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Deathspell Omega - Infernal Battles CD (album) cover

INFERNAL BATTLES

Deathspell Omega

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

1.86 | 14 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
2 stars 'Infernal Battles' - Deathspell Omega (3/10)

The debut of this now legendary black metal act, Deathspell Omega has certainly come a long way from this. In more recent years, they have made some of the most haunting, challenging black metal ever made. Even on their second record 'Inquisitors Of Satan', Deathspell was playing an old school brand of black metal with some considerable proficiency. 'Infernal Battles' opens the band's career on a somewhat bleak note, and I do not mean that in a good way. Although nothing out of the ordinary for straightforward black metal, this is a very amateurish, poor sounding release, with inconsistent production, performance, and unremarkable songwriting. Although it certainly has its merits to it still, this is the only album in Deathspell Omega's catalog that I might label as 'bad'.

Musically speaking, 'Infernal Battles' is fairly average black metal, in the vein of bands like Mayhem. Of course, Deathspell Omega is coming a clean decade after those Norwegian heavyweights, so I cannot say much of the band in terms of innovation at this point. The music is filled with evil sounding chord progressions, tinny drums, and raspy vocals that sound garbled as hell, thanks to the low budget recording that the album has. Making the production worse is the fact that tracks 5-8 are actually the band's demo, 'Disciples Of The Ultimate Void'. Not a re-recording for the album, but an outright copy-and-paste of the demo onto here. The songwriting- which is very decent, although predictable- does not compensate for the total lack of tact the album has. Even at its best, 'Infernal Battles' still sounds like a garage production, but hearing it fluctuate so much makes for a pretty weak experience..

One positive thing I can mention about Deathspell Omega at this point is that even early on, they were very good musicians. This is an inherently untechnical sort of music that the band is playing, but they play it with a great intensity, and unlike many demos of this style that I have heard, there aren't slip-ups in the playing. Although this may be considered a full- length, it really does not feel as if Deathspell Omega's legitimate journey starts until the second album. This is generic, mediocre black metal with abysmal production values. Even so, it's a somewhat worthy venture for hardcore fans of the band, if only to see how much the band has progressed since their origin.

Conor Fynes | 2/5 |

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