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Deathspell Omega - Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice CD (album) cover

SI MONUMENTUM REQUIRES, CIRCUMSPICE

Deathspell Omega

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.74 | 51 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice is the third full-length studio album by French experimental black metal act Deathspell Omega ( not counting the two split albums with Moonblood and Clandestine Blaze). The album has both been released on CD ( Not all earlier releases from the band has seen a release on CD) and Double gatefold LP with a poster. The double gatefold LP version has since been re-released in 2007. Ive found every release from the band up until this one to be trivial old school black metal releases but with Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice the band really begin to show their potential.

The 11:44 minute long Carnal Malefactor is a good example of how interesting Deathspell Omega can actually sound with its a Capella Gregorian middle section and generally slow pace. Most songs are played in a fast pace though and the basis in the music is still old school black metal. This time around the band has just added more experimental elements and greater variation to their songs. The three Prayer songs are good examples of this new and more varied experimental black metal style.

The vocals are raspy but pretty monotone IMO and it does become a bit of a problem the longer I get into this 77:39 minute long album ( which by the way is a couple of songs too long if you ask me). New singer Mikko Aspa ( Clandestine Blaze, Fleshpress, Morbid Savouring, Stabat Mater, A.M., D.O.M., Creamface, Noise Waste, Grunt, Clinic of Torture, Alchemy of the 20th Century, Nicole 12, Nihilist Commando, Pain Nail), who has replaced original vocalist/ drummer Shaxul in the lineup, does not vary his vocal style enough on the album. I like raspy/ growling vocals to reflect either pain, anger, aggression or melancholy but with these vocals Im not really moved. Its an aquired taste for sure though and others might really enjoy his approach to singing. The thing I enjoy the most on the album is the many times inventive guitar riffs from band leader Hasjarl which are the foundation of the compositions on the album.

The musicianship is generally of high quality but I must admit that Im not too fond of the drumming style. The drums are pretty simple and I think the music would have benefitted from a more technical approach.

The production is the first professional production that Deathspell Omega has had on any of their releases up until then and it sounds really good. I have been complaining about the raw, low-fi and primitive productions on their earlier releases but this time the band has decided to put out a profesional product and its hard not to be happy about the sound on this album.

Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice is a great experimental black metal album, but the above mentioned flaws ( too long playing time, monotone vocals and simple drumming) does drag my rating down from a 4 to a 3.5 star rating. I might upgrade it in time though if I learn to appreciate the above mentioned issues a bit more. Ill surely be giving the album lots of spins in the future to find out.

UMUR | 3/5 |

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