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


Deathspell Omega

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5 stars Ever since Si Monumentum Requires Circumspice, which appeared five years ago, Deathspell Omega have taken a path that only the bravest take; a more avant-garde and progressive approach on the codes and norms of black metal, a musical sub-genre that is recognized for its lo-fi cacophony and satanic blasphemy. Before this album, this band was just another typical Darkthrone copycat, scorching through our ears with the sharp tremolo picking and the numerous arrays of blast beats all in between. However, things have definitely changed for this band and they did for the better.

Most recently on December 2008, they issued an EP called Veritas Diaboli Manet in Aeternum : Chaining the Katechon with another black metal named S.V.E.S.T. This mini- album proves that the band are no longer afraid to sail through uncharted territories. The last effort, Fas - Ite, Maledicti, In Ignem Aeternum was their most technical, most frightening and most intelligent record up to date with its cinematic environment, progressive and odd structures, and most importantly the top-notch production of the record, which is surprising in black metal, even for a band like Deathspell Omega. Another aspect that should be noted is Mikko Aspa's - the band's current vocalist - varied, yet atrocious and savage display of vocals. He sings like the Luciferian lord himself; a fact that should be comprehended in many ways.

Basically, Chaining the Katechon is a twenty-two minute song which is divided in three sections. The first one begins with the trademark hysteria which has become familiar over the course of the last five years; blast-beats accompanied with frenetic, systematic obliteration from Hasjarl's songwriting, who is the main guitarist of the band. Nevertheless, the band knows how to do transitions from fast to slow every time. The discordance that appeared on the last album appears once more during those transitions. But then, as things seemingly get more and more intense, Hasjarl pulls a trick up his sleeve; echoed, distant and structured riffs appear one by one. It's a calmer sight and he knows the pure meaning of reverb in this one. The riffs are simply put well-executed and extremely more controlled, even though they are jarring. The atmosphere gets even calmer with a page taken from progressive bands such as Opeth and Cult of Luna with a monotonous, almost sliding and plummeting passage. Then, a scream unleashed itself and you find yourself lost, buried under thick layers of technical depravity. The riffs, in other words, do not make sense. They are distant, skeletal and inhuman, but surprisingly controlled and very coherent; a contradiction in some sense. Another thing that surprised me was the percussions and its methodical, play-by-play arrangement. I expected something more confusing, but they possess an interesting balance, even though sometimes things get out of control very fast. Near the end of that section, chaos ensues with blast-beasts, discordant, technical riffs and a pinnacle that can be found in Mikko Aspa's irreverent despair.

The second section is almost similar to the first one with the recognizable beginning, but it slows down further and further, which reminds me of those free-jazz improvisations. The riffs are again extremely discordant, but smoother and excruciating. More technical wankery gets in the way, but in such perfect colour. Repetitive, yet isolated. Illogical, yet well- executed. It's a mammoth of odd time signatures. Think Meshuggah opposed to Darkthrone. It'll give you a clear picture. Another interesting passage in this section displays itself by that characteristic repetition and discordant display. All of a sudden, after blast-beats come one by one, the drums are becoming groovier and the discordance complements itself with that atmosphere. A jazzy, riddled combination of both dissonant riffs and low, shaky bass lines shows itself in this section. Afterwards, it's even more discordant and confusing from now on, but sophisticated, intriguing and "stylish" in its forms. Near the end, a chant fills the whole background, giving the song an orchestral feel. Remember that brutal passage near the end of the first section? It comes back with open arms, but even more dazzling and cruel than before.

Finally, the last section might give us a preview of what's to come on the next album; clean vocals!!! Mikko Aspa's chants are primitive, yet surprisingly well-adapted into the mix. The section is even slower, unbearable but also more perplexing with the puzzled, indistinct riffs.

Overall, Deathspell Omega is a band that represents the future of black metal and undoubtedly, its saviours with the immense amount of technicality and experimentation, the first-rate production and of course, the ideology of avant-garde and progressive music with the jazzy, elegant passages in this album. Simply put, they are challenging in every aspect. Even though the album is less intense than Fas, you cannot help but wonder what lies ahead in their next, awaited third effort of their 'trilogy'. Chaining the Katechon might give a preview of what's to come.

Standout tracks : It is meant to be listened to as a whole!!!

Report this review (#227576)
Posted Sunday, July 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
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.

Report this review (#508448)
Posted Wednesday, August 24, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars So, this will be more of a track review, mainly because this EP has only one track, but this track is 22 minutes, so it makes slight sense.

This EP is a rather interesting one. This is actually a split EP between the band S.V.A.S.T., but oddly enough I can't find the other half of the EP. So while I search for the other half, I'll have to talk about this half of the EP.

This track is a complete rollercoaster really, and compared to the material on "Fas ? Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum" it is a complete step forward. One of the biggest shocks is the cleanest of production. All the negatives I found in the production on "Fas ? Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum" have all been toned up, and the production on this album is pretty stellar. The echo has been turned down, and the vocals are turned up, and each note the guitars and bass play can all be heard, which is a definite positive.

Musically the track is a slight less frightening than the tracks on "Fas ? Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum" (as odd as that sounds), but it still does hold a lot of fright. The best way to describe this track is like a rollercoaster. It starts off like a head rush and anytime the track slows down and almost becomes something beautiful, from out of nowhere the track peaks up again and scares the crap out of you. This track is a definite step in the right direction for the band, mainly due to the popularity starting rise behind this track.

Lyrically the track is just beautiful. And I know that sounds weird, but poetically speaking the images brought forward are really vivid and colourful. Mixing Milton esque imagery with original black metal dissonance, the tracks lyrics and the performance from the vocals really do sound like a sermon of evil.

In conclusion, this would be the pinnacle moment of this band for me. While "Fas ? Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum" can be a rather difficult listen, this track in many ways is a lot more listenable. In fact, this may be the best way to sum up the band and even there entire career. An absolute stellar track that should be listened by all Black Metal and Metal fans.


Report this review (#1018617)
Posted Wednesday, August 14, 2013 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic
5 stars After the groundbreaking milestone of black metal complexities delivered by DEATHSPELL OMEGA with its lauded "Fas ? Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum," the band released two EPs before concluding the trilogy of albums that ended with "Parcletus" with themes that focused on the highly advanced Satanic theology inspired by the philosophies of George Bataille, Michel Leiris and Pierre Klossowski but then again pretty much everything this band unleashes on to the world is about those topics so in reality makes little difference how you approach them from a chronological point of of view.

The EPs "Mass Grave Aesthetics" and VERITAS DIABOLI MANET IN AETEMUM: CHAINING THE KATECHON were both released on 8 December 2008 however VERITAS was released both as an EP and as a split with the other French black metal band S.V.E.S.T. (stands for Satanas Vobiscum et Spiritum Tuo) which i suspect may have been DEATHSPELL OMEGA's side project as a pseudonym because stylistic approaches and especially vocal style are suspiciously similar.

The DEATHSPELL OMEGA EP consists of the sole track "Chaining The Katechon" which refers to a New Testament term used to describe the one who prevents the rise of the Antichristand therefore stopping the second coming of Christ. The track clocks in just over 22 minutes but features the classic jaw dropping characteristics of the band's Satanic trilogy that were instrumental in taking black metal into a much higher level of philosophical and progressive credibility.

Laced with the hallmark dissonant jangle guitar riffs and the transmogrifications from creepy slow tempos to buzzsaw blastbeat fueled black metal fury, CHAINING THE KATECHON essentially served as an intermission between the final two chapters of the Satanic trilogy but was every bit as intricately designed and fueled with some of the scariest combinations of sound that have ever haunted the metal universe. Ranging from Meshuggah-like swells of dissonant metallic passages to moments of Orthodox choir chanting, CHAINING THE KATECHON excels in conjuring up demons and dwells on dreadful sounding progressive black metal with the complexities leagues above the competition.

While DEATHSPELL OMEGA has been far from what one would call a melodic black metal band, the fact that scant melodic passages are inserted into the works ensures that just enough hooks keep the listener intrigued enough to prevent them from losing their minds as the atonal jagged guitar riffs chug along with creepy atmospheres and top notch precision percussive workouts. Mikko Aspa's unmistakable vocal style dominates the chilling soundscapes with raspy declarations of darkened ideologies but finds more moments on VERITAS to offer clean narrative proses that add to the overall diverse rotisserie of progressively infused weavings of stylistic shifts.

While very much in the ghoulish spirit of the Satanic trilogy which bookmarks this EPs place in the overall canon, VERITAS DIABOLI MANET IN AETEMUM: CHAINING THE KATECHON more than stands up on in its own in the near indescribable freakery that DEATHSPELL OMEGA is capable of crafting. The beauty of this one is that it feels more like a condensed version of the longer albums where certain segments are truncated and serves as a sampler for those brave enough to dip into this band's world of terrifying and horrific sonic assaults. This sole track is for sure one of the band's finest moments and a mandatory extension of the brilliant triumvirate that remains the band's finest hours.

Report this review (#2488140)
Posted Sunday, December 27, 2020 | Review Permalink
5 stars The definition of brutality. A technical cocktail of all the best elements of Death Metal, Chaining The Katechon is Deathspell Omega's best track to date and one of their most ambitious and bold, this is saying a lot considering how consistent and proficient this band is.

The last ten minutes are my favorite of the song, they feature the craziest technical sections, a brutal riff near the end that works as the climax, and the closing chorus is epic and bone-chilling.

Simply one of the best death metal tracks ever made. It's definitely a five star track, essential to any death metal collection.

Report this review (#2578830)
Posted Wednesday, July 14, 2021 | Review Permalink
5 stars The best death metal song ever made?

While it's clear that Deathspell Omega are already a consistent and brilliant band, they didn't have a crowning achievement until they released "Veritas Diaboli Manet In Aeternum", AKA, Chaining The Katechon.

Without a doubt one of the most quintessential tracks of its genre, this one-song EP has everything you could ask for in Death Metal. The insane complexity of the instrumentation, the raw and brutal growls, accompanied by obscure and unsettling atmospheric sections.

While this is an incredibly inaccessible tracks due to its bizarre song structure and outstanding heaviness, it's still regardless a cornerstone of, not only Death Metal, but metal itself.

Gotta give it five stars for sure!

Report this review (#2578838)
Posted Wednesday, July 14, 2021 | Review Permalink
5 stars We saw your image... The gap of your eyes and mouth is void...

Quite possibly the greatest metal song ever made? Chaining The Katechon was my first exposure to Deathspell Omega and their insane use of instrumentation leaves even bands like Dream Theater or Meshuggah behind. Their fast paced and un-reachable drums combined with shredding guitars and crushing bass leaves you completely dumbfounded.

Chaining The Katechon consists of a single 22-Minute song of the same name. It has a very interesting structure for an epic: Unlike many that have an A-B-C-D-E or A-B-C-D-A structure, this colossus has an A-B-C-B-A-D, working as a circling epic with movements that all build up for a grand finale. It simply works amazingly and it gives it a great sense of continuity and coherence despite the music sounding like the exact opposite.

This song features multiple melodic fragments that are used mostly to establish the gothic and dark mood of the track, often recurring to dissonance and atonality. It's incredibly heavy and I seriously can't imagine someone's first glance at extreme metal being this, it would totally scare them away. However for any person that enjoys sheer raw metal brutality this should be a feast.

I also want to say that the climax at 18:26 is for sure the peak of the song. The dissonance, atonality and polyrhythms all come together to create the heaviest and most crushing part of the song. It truly leaves you numb! Thankfully the slow, hypnotic and epic ending chorus helps you come back to the real world.

This is pretty much my all-time favorite metal song. It would feel so wrong for me to not give it that magic five star rating. Absolutely essential to any extreme/technical metal collection. Five Stars!

Report this review (#2698400)
Posted Tuesday, March 8, 2022 | Review Permalink

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