Norma Evangelium Diaboli, 2007
Genre: Black Metal
2. The Shrine of Mad Laughter
3. Bread of Bitterness
4. The Repellent Scars of Abandon and Election
5. A Chore for the Lost
This is the long awaited follow-up to the grandiose work “Si Monvmentvm Reqvires, Circvmspice.” Unfortunately I am a little disappointed in it. Musically it is more a continuation of “Kénôse” than of “Si Monvmentvm.” For those who loved “Kénôse” you will surely love “Fas” even more, because I would say that it is a grander improvement on the works found within “Kénôse.”
“Fas” is a surprisingly far more technical work than I was expecting. While this isn't always a bad thing, when something doesn't meet ones expectations that well, one is typically disappointed. Many people I know had read the interview with Deathspell Omega displayed at The Ajna Offensive and that sort of set our expectations. For one they stated it would be in similar length to “Si Monvmentvm,” which “Fas” is not. However, a friend of mine theorized (probably correctly) that it was probably going to be a combination work of “Kénôse” and “Fas” and that would be considered the similar length. This did not go as planned, obviously. For me I would say the music is a blending of the song “Diabolus Absconditus” and the album “Kénôse.” I think “Fas” is a little darker than “Kénôse,” which only helps hold my interest a bit more. However, the tracks on “Fas” don’t feel memorable to me. Nothing really stands out. When compared against “Si Monvmentvm”, “Fas” pales in comparison. I was expecting something more akin to “Si Monvmentvm” in terms of its mesmerizing and level of eloquence, but even lyrically on this one it appears to follow “Diabolus Absconditus.” It has more of a feel of dementia and insanity, questioning the points of existence when faced with a tyrannical God, etc. Either way, I was honestly expecting a greater work, with a lot more hypnotic passages, like those found on “Si Monvmentvm,” but alas, my dream was not to come true.
As I mentioned above, lyrically I was slightly disappointed as well. You won’t get a lengthy treatise this time around, for those expecting it. Lyrically this works more like an essay similar to “Diabolus Absconditus.” However, I found the work to ramble a bit more, have less coherence overall, and was overdone in complexity. Though, I assume that is somewhat the point of the whole model, since it seems to consist of the concept of mankind dealing with the general insanity of needing some vestigial deity that commands it to do specific things, yet gives humanity free will. The command’s are, genuinely, somewhat maddening... inherently anyway, so that was probably the whole point. Regardless of the obvious points that mankind shouldn’t like a slave religion such as Christianity, I found the hidden wisdom content of this work unimpressive. It seems like the writing is more veiled, but upon closer inspection it is merely the philosophical musings of someone who is mad at all the ignorant beings in the world that follow an organized religion, and then that person slips into madness trying to find their way out. What can I say? I didn’t find the concepts all that illusive. There may be some deeper meanings within it, but the presence of hidden occult wisdom, is sorely missing, something I greatly enjoyed with “Si Monvmentvm.” By the way, for those who are curious “obombration” means to darken. Which is probably the integral point of the lyrics. The truth was darkened by ignorance? Perhaps.
The booklet and imagery of the work is quite beautiful though. The imagery is very stunning and tells a story in itself, of people falling into ignorance then setting into prayer because they don’t understand the world around them, then eventually being lead to death and withering. Though the image that stays constant, I haven’t decided what it is yet. Possibly the sun, could just as easily be the Earth though, but I suspect it is the sun (since in most ancient religions that represented the ultimate deity). Each song has its own seal image, which brings a compelling artistic work into play, something I did quite enjoy about the booklet. It’s similar to what Lux Occulta did on their “The Mother and the Enemy."
In the end this didn't capture my attention as much as the previous works, though I think “Fas” is better than “Kénôse.” This appears to be the direction Deathspell Omega wants to go in musically, so if this is truly what brings them joy, then there is clearly no point in them changing. However, I still enjoy “Si Monvmentvm” quite a bit more, because I felt that work had a more compelling message and was a rather fresh sound. Granted “Fas” and its styling is a fresh sound to Black Metal in its own right, I just had a harder time latching onto the work. I am sure this will get rave reviews other places, and maybe fame is part of the reason they have stuck with doing this, but I will always enjoy the earlier works more, especially “Si Monvmentvm.”
Northern Heritage, 2005
Genre: Black Metal
Disc 1: Father
1. Diabolus Absconditus
Disc 2: Son
1. Ruton Ruhtinas
2. Hän on Pimeys
3. Vakeuden Hauras Tuhka
5. Destroyer of the Nations
7. Behind the Faith
Disc 3: Holy Spirit
1. Power and Will I
2. Power and Will II
3. Power and Will III
4. Power and Will IV
5. Ei Toivottu Vieras (Intro) / Tyrannia Martyrum
6. Craving Vehemence
Side Stabat Mater: ...coming eventually...
Side Musta Surma: ...coming eventually...
Side Clandestine Blaze: ...coming eventually...
Side Mgła: here
Side Exordium: ...coming eventually...
The paragraph you are about to read will be deleted as soon as I review both “Kénôse” and the “Malicious Secrets/Deathspell Omega Split.” I have decided to abruptly review this work instead of deeply interpreting the lyrical premises for this album, because I feel I can sufficiently attack and dissect this work without such research. Normally for something like Deathspell Omega I take a solid few months to look over the work and work out what precisely they are attempting to say, but as “Crushing the Holy Trinity” features a track that seems to be somewhat outside the Deathspell Omega concept series, less interpretation is as needed, in comparison to something like “Kénôse.” I hope that this explains why this is reviewed before the other two magnificent works.
As is typical of me, as soon as I heard this was out I bought it immediately. What exactly is “Crushing the Holy Trinity 3CD Split.” Here’s the deal, I’ll talk about this split and packaging before I dissect Deathspell Omega’s participation on this, this way I can split up this review more coherently and I must explain what is going on with the split design before I can convey how Deathspell Omega was involved.
“Crushing the Holy Trinity” is basically a series of split albums in one “box.” I say “box,” in quotes, because truly, it is more of a folder. Basically the overall conceptualization of this split series took four years. One would think that after a solid four years of work a digi-book would have possibly been comprised in the design function. Something like Behemoth’s “Historica” box set would have been a beautiful rendition for such a momentous series such as this. What you get when you purchase this set is basically a cardboard “sleeve”, it’s not really a sleeve by literal standards, but it is the best analogy I can make. Inside this “sleeve” is a large booklet inside. Within the booklet you can find the lyrics to all the works on this split set, and in the middle of the booklet we find the actual CDs. They are in little plastic sleeves that are, literally, completely separate from the booklet itself, they are loose inside the booklet, so be careful when opening things up, if you do indeed decide to procure a copy of this. Everything is professionally pressed and rendered, which surprises me even further as to why they chose to present their product in this fashion. I’m not sure how much money they actually saved by using this method of packaging, but I think in the end they will lose more sales because of the packaging rather than gaining them. I think Northern Heritage, on some levels, is banking on Deathspell Omega’s popularity to sell this disc set. Which is a damn shame, because there are other good bands on here like Exordium and Mgła, so one would think Northern Heritage wouldn’t cut corners. Maybe this is the new business outlook to try and turn people away from your products so no one will want them because the functionality of the product is too annoying for a listener to open up. I mean Deathspell Omega originally strictly limited the pressings of their albums; Northern Heritage is apparently just taking that to the next level with this packaging concept. I say that it’s functionally annoying with all accuracy; this is not the easiest packaging to get to your CDs and listen to them if you want to, and it’s not simply opening up a jewel case like most of the world is accustomed with. Maybe this was a collaborative work between Northern Heritage and one of those puzzle companies.
Deathspell Omega enters the sequence on the “Father” disc, furthering my assumptions that Deathspell Omega is markedly one of the selling points of this split set. The real unfortunate part here is that with a Deathspell Omega song this good, it clearly will be one of the major selling points, despite how good Exordium or the others are. I don’t feel that I would be alone in stating that this is by far the strangest Deathspell Omega track I’ve heard to date. This is even further removed than the works on “Kénôse.” I’ve heard rumors and hearsay about how this was the last in the trilogy work for Deathspell Omega, with their Malicious Secrets split being the second work. Honestly, I don’t see how that makes any sense, first off Deathspell Omega never announced that these tracks were part of the trilogy, maybe they play into the overall concept as merely touching upon similar concepts, but they don’t really close this song with any sort of great revelation to me. Furthermore in the interview on Ajna, which I might have to link again because the world is not fucking listening to me, they say THE SECOND AND THIRD WILL BE OF SIMILAR LENGTH TO THE FIRST. There, it’s in caps lock, maybe now people can hear, or see, as it were. Anyway, the lyrical work on this particular concept is very interesting, but in comparison to the mind boggling and eye opening works of “Si Monvmentvm Reqvires, Circvmspice,” this is merely a small contender. Not to mention this is just one song, and I highly doubt Deathspell Omega were going to finish their grandiose concept off with two more songs, regardless of how long, seeing as how the appendix is three songs unto itself.
The track opens with this ominous sample with a French spoken word part by a woman. I presume this is a sample as the words are not written on the lyrics sheet. Then we are all brought into Deathspell Omega’s ominous and haunting world as they break into a very dissonant picked chord for quite a duration. It lends to the haunting feeling and ominous world of the song. Mikko A. kicks in with his vocal performance; I think this is the one occasion where his lack of meter really provided a great listen. The lyrics are written in more of a paragraph format and are not broken up into verses. So right from the start the need to break things into different sections is thrown out the window. It’s more of a tale regaling the thoughts of a madman in his perceptions of God, so that lends to the feeling that the song should sound insane and should lack a decent amount of format. Mikko A. does sound far more sinister than he did on previous works, but I think this could’ve sounded far more maddening. As a vocalist, I would have presented the vocal performance into a far more methodical, yet far more maddening performance. While we do experience a slight difference in range here and there, I felt that to really drive the point home, some different approaches could have taken place. This by no means is me saying the vocal performance is bad; it certainly is excellent for the hypnotic Black Metal effect Deathspell Omega was going for.
On this track the listeners don’t really hit a full fledged Black Metal riff until a solid seven minutes into the song. Everything prior to that is dissonant and haunting structures. Mikko’s vocal performance for the haunting parts is perfect, but he maintained the same approach through the more traditional Black Metal parts of the song, I think a tonal shift would’ve lent more to the songs structuring. It really astounds me how often Deathspell Omega can completely rework their sound. This track sounds unlike anything Deathspell Omega has ever released before. Granted it has the traditional Deathspell Omega approach written all over it, but in the middle of the song around 10:40 we are presented with something Deathspell Omega have never done before, an acoustic interlude. This isn’t just any acoustic interlude mind you, such as what we hear in the more traditional works of Black Metal, it is haunting, in-depth, and brings the listener into this apprehensive state wondering what is coming next. The part that comes to the fore for the first time that I have really noticed is the bass work. The bass work was very instrumental in making this a more beautiful rendition than anything else. Eventually it transitions into another acoustic passage this time with Mikko whispering over it, however, the vocals do not take the forefront, they stay in the background. As if the reader of the lyrics is experiencing a soliloquy on what has transpired before. After the first sequence of spoken verse is complete I am shocked to hear something wondrous happen. Overlaid to the acoustic part is a backwards acoustic guitar line played in perfect time with the main guitar line. I honestly never saw this coming, I assumed that the haunting acoustic works would continue, yet I never expected something this maddening to play into the game. It’s not even a long interval that this performance is played, merely a few seconds, yet it speaks volumes to the listener. It truly is a wondrous effect in the song structuring. However, after the acoustic passage is finished the full force of Deathspell Omega’s Black Metal renderings play forth through the rest of the song making this one of the best Black Metal epics I have ever heard in my entire life. The guitar lines appear to be more complex in the Black Metal elements, similar to what they brought forth on “Kénôse,” but they have more of the atmosphere of “Si Monvmentvm Reqvires, Circvmspice,” which is an aspect I love.
Now, I may not do the lyrics justice in saying that I will not do an in depth interpretation of them this time. I mostly do this out of respect, I do not know who G. Bataille is and the lyrics seem to be heavily influenced by this writer. Or, rather, as they put it “credit for tremendous revelation goes, in all humility, to G. Bataille." I can only assume that “revelation” refers to lyrical influence. It would seem that the overall prospectus of this lyrical work is based on one who has attained full spiritual enlightenment and it has driven the person mad. It is not a foreign concept to me, for one to think on a level such as God, then that could drive the man mad, especially in the context of the man not being ready or sufficiently prepared to receive this ultimate knowledge. One could also look at this in a sense that the lyrics present the point of: if you are able to think on God’s true level then you also inherit the madness within God, for truly God is mad to make a world such as this.
Norma Evangelium Diaboli, 2004
Genre: Black Metal
1. First Prayer
2. Sola Fide I
3. Sola Fide II
4. Second Prayer
5. Blessed are the Dead Whiche Dye in the Lorde
7. Third Prayer
8. Si Monvmentvm Reqvires, Circvmspice.
9. Odivm Nostrvm
10. Jvbilate Deo (O Be Joyfvl in the Lord)
11. Carnal Malefactor
12. Drink the Devil's Blood
13. Malign Paradigm
Northern Heritage, 2002
Genre: Black Metal
1. From Unknown Lands of Desolation
2. Torture and Death
3. Desecration Master
4. Lethal Baptism
5. Succubus of All Vices
6. Inquisitors of Satan
After a full-lengths worth of split material, Deathspell Omega finally give us a proper full-length. Even though "Infernal Battles" is classed as a full-length, lets be honest, it was four tracks with their demo tagged on at the end. Here, though, we get seven new songs entirely! If you've been following Deathspell Omega's career up until now, you'll essentially know what to expect from the project.
While, I feel some of the split material is actually stronger than the songs on "Inquisitors of Satan", that still doesn't make this a weak album. Compared against a lot of other bands trying to perform in this style, Deathspell Omega are a clear cut above the rest in everything they do. While there is no song that can match the caliber of "Insanity Supreme", "Desecration Master" sure does come close! They certainly maintain their ability to create some really catchy sections throughout the album. This is only enhanced by the slower far more driving drum beats underneath them. "Inquisitors of Satan" really manages to stay true to the old and harsh style in feeling, but I think it fails to establish that really immense atmosphere of some of the songs found on the splits. I think if they had managed to preserve that onto the full-length amidst the driving and catchy sections this would have been one of the most impressive releases around. "Inquisitors of Satan" is still a very good album and I certainly enjoy it for what it is, I just think it could have been a little better, but perhaps they were going for a far more straightforward approach to things. Those interesting haunting riffs like we hear on the title track are just too few and far between. Sadly this is Shaxul's last vocal performance with Deathspell Omega. I will, certainly, be very sad to see him depart, as he is one of my favorite vocalists. His voice just has this wonderfully unique quality to it that... well, just isn't matched anywhere else out there. Luckily, we'll get to see him turn up in the even more incredible band Annthennath, which does continue on the raw atmospheric style and probably what I truly wanted early Deathspell Omega to actually evolve into.
If you're a fan of those long gone halcyon days of Black Metal, these early Deathspell Omega releases are some of the finest around. They actually add a little to the older sound and that, I think, is what truly makes this material special and why it is so highly regarded by a lot of the old Black Metal fans like myself.
End All Life Productions, 2001
Genre: Black Metal
1. Beyond the Decay of Time and Flies
2. Insanity Supreme
3. For Fire and Void Become One
Side Mütiilation: ...coming eventually...
Side Deathspell Omega:
Deathspell Omega is really working with legendary projects for being such a new band at this time, this just gives you some sense of how strong and compelling their music is. This was originally released on 10" vinyl and limited to 400 hand-numbered copies. Sadly, I was never able to obtain a copy of this, as by the following year all of these were gone. Fast forward over ten years later and the prices for this are simply too much to bear at this time. So, it looks like this will never become a physical resident of my archives.
Deathspell Omega submit two tracks for this split and its even more sad that I can't get a copy of this, because "Insanity Supreme" is one of the best Deathspell Omega songs. They really manage to harness this blend of their usual catchy and raw style with this overwhelmingly haunting elements. It really makes the songs exceptional and stand above a lot of other Black Metal out there today. There's a riff on here that reminds me quite a bit of "Extinction of the Weak" and that's certainly nothing to be ashamed of. Deathspell Omega closes with "For Fire and the Void Become One" and this song is a bit more straightforward. It's got a far more sorrowful feel overall and feels even more like and older Black Metal song, but they still maintain their hard driving rhythms. In the face of "Insanity Supreme" this track feels a little more weak, up until the middle part with the feedback and that illustrious guitar line really setting the stage for some immense atmosphere. I almost wish they would design a whole song around this kind of passage, since they really do an incredible job of constructing that musical space.
In the end, the Deathspell Omega songs are incredible... as usual. I truly love their take on Black Metal. It feels raw and old, yet new and fresh at the same time. I'm not sure they're even doing anything all that different, it just sounds amazing in the grand scheme of the genre.
Northern Heritage, 2003
Genre: Black Metal
1. Will to Kill
2. Blasphemous Lust
3. Raping the Innocent
4. Genocide Operation
5. Bestial Orgies
6. The Suicide Curse
7. Seal of Perversion
Now after hearing “Infernal Battles” it is obvious that I would seek out all the things that Deathspell Omega had to offer. I even found it worth it to procure their split albums regardless as to how bad the other band sounds. I’m truly glad that Deathspell Omega is the type of band that can live up to this test. The split released prior to this one was with Moonblood and as of the time I write this is currently unavailable. So this is their second split and it is with Clandestine Blaze.
Clandestine Blaze is the type of band I think the world can completely overlook and feel that it hasn’t missed anything. For instance the Clandestine Blaze tracks boast being recorded on an analog 4-track. Darkthrone does this and I believe Darkthrone manages to get way better production. So there’s no excuse for this. There is also no excuse for how terrible they play. The music fluctuates between being on time and off time with itself. It’s possibly one of the more annoying things around. However, it’s not nearly as bad as the Burzum demo, which I listened to tonight as well. So by comparison Clandestine Blaze is genius. At least their tape doesn’t simulate the Doppler Effect against my will. As song structuring goes, Clandestine Blaze is quite boring. The songs are very uninteresting and are the epitome of general Black Metal. Just when I thought they were going to play something good by opening “Genocide Operation” with a great riff. They then proceeded to implement the Judas Iscariot method by playing it for too long and way too many times until it became annoying. Needless to say that I was quite perturbed to see that I would have to skip through Clandestine Blaze every time I wanted to listen to these Deathspell Omega tracks.
Now, moving right along to everyone’s sole purpose for purchasing this album: Deathspell Omega. I honestly would have preferred three Deathspell Omega mini-CD’s over three splits with only marginally good bands. The songs by Deathspell Omega are very similar to those found on the “Infernal Battles.” Now thankfully they are not akin to the “Disciples of the Ultimate Void” demo portion of the “Infernal Battles” album. The tracks have excellent production and are played with the same passion and feel. In fact I would rather have a full length album of all the songs produced in this fashion. The Deathspell Omega tracks alone make this more than worth listening to at some point. If you want to read what I think of this particular style just read my review of “Infernal Battles” for a more in depth assessment.
So in the end the Deathspell Omega songs make this more than worth owning. The drawback comes from the fact that Clandestine Blaze is on here. It’s not that Clandestine Blaze has no ability to play at all; it’s just that if their drummer played more than one beat or the music was more interesting overall that would make a big difference. When putting both these bands together Deathspell Omega just eclipses Clandestine Blaze so much that it feels as if the listener just wasted their time listening to Clandestine Blaze. Despite my assessment of Clandestine Blaze’s music, Deathspell Omega fans should consider this a must have release. Their songs are a little different this time around because I felt they were more epic in a sense. The tracks are dragged out for a longer than expected time, but Deathspell Omega knows exactly how to keep a listeners interest without boring them too much. Nor do they repeat the same “good” riff constantly throughout the song until it begins to suck. Consider this a worthwhile purchase in the great scheme of things.
End All Life Productions, 2000
Genre: Black Metal
Moonblood: Sob a Lua do Bode
1. Forgotten Spells in the Forests Nocturnal
2. A Silent Dream of Impurity
3. Bells of Apocalypse
4. I Hail the Night
Deathspell Omega: Demoniac Vengeance
5. Follow the Dark Path
6. Morbid Rituals
7. Yells from the Abyss
Side Moonblood: here
Side Deathspell Omega:
This split is basically a dream come true for me. Two of my top favorite bands on one release. Now, I can't remember which came out first "Infernal Battles" or this, but judging by the production, I feel like this is higher quality, so it probably came out after. I know the Moonblood material was supposed to be released elsewhere, but that fell through, and I'm so glad that Deathspell Omega picked up their side of the split and released all of this together! This comes on a beautiful gatefold vinyl limited to 350 hand-numbered copies, of which I own #282. This also features one of my favorite album covers ever made.
This is, truly, a wonderful collection of tracks. They really build on the style laid on the "Infernal Battles" half of their debut. However, these tracks seem to be a little cleaner on the production end, albeit they are still nice and raw old sounding Black Metal. Nothing is overproduced here. One thing I've always been enamored with Deathspell Omega is their ability to compose rather catchy sounding riffs, but have this ugly and awkward feel to them. It's similar to what Mütiilation has been able to pull off over the years, but Deathspell Omega isn't as sorrowful sounding or nearly as dissonant. With Shaxul's signature rasp giving life to the songs, we truly have some wonderful material and one of the most legendary splits ever released. They bring three more wonderful songs that could have easily been included on their debut.
Whenever I revisit this old Deathspell Omega material, I am so sad that this era of theirs ended so quickly. Despite their influence on the later scene, no one has really come close to composing in the same fashion they used to. Highly recommended listening.
Northern Heritage, 2000
Genre: Black Metal
3. Extinction of the Weak
4. Sacrilegious Terror
Disciples of the Ultimate Void:
5. Raping Human Dignity
6. The Ancient Presence Revealed
7. Knowledge of the Ultimate Void
8. Death's Reign (Human Futility)
After the demise of Hirilorn, Shaxul and Harsjarl moved on to form a more pure Black Metal band called Deathspell Omega. This band has not played any shows to my knowledge and when this album was first released in LP format in the year 2000 they limited it to two-hundred copies and had no intentions of ever selling another one. According to my sources, what ended up happening was the band got tired of seeing bootlegs of their records being sold on Ebay for exorbitant amounts of money, so they decided to actually print a compact disc version in 2003. Every record distribution company I am in contact with is constantly selling out of their entire discography, which is very impressive for such a new band.
“Infernal Battles” is their debut album and it is essentially viewed in two parts. The first four songs, “Infernal Battles,” are new studio tracks while the second part, also four songs, is their original demo entitled “Disciples of the Ultimate Void.” The demo material is marginally interesting, it is a demo with quite poor quality, so what is one to expect? It actually sounds more like a rehearsal recording. The songs are good songs, but they are just standard raw Black Metal compositions. I personally found very little merit in these four songs and had this been the only thing I heard from Deathspell Omega I probably would not have been as interested as I am today. Though, amongst the demo the song “The Ancient Presence Revealed” has a much thrashier feel to it, feeling a bit more reminiscent of Gorgoroth at times. After hearing the “Infernal Battles” aspect of Deathspell Omega prior to the demo it really stands out and seems out of place in their overall style of Black Metal. The demo quality is raw, with the guitar feedback being the opening aspect of almost every track. There are some people who really enjoy that recording quality, so you may find a lot more merit in it than I do. However, the guitar tone is so scratchy and hisses that at points it is sort of boring/annoying to listen to. The vocals are sort of in the background, but you basically hear them well enough. They've really improved a lot from these days, but we can hear glimpses of the more interesting style they would develop over time. There are hints have that catchier style they include in a few sections of the "Infernal Battles' piece. The band was clearly still feeling out the direction they wanted to go in.
The “Infernal Battles” aspect of this album is where things really start to impress the listener. Granted this is what you hear first, so it makes sense that you will be impressed right off the bat. The production is a little better than that of modern Darkthrone, but the songs have that cold feel to them throughout the album. Now they sound nothing like Darkthrone, in my opinion, from a song writing stand point. In fact, I honestly would rather listen to Deathspell Omega over Darkthrone, but that’s because Deathspell Omega have a certain essence in their guitar tone. Just listen to the feel of the song “Extinction of the Weak” and you will understand what I’m talking about. The song has this almost ethereal essence as it comes to a close. “Infernal Battles” opens with “Victory of Impurity” and it’s nothing complex. In reality I believe Deathspell Omega’s simplicity is what gives them something special to their sound. Progressing from that point in the song they have some thrash types of elements in riffs here and there. For the most part the guitar work is very ominous sounding and has fairly hypnosis inducing effect on the listener. The most favored aspect to this is that this is not raw Black Metal. In fact I found the recording quality to be very desirable. I can hear absolutely everything that’s going on in the song and pick up the subtle hints in differences between the lead and rhythm guitars. Each of these four tracks featured on the “Infernal Battles” aspect of the album are masterfully written. I’m not sure why the band would ever keep something this brilliant so obscure, but alas they did. However, they could not keep it for long though because people did recognize their inherently natural songwriting talent.
The closest thing we come to a blast beat on this recording is on the opening of “Drink the Devil’s Blood,” which is about as fast as it gets for Deathspell Omega. I think one of the most impressive aspects of this is that while the guitars are playing something very hypnotic, the drums manage to make it still sound rather catchy. This is an impressive thing in my opinion because it doesn’t seem like something that would work very well when trying to convey it to someone conceptually. The vocal work found on the newer recordings is, at times, monotonous, but the music varies so much that to hear the same vocal style over the different aspects offers a seemingly different rendition to the songs every time. There is some vocal variation here and there, but for the greater majority of the songs it is a very similar vocal pattern. However, I found their vocalist to be fairly unique in terms of Black Metal. He does not have the typical styled Black Metal vocals and it is tough to explain why exactly. All I can say is that you will have to listen to it to fully understand what I am saying. Though, at a first glance many will probably disagree with that statement.
The interesting aspect of these re-releases is that in the booklet most of the lyrics have been blotched out. Apparently the lyrics that are present on all these early works were not very serious for the band. It’s as if the band has said that in the writing process the lyrics were not that important for them at this stage of their existence. I can see why this would happen since Deathspell Omega was never really planning on releasing any of this to the masses. They probably did not spend much of their time taking care to write meaningful lyrics. It also makes sense that they would desire them stricken from their record since they were working on an incredible three part work lyrically. Clearly the members put a lot of time and effort into the new lyrical works and it would completely dwarf their more ignorant lyrical concepts. So for the albums that were released to the masses we are left wondering what Deathspell Omega didn’t want us to see.
Finally, this is an incredible Black Metal release. I think most of the raw Black Metal fans in the world will appeal to this release, mainly because they will enjoy the demo tracks. However, I think even the fans of the highest quality Black Metal will enjoy the first four songs. For it is the first four tracks that are truly amazing.