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Deathspell Omega - Veritas Diaboli Manet In Aeternum: Chaining the Katechon  CD (album) cover

VERITAS DIABOLI MANET IN AETERNUM: CHAINING THE KATECHON

Deathspell Omega

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.74 | 25 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
5 stars 'Chaining The Katechon' - Deathspell Omega (10/10)

Deathspell Omega is a band that has had the same effect on me that only a few others like , Opeth, Blotted Science and Voivod have had on me earlier in my life; they have effectively changed the way I look at metal. With Deathspell in particular, they demonstrated to me how far the black metal style could be pushed forward. and ever since, their modern classic of controlled madness 'Fas, Ite - Maledicti, In Ignem Aeturnum' has been one of my top favourites. Naturally, I was spurred to listen to as much Deathspell Omega as I could after hearing how incredible these guys are, and while their earlier output certainly does not have the same impact on me as does the later, I do consider them to be a remarkably consistent band, and absolute innovators. Leave it to a band like this then to create an EP that leaves my jaw dropping.

'Chaining The Katechon' (also known in longform as 'Veritas Diaboli Manet In Aeturnum: Chaining The Katechon') is a single song EP that lasts twenty minutes long. Much like a progressive epic, this is a single suite of complex composition where Deathspell Omega brings their greatest elements to the table; their darkly philosophical and disturbing lyrical content, their madly technical and dissonant performance standard, and that pleasant sensation of having one's soul torn open and having hell pour in, you know, the sort of atmosphere that only a band like DSO could foster. Despite merely being an EP, this is wildly challenging music, and there are enough musical layers and ideas to keep a listener busy for weeks. 'Chaining The Katechon' begins abruptly, jumping straight into a barrage of musical fury and Deathspell Omega's trademark rasps. Beginning an epic without any flowery build up introduction is startling, but it works so well; there is not a second on the epic that seems meant to fill up the disc time.

While 'Fas' was an album intentionally void of much in the way of 'beauty', there are actually some melodies this time around, although not nearly enough to make the band any more accessible. For the most part, this is a continuation of the sound on the band's fourth album, but in between bouts of madness and technical loops, there are parts here where some melodies from the guitars are allowed to escape from the wall of sound and be heard. Most times, these melodies aren't beautiful in the traditional sense, but when compared to the very ugly and complex fury that Deathspell Omega is used to churning out, it is a really welcome change of pace.

The guitars all feel dissonant and out-of-tune, so it becomes so surprising that Deathspell Omega is able to craft some massively powerful grooves with them. More than a few times here, Deathspell changes up their tempo and allows for a slower, but still intense aggression that is sure to get heads banging along, despite the avant-classical sensibility here that would make one think this was purely music to sit down and carefully analyze. This is indeed music to feed the intellect, but that doesn't mean to say that there aren't parts here that will get the listener fueled as well.

One last thing I will mention about the album are the vocals. As one could have guessed, the rather standard rasps here are the least impressive thing that Deathspell Omega goes for on 'Chaining The Katechon', but I have found it strangely poignant and interesting that no matter how intense and complex the instrumentation and music gets, the vocals maintain their reserved stance, rasping away, but rarely letting loose. The strength of having the vocals in this music are obviously for the lyrics- which are common to go into bouts of archaic Latin- and while they may be mixed just a little too highly compared to the rest of the sound, these dismal rasps only compliment the dark atmosphere that the band crafts here.

'Chaining The Katechon' is easily one of the most profound EPs I have ever heard, not only in black metal, but in my experience with any music. There is more than enough musical depth here to be worth the same concentration that a full-length album would warrant, and no matter how many listens I put into this thing, I always seem to be hearing new things in it.

Conor Fynes | 5/5 |

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