Osculum Infame – Dor-Nu-Fauglith (1997)

Like many of us, I discovered black metal as a young teenager. Back then, this relatively new form of music still retained some of its initial mystique and one could sense a scope and magnitude that went beyond previous conceptions of what metal was or should be. What initially won me over was not so much the heavy distortion, Satan/sodomy or spectacular extra-musical activities of individual musicians, but the evocative potential of the music. Its ability to create mental gateways into places normally out of reach, or as Mr. Vikernes once put it: “to stimulate the fantasy of mortals.”

In the mind of an impressionable teenager, the fantastic worlds summoned up by artists such as Burzum, Sacramentum, and Summoning somehow seemed more real and definitely more relevant than the so-called reality we face in daily existence. And some twenty plus years later, these are still the works most heavy in rotation. However, after the great downfall in the mid-1990s only a handful of artists have managed to retain this specific quality. Many of which didn’t “make it” in any conventional sense and thus got buried in the exponential growth of new releases for one reason or another.

Among the lesser known entries we find the unpronounceable debut album by Osculum Infame. Hailing from France, a country primarily known at the time for spawning black metal of unprecedented rawness, the band came across as something of an oddity with their brand of elegant, fantasy-oriented black metal.

The relatively slick production, upfront keyboards and instantly hummable melodies do suggest an underground version of what was then considered “mainstream” black metal, yet there’s a sense of adventure to Dor-Nu-Fauglith’s expansive compositions that defy such categorization. Many of the songs accommodate a host of storytelling techniques, which in liaison with excellent pacing maintain a suspension of disbelief. Instrumental interludes, folk-strummed passages and thickly accented narrations intermingle with Nordic-styled black metal somewhere on the Ancient/Darkthrone-axis to create a sprawling journey through medievalist/Tolkien-esque landscapes.

So, why doesn’t anybody care about this album? Perhaps because after getting a reasonably good start signed to the Mordgrimm label, Osculum Infame supposedly fell out of public grace as purveyors of NS ideology. Too bad, as Dor-Nu-Fauglith carries a distinct charm and character normally lacking in post-1996 black metal.


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16 thoughts on “Osculum Infame – Dor-Nu-Fauglith (1997)”

  1. Dakota Skye says:

    Buchenwald Oven is also fantastic.

    1. Johan P says:

      Catchy name. Will give it a listen.

  2. Coolest Monkey in the Jungle says:

    “Osculum Infame supposedly fell out of public grace as purveyors of NS ideology.”

    deary me..I’m sick of hearing about those eeeeevil white men who support nationalism. Maybe they should have become Wu-Tang affiliates and joined the Nation of Islam instead (the acceptable form of antisemitism because it is in harmony with what would become the “progressive stack”). Then they’d be on Stephen Colbert.

    Anyway, good gem from this period – normally I discard any post-1995 metal album as garbage, so pleased that something survived. What I will say is that, being frenchmen, the production could be a little more aggressive like Mutiilation or Belketre; it is slightly too clean for my taste (I never particularly liked Summoning either). Just give the audience a bit of credit to be able to hear through the wall of noise to the underlying melody

    Please review Poison – Into the Abyss …next .. it’s crazy you can’t find this album on the website/review section, it is a masterpiece…

    1. Flying Kites says:

      Coming out Frenchmen as closet Nazis will bring rebuke by all of your countrymen. I don’t know what these guys are up to today, but I bet they could now see the wisdom of embracing a national sovereignty of a French Kingdom/Empire.

      1. Svmmoned says:

        But that was the ultimate goal all along. National Socialism and Germany, as a closest and most tangible memory of explicit nationalism (Evil!), were just an emblems and inspiration for particular nationalisms of various black metal bands throughout the world. Don’t go further than that.

        1. We must go further.

          1. Bring back the kings
          2. Restore traditional culture
          3. Positive reward systems (no socialism, it’s retarded)
          4. Caste system and feudalism
          5. Repatriate all groups who are not of the founding ethnic majority
          6. Exile all Leftists, criminals, neurotics, retards, and bureaucrats to Venezuela

          1. Johan P says:

            Make heavy metal state religion?

          2. Svmmoned says:

            Sure. My meaning here was that such rigid thinking about bands seen with swastikas or having “A-word” in lyrics is wrong. Good so called NSBM bands were usually about something else (volkism, conservative-revolution, old and forbidden, but apparently correct racial doctrines) than just reproduction of Third Reich’s system and regime. There were always many accompanying traits like elitism and disdain for subhumans hinting at awareness of castes, medievalism hinting at recognition of kings and aristocrats, deep anti-modernity and so on. Even esoteric hitlerism should be seen simply as a branch of occultism.

      2. Countless Guillotine Orchestra says:

        “French Kingdom/Empire.”

        That ship has sailed a long time ago.

    2. Johan P. says:

      I actually find the production fitting the music quite well, even though it sounds a bit artificial at times.

      Didn’t DARG do a review of POISON? Perhaps not.

  3. Dirty Blonde Hair Blue Eyes Negro Son Probably Not Mine In All Honesty But I Cannot Afford Paternity Testing says:

    “Back then, this relatively new form of music still retained some of its initial mystique and one could sense a scope and magnitude that went beyond previous conceptions of what metal was or should be.”

    Norweigans took the candy melodies of swedeath and uncompromising shithead attitude of Sodom/HHbrothammer and wrote metal in the vein of the euro unce unce club techno they listened to. Sweden responded by dropping all that Frost and Sodom stuff and adding even more digestible melodies to create a wholly pop form of norweigan specific metal. And thats basically it. Nobody else really played black metal.

  4. Hellnig says:

    The only “rare” record I own. I got it in a trade and didn’t have to pay a dime for it. Of course the loser who traded it wanted some tapes by a a flash-in-the-pan ultra raw USBM label.

    1. Johan P. says:

      It’s strange, because most of the Mordgrimm releases are quite easy to find. Maybe the remaining copies were purged. I got the vinyl release but unfortunately never the cd. It’s a pain in the ass with the double LP format…

  5. canadaspaceman says:

    Thanks for the reminder of this classic band. I have not listened to Osculum Infame in a very long time. I think it was the Osculum Infame / Funeral [Split Demo tape] where I heard them first. They have that cold vicious feel ala Bathory, or early Burzum,.

    1. Johan P says:

      Good call on the split w/ Funeral. Will have to re-visit that one!

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