Hailing from the two miniscule towns of Willits and Laytonville, California (populations 4,972 and 2,932 respectively), Ciribus emerged from the stony shadows of Mendocino County's redwood forests sometime in 1998. My old band played countless shows with these guys back around the turn of the millenium, both in our hometown and theirs (we were about 2 or 3 hours apart). In fact, we even embarked on an extremely ill-fated west coast tour with these sick fuckers back in 2001 or '02. It turned out bad.
Crossing The River Styx was their first demo release, featuring a four-piece version of the band (they were always a three-piece when I saw them, once even a two-piece because their bass player Luie was in jail). It's a sloppy mess, with terrible guitar tone and both drums and vocals clipping out all over the place. That being said, I think this 9-song, 13-minute disc really sums up everything great about metal. Four small-town dudes, completely isolated in their obsession with death metal, pouring strangely technical and unabashedly br00tal weed-grind into a 4-track machine in a shed somewhere. What the fuck is wrong with that?
Ciribus lasted about 5 years before splitting up and morphing into another band called Mummification. Beyond that, half of the dudes went on to join a reptoid-and-conspiracy-theory-obsessed tech metal outfit known as Embryonic Devourment (get their excellent Fear of Reality Exceeds Fantasy here).