Reviews for Black Metal, Death Metal and some Ambient! The concept behind this site is to do full discography reviews. I will do my best to track down an entire discography to celebrate a band's evolution. I'm pretty strict on sticking to those genres, so please don't request I review something else. I also buy the vast majority of all the things I review and I don't really take promos from labels or demos from bands. If you're worth hearing, I will probably find you.
Friday, December 21, 2012
Ondskapt - Draco Sit Mihi Dux
Selbstmord Services, 2002
Genre: Black Metal
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
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.