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Deathspell Omega - KÚn˘se CD (album) cover

K╔NďSE

Deathspell Omega

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.35 | 26 ratings

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Prog Sothoth
5 stars This EP (if you want to call an album that's almost 37 minutes long an EP) is quite an interesting release as far as tech/extreme genre goes. Structure-wise, these three pieces tend to follow no rules but their own, although they are linked by their similar usage of dissonant chord progressions which enhances an unnerving quality to a style of music already rife with a dark and oppresive aura.

The production is perfect for this kind of music; angry and up-front guitar tone, strong low end, and an organic drum sound (as opposed to a sterile & triggered quality) blend together to create a frenzied dynamic while each instrument remains audible on its own. The vocals are mixed in perfectly to add to the chaotic feeling and add to the ferocity with a mid-ranged hateful delivery.

The first track begins with a long slow passage of quiet but unsettling music that sets a tense mood, and what surprised me right away was the strong heavy bass, definately not something I would hear in their early material. This section eventually leads to what sounds like an immense choir of the damned. Then, the effect of kicking a hornets' nest erupts as the first of numerous bizarre chord proggresions that actually do sound like a swarm of bees attacks the senses. It's frenetic and powerful, yet skillfully controlled and even memorable. These fast passages are interlinked with slower and quite progressive moments with interesting guitar harmonies that sort of wander between consonance and dissonance over unorthadox tempos. The song ends as it begins, and slowly fades out with that tribal and ritualistic vibe.

The next track has some chord progressions that, as ugly as they sometimes sound, are actually pretty catchy and linger in my head afterwards. There's some great dynamics going on here between slow and fast moments, which are often jarring but well composed. It should be noted that there are no guitar solos to be found here, but they are hardly missed as the constant melodies and chord patterns offer little room for that sort of thing and there can be little doubt that the guitar playing as quite stellar and creative as well.

The last song at first gives the impression that it's going to be more of a standard black metal-ish track, but after a couple of minutes that perception gets tossed away as an ominous ambient section arrives to add some real creepiness to the album's aura. This is followed by a slow doomy passage with duel vocalwork that's truly unsettling before launching into an almost groove moment. It's quite a strange and inventive track that toys with typical expectations of black metal.

In fact, I barely consider Kenose black metal at all in a musical sense, as there are a lot of deviations from what usually constitutes the genre, particularly concerning the techically skilled and difficult rhythms and progressions throughout these songs. It is most certainly progressive though, and quite unique in overall sound, while remaining surprisingly fresh and imaginative for the entire duration.

Kenose remains my favorite by this band, as I feel the album length is perfect for this sort of music, and while their later era full length offerings possess similar attributes, for some reason after listening to them for a bit I want to stop and put on one of these three numbers instead...a matter of familiarity perhaps, but I find these songs stand well on their own and don't completely blend into eachother to eventually become redundant like a lot of other extreme metal albums. As far as this genre is concerned, I consider this absolutely essential.

Prog Sothoth | 5/5 |

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