capable of standing its own ground, though you would pick up on the Darkthrone influence, Lipsia is without a doubt a record promising greater things to come from a band under the guide of the black flame. Lipsia shows it has the tools necessary to rise to the heights of an "In Total Contempt of All Life" or the likes of. The material here is robust enough to move the status of the band upwards though borrowing some aspects of the early 2nd wave. That said, having been recorded 15 years ago it would be good to hear how the duo's music has evolved structurally and atmospherically (if any) since. Vocally, its sharp and very true to the image of what most perceive to be raw black metal; same for the guitar and drum sequences, however, its production is quite decent and may even be a bit easy on the ears in comparison to a band like Black Cilice or the likes of. Then again why coat your music and hard work in static that may prove detrimental to its effect. Heavy footed on the distortion pedal, Faustus’ image resembles the face of traditionalism with the touch of synth buried far below to acquire depth and resonance.
'Natur ist Sünde, Geist ist Teufel' being the first real song following the instrumental ‘Brockenhexen’, is old-garde worship sound-wise, very Darkthrone with the addition of samples and changes in momentum. But the best of tracks would go to ‘Et Satan counduit le ba’, that though still in the lane of Darkthrone, has a way with handling fast and slow sequences. Hidden to the virgin ear are the synth (as mentioned earlier), though held under the punishing scrape of distortion, manages to escape through the cracks of low pitches. I am impressed at the music given it was recorded such a long time ago but still holds a torch of relevance and merit that suggests the possibility of growth in the band. Also, one must keep in mind with Lipsia being such a very old recording, judging it against current standards could be a frustrating endeavor given we haven't heard anything new from the band. The instrumental work is slightly questionable (in terms of placement and length) though understandable that Faustus may have wanted to provide added support to the album's overall atmosphere. Still not much is lost, with this revitalized effort, Faustus may be gearing up to fully invoke the winds of eldritch nights.
Rating: 7.7 out of 10106