Friday, December 21, 2012


Ondskapt - Draco Sit Mihi Dux
Selbstmord Services, 2002
Genre: Black Metal

1. I
2. II
3. III
4. IV
5. V
6. VI

Ondskapt enter the realms of Black Metal at the time when Black Metal is reaching some of its highest ideological points.  I would place Ondskapt into the category of Religious Black Metal, which is the somewhat newer category describing this incredible uprising that people are really starting to latch onto.  Now as soon as you drop the word religion people erroneously begin thinking “Christianity.”  It is technically impossible for “Christian” Black Metal to exist.  It is such a farcical religion first off, and more importantly Black Metal is designed around destroying its ideology and pointing out all of its misinformed subjects why their belief is a lie and has no hope of salvation.  To embrace the concept of Black Metal is to embrace this religious outlook, but that does not make one irreligious completely and the more intelligent representations of Black Metal are starting to attack Christian ideology with works far more intelligent than they can rebut with their “New Testament.”

“Draco Sit Mihi Dux,” from what I can loosely translate from Latin basically means “The Dragon Leads Me.”  The Dragon I assume is in reference to The Devil as they have chosen to represent in the album with their lyrics.  Ondskapt, like many Religious Black Metal bands draw their references from the Occult, Mysticism, and texts considered heresy by the Churches of Christ.  Through these mediums true divine knowledge is meant to be achieved.  Most mystical works deal with coming in contact with the Divine One, and this is heresy for the Christians because Christ is supposed to be the method of contact.  That in itself should be considered the true heresy against God.  As we can see written in the following passage, “Divine reasons show me our path.  The pernicious light which has blessed me with its utter damnation,” this lends further evidence that Ondskapt is seeking the true path, because they are shunned from the light of “Christ,” and thus putting them on the true path of the Divine.  Another interesting note is that Ondskapt constantly make reference to murder and how that overpowering force is lent by divine will, apparently from The Devil Himself.  The interesting point here is that if anyone reads The Old Testament of the Bible, God spends a great deal of his time killing people, it’s practically the favorite past time of that entity.  Suddenly when this so called “Christ” entered the world it suddenly stopped and then it became The Devil who was the great murderer of man.  In most Cabbalistic Writings there is no separation between The Devil and God; rather The Devil is merely an extension of the entities vengeful aspect of its complex personality.  This shows right through into the most illustrious occult texts on demon worship as well.  So, the ability to take human life would no doubt be a Divine power in the world of Ondskapt. 

“Truthfully; an entering, and yet exit of divinity
Cursed by the one God, locked in light fled obedience
Mors Christi
A hunger inhuman
The Ancient Dragon has always been present in false Christ
Complete perversion of the soul shall be our guide at the murder of joy!”

This is without a doubt my favorite verse on the entire album.  They point out that the light of Christ has always been perverted by evil, twisting and lying to all those around it.  Not only do people believe in this heretical “Christ” they also retain much joy from the whole point of view.  When I was at university I actually roomed with a gentleman who was vehemently devoted to Christ.  I know it is a strange mix to have someone so Anti-Christian, such as myself, and share a room with a Christian.  In all actuality, it was by choice, outside of the religious topic we had many interests in common, and no, music was not one of them.  However, we did debate religion quite frequently since I spend a great deal of my time researching religion and the purpose behind the whole idea.  I saw, practically over a few months span of time, this person’s personality change so much to this twisted logic that “Christ” is the only path to God and going directly to God is a fallacy.  He became far more close minded to things in the world and started spending much more time hanging out with his fellow Christians rather than hanging out with his other friends.  He had shut himself off from a lot of areas in the world that keep someone more open minded to possibilities and he was locked into this cycle and perverse representation of salvation.  If that is the price of salvation, then that is no God of mine.  Christianity is like cocaine to the human race because it provides such an easy way out of all the bad things in life.  You can rape, you can murder, and all you need to do is seek absolution and you shall be saved, but like cocaine it is also a poison and makes you unable to see the possibilities out of the dependence.  Do those sound like the word of God or the words of “Christ’s” Devil?  You be the judge, like most Black Metal bands, the choice of siding with Satan in Christ’s eyes might in fact be siding with the true God, which is more representative in the Old Testament and the Mystical teachings throughout history, not to mention the teachings of the occult.  The murder of Christ’s joy will indeed bring a new world of enlightenment into the focus and vision of humanity.  Ondskapt even go through great lengths to point out that the works of man exist only to create happiness within the world of man, within our materialistic utopia.  The idea of unifying with their god is a very interesting message prevalent throughout the entire album.  I see references throughout the lyrics that lend themselves to Cathartic Religious texts, Cabbilistic teachings, specifically the references with unifying with a divine being, which is practically the whole point of Cabbalism.  I celebrate the works of Ondskapt because they seemingly have taken care to touch upon some specific points of what it means to be devoted to the concept of worshipping truth, or in the eyes of Christianity, The Devil.

Now that I have gotten the verbose lyrical interpretation out of the way, I shall now commit myself to going over the musical aspects held within.  The tracks have no actual song titles, which is an interesting choice considering the involvement of the band lyrically.  There is no booklet on this specific edition, rather an advertisement for the other CD’s you can purchase on the Oaken Shield Record label.  This is greatly disappointing, because with such an involved musical work, one would think they would take the time to create an equally involved booklet for the listeners.  Regardless, “Draco Sit Mihi Dux” introduces us to Ondskapt’s world with some haunting choral work before it shifts into the brazen Black Metal approach, which dominates the majority of this album.  Anyone who is knowledgeable about Black Metal has been correctly referencing this work to Mayhem’s “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas.”  Ondskapt seemingly continue where Mayhem should have left off, but there is something rather different in Ondskapt’s interpretation because they are much darker and actually more haunting.  They are by no means a Mayhem clone, so get that right out of your head by my comments and my references to Mayhem that will continue further.  This is not all fast raging Black Metal, but has a lot of slow and mid paced sections that bring forth more atmospheres to the essence of the music. 

The vocal work seems to have the effort of trying to mimic Dead and Attila in certain respects, but then takes it to another level and makes it a much more challenging performance overall.  I’m honestly not too keen on the parts of this album where the vocalist attempts to imitate Attila in regards to Attila’s chanting styled vocal performance.  They just don’t sound as haunting as Attila could pull them off and maybe on the next Ondskapt release they will do away with this aspect altogether.  However, the incredibly tortured high ranged screams that break up the more standard vocal performance were an incredible addition to the atmosphere.  It really gives the listener the feel that the vocalist is screaming in actual pain and it only lends more to getting the lyrical point across.  How does this compare to the guitar work on “De Mysteriis dom Sathanas”?  Unfortunately it doesn’t hold up as well in that respect, the guitar arrangements are great, they’re haunting, they’re driven, they’re interesting to listen to, but if I had to specifically choose which on is better “De Msyteriis dom Sathanas” wins hands down.  Overall, “Draco Sit Mihi Dux” is really a very different approach than what Mayhem took, so I’m comparing them strictly on a technical performance basis by that comment.  Ondksapt do separate themselves from Mayhem quite a bit so they are not clones by any regard as I said above, but fans of “De Mysteriis dom Sathanas” would enjoy this album.  An interesting part of their music that just made it so much more haunting is that there were clean guitar passages in a couple sections of the album.  I think these were wonderful additions into the Black Metal performance because “Draco Sit Mihi Dux” seems to focus itself around the idea of having very haunting overtones. 

The other part of “Draco Sit Mihi Dux” that actually stands out quite a bit is the bass work.  In the song “II” when the bass is sliding down the fret board during the fast sections the songs sound so much more possessed than a lot of songs out there that don’t have this kind of performance.  It gives these excellent demonic overtones to their music and makes for an overall wonderful listening experience.  The drummer was working in his own world and had an excellent drum performance throughout the album.  The drum tone, I can somewhat tell, seems to be an attempt to emulate Hellhammer’s on “De Mysteriis dom Sathanas.”  Not at all in the performance, but just in the way the drum tone sounds.  Ondskapt have that wonderful thunderous tom sound that I enjoyed so much on “De Mysteriis dom Sathanas.”  I don’t come across too many bands that achieve this exact tone very well.  Ondskapt doesn’t have an exact replica, but they do come rather close.

Overall this is an exceptional album; I would recommend any fan of Black Metal to get this album.  Especially the fans out there who are interested in hearing something twisted added into a seemingly old and traditional approach.  Rather than simply playing Orthodox Black Metal, Ondskapt bring their own devices into the fold and give it a rather fresh feel.  When I sat down and listened to this album for the first time, I couldn’t help but say to myself “this sounds really interesting.”  So let the Dragon lead you to the truth and away from the light of Christ.

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