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Deathspell Omega

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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Deathspell Omega Drought album cover
4.35 | 30 ratings | 5 reviews | 50% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Salowe Vision (3:45)
2. Fiery Serpents (4:15)
3. Scorpions & Drought (3:10)
4. Sand (1:40)
5. Abrasive Swirling Murk (3:50)
6. The Crackled Book of Life (4:20)

Total Time - 21:00

Line-up / Musicians

Thanks to Anthony H. for the addition
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DEATHSPELL OMEGA Drought ratings distribution

(30 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(50%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (3%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

DEATHSPELL OMEGA Drought reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by frippism
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Deathspell Omega go pop!

Fine, not just there yet, but I'd think that if you were really keen to get into DsO, this is the release most likely to be the easiest to swallow. Yes, it still ain't easy, particularly for those unacquainted with the particularly raw and abrasive side of black metal, but I'm glad to say that the wheels are slowly and constantly turning in DsO headquarters, and their sound is changing. A few of the traits that could have been noticed from their last LP-Paracletus- shorter songs, more melodies, cleaner production, are carried at times even farther on this EP. What I had made it harder for me to enjoy "Paracletus", is what I like here. And even better, it has made me enjoy "Paracletus" more then I did before.

The shorter songs here, work for the most part very well in this 21 minute EP because DsO managed to create a flow in between songs that was apparent in an album such as "Fas- Ite, Maledicti, in Ignum Aeternum", a trait which I found was one very important for me in DsO releases. The whole, prog-influenced, take on the "album" or the "release" as a single flowing entity, is what makes DsO's albums and their just-as-strong slew of EPs a whole experience. And for the most part, with "Drought" this is pretty much the case. 3 out of the six songs could be seen as some sort of interlude or prelude.

The album opens with a track that I wouldn't expect out of DsO- "Salowe Vision". It is almost a post-metal/ post-rock instrumental affair, with big, thumping drums and dramatic floating piano and these thick guitar chords. The bass I would say, also displays a big part of the mix, which is quite a pleasant shock. From this very first track you can hear the new production and how well it works. The drums have never been clearer, the bass has never been more... there (it is usually thick and heavy on the treble and is actually usually quite intricate and interesting), the guitars have now taken a smaller presence, which maybe somewhat negates from the absolute wall of sound DsO could bombard, but has allowed the guitars a chance to achieve more melodic capability and possibility. So when it does reach the good old insane blast beats- they still make your mind into demonic jelly, but you can better understand what sort of demonic jelly. "Fiery Serpents" starts loudly, but shockingly melodic and almost beautiful. And the buildup to the blast beats is the first time very exciting. The blast beats don't get tiring with DsO- constantly intense, erratic, with the guttural vocals which work so well with DsO, half "singing" half narrating in their own Satanic, demented sort of way.

When things get truly insane with "Scorpions & Drought" (by the way I'm appreciating the decision to ditch the Latin. With the fantastic EP "Diabolus Absconditus"- the title was rather silly sounding), the guitars are so powerful- but manage to fully encompass the higher notes without compromising from the overall bulldozer of sounds. That is also a lot because of the drums, which are as always, absolutely mind blowing- an absolute power house like no band I have heard before, and also because the bass is there to truly support the wall of sound which consisted mostly of the raw guitars in previous releases.

"Sand" manages to play further with the melodic chord arpeggios which have already been displayed in "Paracletus" and is a short and successful, I guess "prelude" to what must be one of the most powerful DsO songs I have heard, and generally one of the more abrasive songs ever- "Abrasive Swirling Murk".

DsO manage to show that oh my flying unicorn they can be loud. Oh dear god how loud! And the groove that starts out this song! An absolute epileptic dream, with low guitars chords and this almost Latin rhythm! I swear if I knew how to dance salsa I'd dance to this! With that, the song manages to shift and turn and slide and slither and blast into this great, again more melodic bit, with a fantastic guitar melody, almost just melancholic, and not monstrous and Satanic. And the bits of ambient in this track- with these tiny bits of piano or synth or whatever it is- just pick on the ear and add great depth.

Things return to the weird atmospheric vibe of the first song "The Crackled Book Of Life"- another instrumental affair, which at first somewhat underwhelmed me but is now probably my 2nd favorite after "Abrasive Swirling Murk". A steady beat similar to "Sand" gives out to this epic bass and these wonderfully arranged strings- synths I think but maybe not. The creepy rising and dropping melodies which again give out to one of the more memorable guitar moments in a DsO. It in eventuality sort of breaks fades out with and in come these dramatic chorus synthesizer which ends the EP with a rather bone-chilling final gasp in a way.

It is safe to say, that DsO are going in a direction that I'm very keen to see them take. Who knows, maybe eventually they'll be on "Top of the Pops"? A favorable shift of sound is more than welcome, finally, to make our ears once again fall into an endless abyss of darkness and death, but an abyss more accessible than ever before. 9 kvlts out of 10 :)

P.S. the artwork on the EP pretty much instantly became one of my absolute favorites. Beautifully detailed, frightening, and just plain awesome.

Review by Conor Fynes
5 stars 'Drought' - Deathspell Omega (10/10)

Yes, Deathspell Omega have gone punk. Yes, they have even pop. In fact, it's been recently announced that Deathspell Omega has been a weekend side project of Blink 182's Tom DeLonge, and through some coincidence, it has been misinterpreted as the continuation of a French band of the same name that broke up ten years ago. After such a cerebral and heavy handed album trilogy about theistic satanism, it's nice to hear Deathspell Omega throw away the evil and sing songs about pretty girls instead.

Jest aside, I can see why Deathspell Omega's latest EP "Drought" has been getting recognition as a change of pace for the enigmatic black metal outfit. They're still the same viciously technical bastards that they've been since their breakthrough "Si Monumentum..." record, but their sound is getting cleaner, and- I daresay- more coherent. For anyone who listened to their last full-length "Paracletus", this evolution from the unrelenting madness of "Fas - Ite, Maledicti, In Ignem Aeternum" to more concise song structures was predictable. Deathspell essentially pick up where they left off with "Paracletus", and with this comes a barrage of jaw-dropping complexity, malefic atmosphere, and some of the best flow I have ever heard on an EP. Black metal's greatest prog-enitors have struck gold once again.

On "Drought" and virtually everything they have done since "Fas...", Deathspell Omega create a quintessential black metal atmosphere, yet manage to do so with surprisingly few black metal conventions. Barring Aspa's trademark croak, and the occasional blast beat thrown between the inhuman permafills, Deathspell Omega have little now in common with the genre's core sound. The guitars are rapturous and dissonant, and may sound a little more like The Dillinger Escape Plan than I would like to admit. Amidst the confusion, there are plenty of thick grooves. Especially on a first listen, things can feel very chaotic, although- perhaps unlike the band's most challenging material- there's just enough melody and comprehensible rhythm in the music to make things coherent. Just enough.

Although the most exciting moments on "Drought" are the chaotic storms, a considerable portion of the album is devoted to some of the most melodic and mellowed ideas Deathspell have done since "Si Monumentum...". "Salowe Vision" is a wonderful opener, gradually building tension and atmosphere until "Fiery Serpents" erupts with the band's signature chaos. "The Crackled Book of Life" ends the EP in a heavier fashion than it started, although a beautiful melodic idea is hidden beneath the gradually fading rhythm. There are no stops in the music on "Drought"; though Deathspell have generally shortened the track lengths, the impression of a twenty minute epic- like their earlier "Chaining the Katechon"- is evoked to great benefit. Even the runt of the litter- the one minute "Sand"- has a place here.

For a long time, I have not been able to cite a band that's gone as far with the black metal style as Deathspell Omega. Even in making their song structures shorter and production cleaner, they still manage to sound as fierce and experimental as ever. I did not think that one of my favourite releases of the year would be an EP, but here it is. As a fan, I've been blown away once again, and as a reviewer, I can only give my highest recommendation. Absolutely phenomenal.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Drought" is an EP release by French black metal act Deathspell Omega. The EP was released through Norma Evangelium Diaboli in June 2012. "Drought" is available in MLP and digipack CD formats.

The music style on "Drought" is no surprise if you are already familiar with the last couple of releases by Deathspell Omega. Chaotic sounding, technical and experimental/progressive black metal is what youīre treated to. The band are exceptionally well playing, and "Drought" features a professional and powerful sound production that really brings out the best in the rather complex tracks. Itīs a slightly less metallic tinged sound production compared to the last couple of releases which is something that seems to suit Deathspell Omega well. While the bandīs "core" style is technically challenging and chaotic sounding black metal with raw raspy vocals, multible tempo changes and a sensibilty towards dissonance, there are also post-metal elements in the bandīs style that need a mention. Both "Salowe Vision" and "The Cracked Book of Life", which bookend the EP, are instrumental post-metal tracks and have very little to do with black metal. The fact that "Sand" is also a bit different from the bandīs trademark sound, makes "Drought" quite a varied and also entertaining listen. It should be noted at this point that all six tracks on the EP seque into each other to form a 21:00 minutes long concept piece. The individual tracks arenīt that long though, and the relatively short format works really well.

"Drought" might not be neither surprising nor a revolutionizing development of the bandīs sound, but itīs a damn well written, well performed and well produced effort by Deathspell Omega and another proof of how skilled and inventive they are. A 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is deserved.

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars DROUGHT was the second EP to emerge after the DEATHSPELL OMEGA's attention grabbing Satanic trilogy of albums that showed the world that black metal could be as intellectually saturated with theological highbrow concepts accompanied by the most progressive and complex compositional fortitude of any advanced musical style while still hiding in the complete anonymity of darkness. Following 2011's single tracked "Diabolus Absdonditus," DROUGHT featured six separate tracks that more or less coalesced into a single 21 minute experience.

Cranking out the already established mix of jagged blistering black metal guitar riffs, bantering bass lines and technical percussive assaults accompanied by despondent Satanic liturgies in the form of raspy vocals, DROUGHT showcased yet another methodology of taking all the individual parts that made up the sonic terror of DEATHSPELL OMEGA and put it all together in yet another unique recipe. Although to the uninvited listener, this will all come across as bantering din from social deviants, this French band finds still more ways of mixing slow plodding, even doom metal fueled nonchalantness with caustic aggressive fury.

"Salowe Vision" opens as what sounds like a band fully exhausted from its decade long rampage with slow plodding riffs that sound as if the band is ready for a complete breakdown but emerges into top form on the fueled by Satan orotundity of "Fiery Serpents." Fueled with jagged guitar riffs that seem to have taken an even more boastful pride in crating gnarled math rock inspired progressive time signatures, DROUGHT continues the swells of sonic scare tactics in a seemingly limitless ability to shape shift around simple rhythmic processions fortified with an endless array of darkened dynamics.

While "Diabolus Absconditus" seemed to thrive on its simplicity, DROUGHT on the other hand returned to the antics of the Satanic trilogy with incessant drifts of highly fustian freelancing that delivered an entire album's worth of emotional torture tactics all in the short playing time of 21 minutes. While the shock value may have been long gone for members of the DSO cult, the perfunctory prowess of the musical complexities does not cease to impress. Few black metal bands have mastered the vast arsenal of tricks and trinkets that DEATHSPELL OMEGA has and although far into the band's canon, DROUGHT only reinforces that this band had an extraordinary beyond human sort of talent that seemingly came from Faustian pacts with you know who.

DSO disappeared for several years after this and wouldn't re-emerge from the underworld until 2016's "The Synarchy of Molten Bones" but the band's legendary status reverberated well into the 2010s with countless imitators adopting the highly complex and atonal characteristics that DSO launched with its lauded masterpieces of molten maniacal monstrosity. It seems that in many ways that this would end the first era of DEATHSPELL OMEGA's reign as rulers of the black metal underworld and that what came after was simply a retread of all the established sounds that preceded. Fittingly the title DROUGHT signified the four year gap when DSO returned to the underworld to offer the captured souls that their music attracted. Sure the ticket is your soul but at least there is a 30-day satisfaction guarantee or your soul back! Whew, that was close :D

Latest members reviews

5 stars Deathspell Omega, starting in the year 1998, produced very Darkthrone like releases. From their splits with Mutiliation, and Moonblood; they were simpley known as any other black metal act. But one thing did stand out (compared to any other French act), and that was their lyrics. Yes, they d ... (read more)

Report this review (#797795) | Posted by pisles | Wednesday, August 1, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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