Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Best of 2007 - #8

8. deathspell omega - 'fas - ite, maledicti, in ignem aeternum'
Wanna know what this sounds like? The title of the album means, in Latin, 'By divine law, go, you cursed, into the eternal fire!'. That's more or less it. Okay, I'll try to resist the temptation of ending this analysis right here with a loud 'GO GET IT!'. This tempation is strong, because 'Fas - Ite, Maledicti, In Ignem Aeternum' is daunting. In every way. Thematically, it's already the second chapter on a complex trilogy that goes so further into the probing of mankind's relationship with faith and its rejection that this would turn into a mini-course in theology if we'd get into it properly. So, erm, let's not, but you'd be well advised to read, search and investigate about it if you really want to enjoy this record properly. The initially aparent randomness of the album is disconcerting and you need any foothold you can get to get to grips with it, and after a while (a long while, probably) it will dawn on you how close the music follows this light-and-dark concept. Even in purely musical terms, 'Fas...' is very complex. The irregularity of the rhythms throws sudden explosions of blastbeats and harsh vocals as quickly as it retreats back into the shadows where it lurks in anxious wait of the next assault. Listening to this album is a deeply unsettling experience, akin to walking along a claustrophobic corridor in pitch-dark, knowing that at some unknown point along the way an evil presence will come out of the wall and rip your eyes out. Again and again. The sinister mood is even deeper because of the ecclesiastical environment, as if that corridor was in a long-lost catacomb underneath an abandoned church where all kinds of unearthly rituals may occur. Am I full of shit? I probably am, but this is the kind of stuff that goes through your head throughout this rollercoaster of true darkness. Whereas lots of today's black metal is easily dismissable as cartoonish, you can't dismiss the seriousness behind Deathspell Omega very easily, which is what makes this the foremost band of the genre and the one that pushes it forward the most nowadays. Joining everything of the best that the genre has to offer, from the longing, far-away despair of Burzum to the maniac intensity of Watain to the creepy atmospheres of Blut Aus Nord, 'Fas...' is a monster piece of work to be discovered by the darkest of souls only.

Deathspell Omega - 'A Chore For The Lost'

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