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Deathspell Omega biography
DEATHSPELL OMEGA is a Technical Avant-Garde Black Metal band from France. They are one of the best known bands in the Norma Evangelium Diaboli movement among brethren including Watain, Antaeus, and Funeral Mist. The identities and locations of the band members are currently unknown. Furthermore they have never played any concerts and no pictures exist of the band. It should also be known that DEATHSPELL OMEGA has no official Myspace page, does not intend to have one, and is not in touch with the people who opened the currently existing and absolutely unauthorized pages. Their early records, EP's, splits, and demo were raw and simplistic black metal in the vein of Darkthrone, early Immortal, etc. Since then, their music has greatly progressed to include highly technical, experimental, and even some ambient/post elements into the mixture. They have also adapted to a cleaner and better produced aesthetic.

Though the band members identities are unknown, they have given a small amount of interviews on their beliefs and such. Their lyrical content deals primarily with the concepts of religion on a metaphysical level and more specifically Satan, God, and their relationships with man in everyday life. They are often praised for being lyrically more thorough and 'advanced' than most other black metal bands.

Their two full length releases: Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice (Latin for If you seek His monument, look around you), and Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum (Latin for Divine law - Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire) are the first two serials in a conceptual trilogy. Though the two albums are linked by concept, they are both musically unique. The trilogy proclaims the relationships of God, Satan, and man. The first installment 'Circumspice was focused on the concept of Satan, Fas' was conceptually based around man, and the third yet unreleased installment will theoretically be based around God. Because of their religious groundings in their lyrics, they are often referred to as 'Orthodox', 'Puritanical', or 'Religious Black Metal'.

- Bio information provided by Jake Kobrin, edited by HughesJB4.

The band uses long and complex compositions with a good dose of Avant Garde thrown in, backed up with technical playing from the band members to create a unique progressive black metal sound.

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DEATHSPELL OMEGA Videos (YouTube and more)

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The Synarchy of Molten BonesThe Synarchy of Molten Bones
Season of Mist 2016
$7.19 (used)
Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice (reissue)Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice (reissue)
Season of Mist 2012
$6.95 (used)
Season of Mist 2012
$14.23 (used)
Southern Lord 2005
$55.72 (used)
Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum (reissue)Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum (reissue)
Season of Mist 2012
$11.70 (used)
Season of Mist 2012
$6.97 (used)
Chaining The KatechonChaining The Katechon
$7.99 (used)
$11.25 (used)
Mass Grave AestheticsMass Grave Aesthetics
Noevidia 2009
$13.54 (used)
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Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

DEATHSPELL OMEGA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.14 | 24 ratings
Infernal Battles
2.58 | 26 ratings
Inquisitors Of Satan
3.75 | 55 ratings
Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice
4.09 | 94 ratings
Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum
3.76 | 71 ratings
3.88 | 42 ratings
The Synarchy Of Molten Bones

DEATHSPELL OMEGA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DEATHSPELL OMEGA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

DEATHSPELL OMEGA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

1.46 | 7 ratings
Sob A Lua Do Bode / Demoniac Vengeance
3.04 | 8 ratings
Clandestine Blaze / Deathspell Omega
2.19 | 7 ratings
Mütiilation / Deathspell Omega
3.57 | 14 ratings
Crushing the Holy Trinity (Father)
4.29 | 7 ratings
From the Entrails to the Dirt
1.44 | 8 ratings
Manifestations 2000-2001
2.30 | 8 ratings
Manifestations 2002
4.83 | 12 ratings
Deathspell Omega/S.V.E.S.T.
4.00 | 1 ratings
Untitled Vinyl Box
5.00 | 1 ratings
Untitled Vinyl Box

DEATHSPELL OMEGA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

1.39 | 9 ratings
Disciples of the Ultimate Void (Demo)
4.51 | 34 ratings
4.77 | 24 ratings
Veritas Diaboli Manet In Aeternum: Chaining the Katechon
4.50 | 18 ratings
Mass Grave Aesthetics
4.83 | 12 ratings
Diablous Absconditus
4.45 | 21 ratings


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Kénôse by DEATHSPELL OMEGA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2005
4.51 | 34 ratings

Deathspell Omega Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars Starting with their third album 'Si Monvmentvm Reqvires, Circvmspice,' the French black metal band DEATHSPELL OMEGA went from a rather run-of-the-mill second wave clone going through 90s Darkthrone inspired motions and undertook a major leap of sophistication with their Satanic liturgical distortionfests with hitherto unthinkable experimentalism and progressiveness that catapulted the entire black metal world to a completely new level.This was also the beginning of the trilogy of albums that tackled metaphysical theology from a Satanic perspective with lyrics inspired by the French philosopher Georges Bataille.

Sandwiched in between the three albums 'Si Monvmentvm Reqvires, Circvmspice,' 'Fas ' Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum' and 'Paracletus' were many EPs and splits. KÉNÔSE emerged as the first 'in-between' release and although technically classified as an EP, runs slightly over 36 minutes. During this period DEATHSPELL OMEGA, while black metal in menacing sonic demeanor, structured their albums more like progressive rock albums of the 70s. The official trilogy albums themselves mimicked the structure of vinyl double albums whereas some EPs such as this could count as fully fledged albums within their own right.

KÉNÔSE was intended to be supplemental material to accompany the 'Si Momvmentvm' album. The term KÉNÔSE is French for 'kenosis' which itself emerged from the Greek language (κένωσις, k'nōsis), refers to the self-emptying of Jesus' will and becoming receptive to the God's divine will which refers to the Biblical passage in Philippians 2:7. This release pretty much perfectly fits between the newly adapted 'Si Monvmentvm' and the even more challenging and experimental 'Fas - Ite.' While similar, KÉNÔSE exists in its own universe and delivers one of the most terrifying banterfests of DOS' avant-garde black metal career.

This EP consists of a mere three tracks simply titled 'I' 'II' and 'III' with the opener serving as the longest and casting an ominous spell with a four minute death march that slowly ratchets up the tension before bursting into the more famous jangle black metal dissonance that DOS have made their frightening signature sound. 'II' continues the indecipherable vocal litanies with ever changing mixes of guitar riffs, time signature changes and hypnotic percussive bantering until it reaches a frightening angularity of complete rhythmic breakdown by the end. 'III' calms down a bit with a Gregorian chant type of vibe dressed up in a dissonant blackened doom metal wrap. The track hypnotically lollygags in a near nine minute rant that ends the EP leaving a feeling of despair and sadistic sacrifice of the soul.

KÉNÔSE ups the ante manyfold. The musicianship is off the chart with the guitar and bass mostly existing as a single super instrument and the drumming all interacting in staggering complexity like the aural specter of the entire jazz, classical and metal universe unleashing the darkest forces of the underworld in unison. The production is perfect as it allows the more subdued build- ups to hypnotically seduce complacence before the full metal fury unleashes the full Satanic theological rage about esoteric theological rants about hypostasis and philosophical quandaries. In short, this is the absolute perfect example of an authentic progressive black metal album.

 Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice by DEATHSPELL OMEGA album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.75 | 55 ratings

Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice
Deathspell Omega Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars The term "black metal" was simply born as a title of the 1982 Venom album who was one of metal's first bands to venture into a more ambitious extreme new world but like Rosemary's baby was just a mere sprout that morbid and fertile imaginations would transmogrify into the harsh and ugly wave of extreme metal that began in Scandinavia. While bands like Hellhammer and Celtic Frost nurtured this evil spawn through the toddler years, it was a fast learner and soon the Swedish band Bathory would unleash the first true black metal with its trademark fast tempos, shrieking vocals, heavily distorted buzzsaw guitars and tremolo picking. Originally the style began as more as a Pagan based rebellion against religious intolerance but soon it would attract a second wave of followers who would take it to absolute extremes.

Once the floodgates were opened, a whole legion of imitators followed and this extreme form of metal splintered into myriad directions. Atmospheric with ambient keyboard use, industrial black, war black, Viking, blackgaze and even hybrids with death metal and many other non-metal genres. The great evolutionary diversification splintered with subject matter ranging from hostile misanthropy, anti-Christian sentiments, Pagan folklore, romantic Gothic tales and depressive hopelessness. While bands like Mayhem, Darkthrone, Satyricon, Emperor and Gorgoroth frightened the masses with their cacophonous din with some even having burned down a few churches in their wake, these face painted miscreants were more focused on adolescent angst and shocking appearances as the rebellious antithesis of Christianity rather than delving into the philosophical theology of true Satanism.

DEATHSPELL OMEGA were a part of this legion of imitators with two albums that sounded like countless others based in the second wave of black metal with their second album "Inquisitors Of Satan" sounding like it easily could've been slipped into the Darkthrone canon and no one would've thought twice about it. As if Satan himself had selected this mysterious and anonymous French ensemble, the band emerged from a rather generic epigone to one of the most experimental and intellectually developed outfits within the entire black metal universe. On their third album SI MONVMENTVM REQVIRES, CIRCVMSPICE (Latin for "If You Seek His Monument, Look Around You,) DEATHSPELL OMEGA launched the first of a trilogy of albums that focused on the Theistic Satanist's perspective and one that ostentated that Satan is pervading every aspect of the physical and metaphysical universe and that Man's relationship with Him should be one of reverence and devotion.

While lyrically entranced in Satanic metaphysics in a liturgical presentation, stylistically the works are heavily influenced by the 20th century French philosopher Georges Bataille. Musically DOS evolved significantly beyond the second wave tritone dissonance into a sophisticated progressive black metal band that utilized wide varieties of stylistic shifts interspersed with unpredictable time signature changes and even incorporated complete deviations from metal altogether into Gregorian chants that take references from the Christian Bible and fully invert them as heard on the beginning "First Prayer" that finds backmasking wrapped around the liturgical sermon. The album, like true Satanic ideologies, is rife with symbolism both visually in the album cover and liner notes but also with the juxtaposition of Christian philosophies with dark arts metaphysics. This is the real deal. A musical experience so dark and heavy that it makes Anton LaVey's Church Of Satan look like a skit with the Church Lady on 80s Saturday Night Live.

SI MONVMENTVM REQVIRES, CIRCVMSPICE is a very long album. At 77 minutes and 47 seconds it was intentionally designed to mimic the structure of progressive rock double albums from the 70s with each fictitious side opening with a prayer with an additional lengthy devotion occurring with the eleven minute plus "Carnal Malefactor." While the album doesn't let up in its intensity for one second, the diverse elements that flow through manage to keep even the most attention span deprived metalhead from bouts of ennui. While segments flow and find repetitive segments of structure, the band's approach is to change the instrumentation subtlety and also at time startlingly abrupt, by offering up new riffs, new drumming patterns or vocal rants. At times the band plays together as a cohesive unit in traditional black metal fashion but more often offers up the most avant-garde and mind bending displays of angular dissonance and progressive bombast. The overall impression of this album is that of a black mass from a fly on the wall perspective.

DEATHSPELL OMEGA took the entire metal world by storm with SI MONVMENTVM REQVIRES, CIRCVMSPICE, having created one of the most thought provoking and musically mysterious metal albums of the ages. This is the kind of blackened art album with the sophistication of great classical composers with every composition, production value and lyrical utterance casting a darkened cloud over the world and twisted into an unholy irreverence in an antithetically aligned manner that goes far beyond a flaming vitriol for Christianity but rather ups the game to become its equal. While DEATHSPELL OMEGA could be viewed as a pseudo-intellectual cauldron of mumbo jumbo, there is no denying that their craft has mastered the art of Christian inversion to its logical conclusion and utilized its own contradictory Biblical passages against it with a thoughtful and peremptory authority. While cleverly presented, DEATHSPELL OMEGA, the newfound masters of the great Satanic theological soundtracks hadn't quite attained perfection as it would on the follow-up "Fas ? Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum," but it's pretty damn close.

4.5 but rounded down

 The Synarchy Of Molten Bones by DEATHSPELL OMEGA album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.88 | 42 ratings

The Synarchy Of Molten Bones
Deathspell Omega Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Roane

1 stars I just have found out this group and this album through their good ranking in the Top 2016. Fan of prog music, I always have been fan of metal as well and I like to discover new bands in that sub-genre "Extreme prog metal". Ok but actually concerning this performance, where is the link with a progressive approach? As far as I'm concerned, there is no inspiration, no melodies, no research and varieties in the instrumentation and in the sounds. Basic drums/guitar/bass line-up with permanent aggressive guitars and vocals... So sorry but it doesn't resonate for me and I would be curious to know what would be the rating with 100 followers at least...
 The Synarchy Of Molten Bones by DEATHSPELL OMEGA album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.88 | 42 ratings

The Synarchy Of Molten Bones
Deathspell Omega Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

5 stars 'The Synarchy of Molten Bones' - Deathspell Omega (90/100)

When Deathspell Omega at last completed their definitive trilogy with Paracletus in 2010, it wasn't clear what direction the band would take. They were finally in the wake of their great Work, after all; black metal met its logical pinnacle a decade ago with the perfect Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum, and the following album had justified itself based on the fact that it had managed to rein in that swirling perfection with restraint and melody. Now that they had not only touched madness but now harnessed it as well, it could constitute hubris to believe that their sound further.

The following EP Drought amazingly proved that prediction wrong with its slightly reinvented style, now a greater part Dillinger Escape Plan than Darkthrone than ever. Even 21 minutes it not only demonstrated potential beyond the trilogy, but acted as a perfect epilogue to the genre's greatest undertaking. Their exploration of God, Man and Satan was characterized by the image of Lucifer's descent to Hell from Heaven; just as Lucifer fell, it was easy to infer the fall of Man as well from the apocalyptic resolution Paracletus ended on with "Apokatastasis Pantôn", a resignation to the "pit of silence" and (translating the term) restoration of all to its primordial or original state. Where Paracletus might have ended with Apocalypse, Drought offered a glimpse of its result; a spiritual drought as much as a physical one, the annihilation of the sacred, dogs and cats living together; total [%*!#]ing darkness in other words, with all semblance of hope a bygone afterthought, "like Adam and Eve at the end of time..." With Drought DSO essentially achieved for their theological explorations what they had previously done for the music from on Paracletus after Fas, drawing their arc past the point of climax as a sort of denouement. And all that with a refreshed , mathier take on that last album's style without losing the melodic heft.

Because Drought left the irredeemable fate of Man fairly cut and dried, I think it could have been a perfect place for Deathspell Omega to have called it quits. Of course I wanted nothing more for my favourite band to boldly return, I just don't think there was a clear path for them to progress; whether musically or lyrically, DSO pushed it further than anyone ever has (and likely ever will) in black metal. As such, the only places for the concept and music to go were, respectively, rebirth and regression. Those two terms arguably describe the Synarchy of Molten Bones more effectively than all else I could say about it. Deathspell Omega has, in 2016, drawn themselves back to the brink of annihilation and chaos. The album (arguably an EP at 29 minutes) more closely recalls the brutal calculated noise of Fas than anything before or since, to the point where it might be called its spiritual sequel. While there's part of me that bemoans Deathspell Omega not having kept up their innovative streak, or that a four year wait and supposed "full-length" status aren't justified by its runtime, all of it pales in comparison to the awe of hearing these masters in action again.

The Synarchy of Molten Bones isn't a game-changer the way Fas, Paracletus, or even some of the EPs were for me, but there hasn't been a doubt in my mind that the album well-deserves its instant acclaim as a masterpiece. I think if you've felt even slightly underwhelmed by the album, take a look at the competition. In addition to a quarter of my own life having come and gone, the time between Paracletus and now has seen a notorious surge of DSO clones. Some have been brilliant and most have been good (few have thankfully been flat-out bad) but I can't think of a single acolyte of theirs that comes close to capturing the technical insanity and atmosphere here. Even if it's 29 minutes long, it never feels that length. Cutting out a lot of the ambient and "mellower" sections from Fas, this is indisputably the most brutal and punishing Deathspell Omega have ever sounded. Nods to Fas are fast and frequent. With "The Synarchy of Molten Bones", the music opens up with discordant symphonic overtones, closely echoing the "Obombration" pair. The odd chord choices, tone, hell-- everything felt instantly familiar to my ears from the first listen, with ominously terrifying guitar screeches tossing a bit of a curveball early on. It doesn't take long for Deathspell Omega to fire up to full speed from there. I think some of the unhinged twang from Drought has found its way into the formula here -- some of the less byzantine moments even recall Paracletus -- but there is little doubt where Synarchy's true loyalties lie.

Conceptually, the album preaches a spirit of rebirth and renewal, though you shouldn't think hope has found a place in that equation. It's like Man has been brought up once more only to writhe in a world made now in Satan's image, rather than God whom He usurped in the last trilogy. Amid numerous references to Greek mythology (an idea I hope they continue to stick with), it feels as if DSO are taking the narrative voice of Satan Himself. There is a common reference to Iatros, that is a healer, likely referring to the continued struggle of God in this cosmic mess. The frequent idea of healing ties in well with the idea that the Synarchy of Molten Bones means to continue the exploration they left off with Paracletus. However, in truly Satanic fashion, even the Godly idea of healing here is twisted. The title "Internecine Iatrogenesis" says everything about DSO's theological concept of rebirth. With iatrogenesis literally meaning "brought forth by the healer" and internecine describing something as "mutually destructive", you can probably come to your own conclusions on Deathspell Omega's theology. Much like Fas, it's often difficult to tell where one song begins and another ends. I laud the return of this unrelenting chaos. There's barely a second for a listener (especially those with weak constitutions) to catch a breath. If you're coming as a returning DSO fan, you know the drill. The sound is constantly rife with blastbeats and frantic drum patterns that defy human understanding. The guitars are immaculately cold and are only sometimes decipherable under the drums and daemonic vocal articulations. Although the guitars and drums are roughly on par with albums past, Mikko's vocals might actually outshine his past collaborations with DSO. Given that the lyrics this time speak directly as Satan, it fits the album's style that his vocals would somehow become even more terrifying inhuman and bold. I do miss the stronger vocal integration on Paracletus, but the disconnect between the vocal phrasing and the frantic instrumentation beneath lends the impression of a Satanic sermon more than a pre-calculated performance purely for music's sake.

It's hard to express in words how powerful the atmosphere in Deathspell Omega's music really is. So many of their core traits have been elevated to the point of being near-clichés, whether by the orthodox black metal scene or the burgeoning wave of experimental metal from the current decade. It is fair to feel disappointed by the fact that the Synarchy of Molten Bones has fallen back on familiar ideas, as opposed to building a new framework for the current generation like I'd hoped, but it's ultimately asinine to criticize a band for sounding like themselves. For everything its worth, the apparent flaws of Synarchy are smoothed out by its depth and repeated listens. I might still consider the new album more as an EP, but for its length it works perfectly; layer upon layer of instrumentation and detail will keep any attentive listener rapt far longer than most albums twice its length. Only the production, which feels a step down from Fas, and a few lower than Paracletus, really stands out as a shortcoming, although it only seems that way in the context of their other masterpieces.

One question remains on my mind: Would people have lost themselves over the Synarchy of Molten Bones if it hadn't been released alongside under the fabled DSO name? I didn't think so, at least at first. But as I threw myself further into the album, listening to it, reading lyrics, pondering its concepts, there is no doubt it can stand on the weight of its own merits. This is the kind of crippling composition and musicianship only they of any are worthy to conjure.

As Deathspell Omega conduct their own rebirth, all others shall pale and kneel.

Originally written for Heathen Harvest Periodical.

 The Synarchy Of Molten Bones by DEATHSPELL OMEGA album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.88 | 42 ratings

The Synarchy Of Molten Bones
Deathspell Omega Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars A staggering six years after their last full length album and four since their EP "Drought," the ominous and mysterious DEATHSPELL OMEGA has decided to play peek-a-boo with their admiring public by leaving the shrouded mists of their Luciferian whereabouts purportedly to be in their native France in order to drop their newest musical expressions of horror metal that psychoanalyzes the human condition and delves into the deepest recesses of the human mind to unleash their unique brand of sonic terrorism that brashly rips through the soul and extinguishes hope, slays unicorns and obscures light-filled rooms with impending doom and darkness

The title track begins with a short classically oriented soundtrack symphony before the full DEATHSPELL OMEGA fury is unleashed just after a minute cutting to the chase of the better most chaotic and dissonant aspects of "Fas - Ite, Maledicti, In Ignem Aeternum." Chaotic eddies of sound circle like sharks around the wounded blood-dripping frenetic wretched shrieks that pontificate Satanic litanies and intellectual quandaries of humankind's relationship to the greater cosmos. The many aspects of the previous decade's "Si Momvmentvm Reqvires, Circvmspice" to "Paracletus" seem to have been unleashed simultaneously and are now battling it out to see who will conquer Hades itself and become the new dark master.

"Famished For Breath" continues the brutal chaotic buzz saw guitar churning out oblique and angular chops at breakneck speed with no apparent song structure other than tortured screaming chants of anguish as the beam of light in the sonic tornado. This track picks up even more steam as well as more bantering bedlam. While on previous releases DSO would unleash dissonant cleaner jangle chords separately from the buzz saw fury distortion of the guitar and bass combo, here they all continue their mosh pit glissade.

After a short respite of simply jangle guitar dissonance "Onward Where Most With Ravin I Meet" continues in full pandemonium by suddenly erupting into tumultuous instrument abuse and anarchic oscillations that churn on for indefinite amounts of time and then suddenly transmogrify into a new form of horror metal yet never simmering down into a digestible orderly fashion. This is chaos but chaos on a leash where the leash appears to be the vocals centering the swarm of sonic madness around its core however the ending of this one surprisingly calms down as if the eye of the hurricane has offered a brief glimpse of placidity between the destructive pummeling tentacles of sound.

"Internecine Iatrogenesis" jumps back into the chaotic frenzy with Herculean percussive pyrotechnics, even more sinuous angular rhythms and a sense of the strongest part of the storm hitting like a category 5 hurricane that parked itself over the village only to obliterate it to smithereens. This "Iatrogenesis" is more than an adverse effect from a medical complication but rather the full wrath of the gods delivering every available lightning bolt and power allowed them for complete and utter annihilation of the helpless masses below.

Whew! This sounds like a Satanic inspired "greatest hits" of sort that takes all the elements of the band's career and throws them at the listener like a juggler pummeling a passerby with chainsaws. While ferocity is common in the heavier arenas of black metal, only DSO juxtaposes intensity with tonal dissonance and a nerve racking jitteriness like no other. Rarely does black metal have a genuine feel that it was directly channeled from the Dark Lord. This is "music" that is guaranteed to stimulate those already indoctrinated into the cult but for the rest who dare not trespass into these arenas, stay far away and if this comes near you, run and hide. A true soundtrack for Mordor here.

 The Synarchy Of Molten Bones by DEATHSPELL OMEGA album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.88 | 42 ratings

The Synarchy Of Molten Bones
Deathspell Omega Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by CassandraLeo

5 stars After four years of silence, Deathspell Omega dropped their sixth full-length album pretty much out of nowhere. Stylistically, this album serves in many ways as an effective summation of their styles from 2004 to 2012; it's already been compared by listeners to "a more focused Fas", but one can find elements of Si monumentum, Kénôse, Paracletus, and plenty of other Deathspell releases, as well. However, unsurprisingly, the band also explores some new territory here. It's not as big a difference as Fas was from Si monumentum; it might be about comparable to the difference between Paracletus and Fas. The band remains as terrifying as ever; I once described their music as "controlled chaos", a paradox that seems as accurate as it's ever been. Their music manages to be dissonant while still containing a strange kind of beauty at the same time; a great example comes at the end of "Famished for Breath"

Lyrically, the band remains as intellectual and inscrutable as ever. (Your guess as to what the third song title means is as good as mine; however, the final song title is worth analysing. "Internecine" means mutually destructive, and "iatrogenesis" is an act of attempted healing that proves harmful; thus, "internecine iatrogenesis" is an act of attempted healing that proves destructive to both the healer and the healed.) Early analysis of the lyrics suggests that they've begun incorporating elements of Greek mythology into their world view. The album artwork is currently believed to depict Apollo. Their view of the cosmos remains unflinchingly dark, which perfectly suits their music.

I've been quite enthralled with Deathspell Omega's past work. After about ten listens, I have already concluded that this may be their finest musical work to date, and of course, it's one of the finest albums of the year. If you enjoyed any of the band's previous material, you will need this in your collection. I can't unconditionally recommend this, because their style will not be to everyone's liking. However, if you are attuned to their musical vision, then I can certainly unconditionally recommend this for you. Works this good don't come out too often, and we're incredibly lucky that this band is still making music. If we have to wait another four years for their next work, it'll be worth it as long as they continue putting out records this good. Five stars.

 Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum by DEATHSPELL OMEGA album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.09 | 94 ratings

Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum
Deathspell Omega Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by GentleGenerator

5 stars Picture the most extreme music you have ever heard, multiply it by Gorguts and you have Deathspell Omega. I have been a fan of Deathspell Omega for almost a decade now. Until recently I was only familiar with Si Momventm Reqvires, Circvmspice, a fantastic album in its own right but altogether different from the experience presented in this album. Beginning with the ominous Obombration, this album generates a uniquely dark and extreme experience. It is as progressive as any black metal album I have heard, and this is coming from a huge fan of the genre. No time is wasted on pandering atmospheric melodic passages. Instead the focus is on creating the most intense and fulfilling metal experience, with dissonance at its heart. Insanely technical and chaotic verses give way to incredibly satisfying passages of brooding melody and groove, while interludes of silence separate these themes. Bread of Bitterness serves as the highlight of the album, beginning with a groovy riff that is repeated throughout the beginning of the song, between passages of the utmost chaos and dissonance. Ultimately the song gives way to a despairing middle section of King Crimsony groove, while the bass guitar brings in a melodious and ominous presence. Things wind up, only to fall back into the groove, but only briefly before the massive crescendo. It is unlike anything I have ever heard, a monument of heaviness and nuance. I haven't even mentioned the lyrics, which deal with the metaphysical casting of Satan from the heavens. In fact, the lyrics are of the utmost importance, as they are written first and the music is structured around them according to an interview given by the band. As a whole this album offers arguably the most progressive metal experience out there. There's a reason Luc Lemay of Gorguts and Josh Elmore of Cattle Decapitation cite this band as a massive influence. They are at the forefront of progressive metal and this album is among the best they have to offer.
 Untitled Vinyl Box by DEATHSPELL OMEGA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2009
4.00 | 1 ratings

Untitled Vinyl Box
Deathspell Omega Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by CassandraLeo

— First review of this album —
4 stars Not to be confused with the later box set collecting the band's Mikko Aspa-era "trilogy" material, this vinyl box set collects Deathspell Omega's earlier Shaxul-era material, from before they evolved towards orthodox Satanism and also before they introduced the degree of complexity into their music for which they are now known. It's become a cliché to dismiss Deathspell's earlier works as primitive Darkthrone worship, but this is unfair. The band certainly adhered to the primitive recording quality associated with the genre at this stage in their career, and their songs were certainly less complex during this era than they are now, but there are still plenty of head-spinning time signature changes and lengthy compositions here (discs 3 and 5 in particular average around seven minutes per song).

Infernal Battles is the band's first album, collecting four new songs on side one with the band's earlier demo on side two. The cheaply recorded demo is the only material in this set that truly sounds like nothing more than Darkthrone worship, and even this uses unconventional time signatures starting with the first song. The recording quality is very low, however, with most frequencies over 10 kHz being inaudible. However, the band makes up for this with some truly magnificent riffs. This isn't likely to appeal to progheads, but it's good stuff nonetheless. The other side of the album has better recording quality, and already showcases a growth in musicianship and composition from the demo tracks. The band later re-recorded "Drink the Devil's Blood" for Si monumentum requires, circumspice, but the song is already impressive here. The other songs are of a similar calibre.

I'm going to review this material in rough chronological order rather than in the order the box set presents it, so next up we have Manifestations 2000-2001 (which collects material from splits with Moonblood and Mütiilation and the Black Metal Blitzkrieg sampler) and the material from the Clandestine Blaze split. (Note to interested parties: Clandestine Blaze is a solo project of Mikko Aspa, who is generally assumed to be Deathspell's second vocalist; however, none of the band's material is presented here, as only the Deathspell Omega sides of their splits are presented). The band stretches out at length here, and explores styles not commonly associated with Deathspell Omega; "The Suicide Curse", for example, could be considered an example of depressive/suicidal black metal. The riffs here are even more solid than those on their début, and the band is actually shockingly melodic here for people only familiar with the band's later material. This is still fairly primitive stuff, but a growth in musicianship is clearly observable here, and for people who enjoy old-school black metal on its own terms like I do, much of it will prove to be a slice of musical heaven.

Inquisitors of Satan dials back the song lengths slightly, but the band's growth in musicianship is further evident here. The riffs remain killer throughout the record and the audio quality is a step up from earlier material. The lyrical subject matter remains fairly standard-issue black metal fare, with little of the philosophical sophistication found on later releases, but that's fine for what this is. This album is generally regarded as the best of the band's Shaxul-era full lengths, and I can't disagree with the conventional wisdom here.

Manifestations 2002 collects material recorded in 2002 intended for splits but not released until 2008. It provides a missing link between the more primitive black metal the band recorded earlier in its career and the more complex Mikko Aspa-era material that would make them famous. It's easy to see why Shaxul, who has favoured more primitive material in his solo career, got disillusioned with the band's direction here and left; the band was unquestionably moving towards progressive black metal here. This may be the strongest material in this collection, although my personal favourites are Manifestations 2000-2001 and the Clandestine Blaze split.

Now, the obligatory audio quality note: The first disc appears to have been remastered for vinyl, without the "loudness war" problems of the CD version (which, to begin with, were the least severe of any of the albums in this collection). The album is, however, the most primitively recorded of Deathspell's material, with the demo side being truly lo-fi. Unfortunately, none of the other discs appear to have undergone similar remastering, and it's worth noting that the mastering of the Manifestations collections, in particular, was very bad, with audible clipping on every song. This is honestly the only demerit I can give this set from a technical standpoint (it would have been nice to have black or clear vinyl available, but the audio fidelity here isn't really of the level where it makes much of a difference).

In summation, whether you enjoy this collection will mostly come down to whether you enjoy black metal for its own sake or whether you only enjoy the more progressive strains of the genre. This set clearly depicts a band evolving from primitive black metal to progressive black metal, but most of the actual progressive material is left out. If Deathspell Omega had only recorded this material, they almost certainly wouldn't have an entry on Prog Archives. However, for interested listeners, this set will prove to be a goldmine. It's also an instructive listen for people who want to hear a band evolve from more primitive material to more complex material. I can't recommend this set for everyone, and you'll probably know from reading this review whether you'll be likely to enjoy it or not. For the people who enjoy this kind of music, though, this collection is difficult to pass up.

 Untitled Vinyl Box by DEATHSPELL OMEGA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2012
5.00 | 1 ratings

Untitled Vinyl Box
Deathspell Omega Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by CassandraLeo

— First review of this album —
5 stars One of the most essential black metal bands of the 2000s and 2010s gets a vinyl box set treatment of its finest works to date. While the fidelity of picture discs is frequently lambasted, much of the material here (namely, the contents of the first four discs) has been separately mastered for vinyl, and sounds substantially better than the typically brickwalled CD versions.

The band's Mikko Aspa era started with the double album Si monumentum requires, circumspice (Latin for If You Seek a Monument, Look Around You), which serves as a mission statement for everything the band has done since. It unveiled the band's trademark blend of dissonance, unusual time signatures (though these had been present on previous works as well), complex arrangements, orthodox Satanism, and experimentalism. Much of the album is given over to furious blasting, but the band proves to do this in a much more musically sophisticated fashion than most of its peers. The production is also a major step up from that of the band's previous work; it still sounds filthy and savage, but the album is recorded and mixed clearly enough that every musical detail is clearly audible. This proves all to the better on the departures from the band's black metal sound, such as the three "prayers" and the Old Church Slavonic chant section in the album's centrepiece "Carnal Malefactor". SMRC is a landmark album in the field of black metal whose stature has only grown with time.

The band quickly followed this up in 2005 with an additional two LPs' worth of material between the EP Kénôse (French for Kenosis, a doctrine in Christian theology referring to Jesus' "emptying himself") and two side-length pieces that were released at the time on split albums. Kénôse is even more dissonant and complex than SMRC, and shows the band's growing musical maturity. It's also philosophically more sophisticated than the band's previous works, showcasing a thorough examination of Christian redemption. From the same era, the twenty-two-minute "Diabolus absconditus" (Latin for "The Devil Is Hiding") lyrically examines existentialism while musically it alternates between blasting dissonance and, strangely, a lengthy acoustic guitar segment accompanied by whispered vocals. "Mass Grave Aesthetics" is the piece on this box set that does the least for me lyrically, but it makes up with it for a musical tour de force that may be the band's finest hour to date.

Fas - ite, maledicti, in ignem aeternum (Latin for Divine Law - Depart, Ye Cursed, into Everlasting Fire) dials up the band's dissonance and complexity even further. With only four proper songs averaging about ten minutes each, the band packs in as many complex riffs as possible and mixes them with head-spinning philosophical lyrics that examine the band's exceedingly pessimistic view of the cosmos. Both God and Satan are presented as essentially incomprehensible to humanity, while man is doomed to suffering. While most of the album is given over to frenetic blasting, the album is also underpinned with creepy pianos and an orchestra, and several passages of the album are nearly silent, which makes the returns to blasting only all the more terrifying. The album climaxes with an utterly gorgeous guitar solo at the end of "A Chore for the Lost", which proves to be one of the album's only concessions to melody. The album is a harrowing listen but remains a landmark of the genre all the same. It's essentially black metal's answer to Gorguts.

The band followed this up with the EP "Chaining the Katechon" (included on disc 7 so as not to break up Paracletus onto two discs, also released as a split with fellow travellers S.V.E.S.T. entitled Veritas diaboli manet in aeternum, Latin for The Devil's Truth Remains in Eternity). Once again the band contributes a twenty-two minute slab of head-spinning black metal, and this time around they waste no time in getting started from the gate. The album largely maintains the style of Fas without the gaps this time around, though it is slightly less dissonant. The album also closes with clean singing, a rarity for Deathspell. Another strong work from reliable black metal stalwarts.

The band's most recent full-length album to date, Paracletus (Latin for Paraclete, meaning comforter), looks from the track list like it simplifies the band's sound somewhat, and to a certain extent this is true when compared to Fas, but appearances can also be somewhat deceiving, as it is essentially two slabs of continuous music averaging roughly twenty-one minutes each. The album is slightly more melodic than Fas, and the riffs are slightly simpler, but this is no primitive Darkthrone worship here. You're still getting musically and intellectually sophisticated music of the highest order. Pointing out track highlights is essentially pointless, though the closing track "Apokatastasis pantôn" (ancient Greek for "Rebirth of Everything") bears mention for its substantially more melodic, almost post-rock take on black metal. A career highlight for sure.

The band's most recent EP Drought closes out the set. Like Paracletus this one consists mostly of continuous music (there are brief gaps between a few sets of tracks here) and this may be the lightest material on this set from a musical standpoint. The band's music barely has anything left in common with traditional black metal by this point, but that's hardly anything worth complaining about when what's here is so good. The band fills every proper song with truly mind-boggling riffs and the album's intro and outro are unique in their catalogue, with the former sounding like a mix between Led Zeppelin and Earth, while the latter includes a particularly nice groove on the bass guitar. The only thing to regret here is that it remains Deathspell's latest work (although the launch of their Bandcamp in December 2015 may herald upcoming new material).

I can't recommend this box set enough. The music is flawless, and my only complaints with its presentation are that it wasn't pressed on black or clear vinyl, and that the last three discs aren't remastered for vinyl. Still, those are minor complaints, especially since the price tag of the box when it was released was startlingly low given how much music is on it ($111 + shipping for nearly five hours of music on vinyl is a hard price to beat). This band's work has been a landmark in the field of black metal, and this box set collects the best of it. Unconditionally recommended.

 Inquisitors Of Satan by DEATHSPELL OMEGA album cover Studio Album, 2002
2.58 | 26 ratings

Inquisitors Of Satan
Deathspell Omega Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars While DEATHSPELL OMEGA's second album INQUISITORS OF SATAN has been totally overshadowed by the releases that follow for good reason, it is by no means a waste of time checking out this album. While the debut showed an extremely talented band doing their best second wave lo-fi version of Darkthrone from the decade prior, this second release shows a major step up in the evolution of their sound. Far from the formidable behemoths of black metal beginning with the very next album, but hints of what's to come.

The music itself is that good old school, raw and nasty mix of distorted buzz saw guitar riffing that becomes one with the bass to render the two indistinguishable, a frenetic drum workout complete with blastbeats and high quality raspy vocals to die for. This is a transition album between the primitive debut and the highly developed follow-ups. This album shows the debut of DEATHSPELL OMEGA's propensity of alternating styles. While most of the tracks would feel at home on Darkthrone's "Transylvanian Hunger," there are many departures into purely black rock 'n roll where it feels like hell has gone to the 50s prom and just wanted some good time music from the past. The distortion and overall sound is the same but the contrast between the black metal sound and the old time feel is stark.

I guess i like this one a bit more than most. It hosts their long time fascination with Satanic metaphysics and shows a leap closer to the jangly dissonant progressive workouts they would hone into perfect. While not as spastic and unpredictable as the famous trilogy beginning with "Si Momvmentvm Reqvires, Cicvmspice" the seeds have been sown in an unholy place for them to fester into the great beast that would come. An enjoyable slice of lo-fi brutality if i do say. While hardly essential, i do not find this to be banished to the collector's only bin because i actually really dig listening to this one for the amazing performances on board.

Thanks to HughesJB4 for the artist addition.

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