Release DetailsLABEL Norma Evangelium Diaboli
RELEASED ON 7/17/2007
Fas - Ite, Maledicti, In Ignem Aeternum
posted on 9/2007 By:
Deathspell Omega is not an easy band to like.
DsO’s penchant for filling their CD booklets with grandiose philosophical diatribes on Satan and the human condition is sure to vex those fond of decrying the pretentious, self-important air in which so many black metal bands envelop themselves. They keep themselves shrouded in mystery, shunning publicity photos and extensive member biographies, and hardly ever, if at all, deigning to grant interviews. The “black metal aesthetic” is nowhere to be found, and they pay no attention to kvlt politiks. The philosophies they present are radical at best, and contain elements sure to offend Christians and Satanists alike.
On the other hand, there is something about this band that really speaks to certain people, the number of which has been steadily increasing over the past few years. They are an enigma, well respected in the metal scene in general, and near-worshipped by those who hold black metal close to their hearts. Deathspell Omega have been heralded as “the saviors of black metal” by some, and are definitely one of the most important black metal bands out right now. They have not only reinvented the wheel (as far as black metal goes), they’ve somehow managed to both improve, invert, and blaspheme it entirely.
In the creation of Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum, their fourth full-length, DsO have continued along the same lines as their previous opus, Kenose. I wouldn’t go so far as to call this Kenose Part II, but the ideas, sound, and feel are very similar. The two albums even start out the same way, with quiet, sprawling ambient intros (see “Obombration”) that surge forward into a frenzy of torturous BM. The same ritualistic aura, lurching, angular riffs and nearly imperceptible melodies are there, as are the blastbeats, the howls, the eerie feeling of darkness. That’s not to say that there hasn’t been any progression or new developments; after all, this IS Deathspell Omega we’re talking about. This time around, they’ve elected to step up the haunting quality that their work has exhibited in the past by the use of Gregorian chanting and a slightly increased focus on slowed-down, almost jazzy parts. The songs are allowed to unfold in a more free manner, devoid of rigid structure or genre rules; their formlessness adds to the chaos, and keeps the listener’s attention rapt. “The Bread of Bitterness” may very well be the most downright disturbing song they’ve ever done; dense layers of gnashing guitars overwhelm the listener, while a careful listen reveals a quiet, strangely unsettling vocal choir hovering just below the surface. “The Shrine of Mad Laughter” will fuck your mind up more than the gnarliest brown acid Woodstock ever saw, and while this sort of thing isn’t really “fun” to listen to, it is nothing short of a religious experience for those who “get it.”
Deathspell Omega is definitely an important musical entity, one that bears keeping an eye on. They have taken an already ugly, hate-fueled genre and twisted and corroded it into something that shames mere chaos – too evolved to be pure black metal, too savage to be anything but. Not many bands dare attempt such a thing, and far fewer even come close to pulling it off. This album may not be a masterpiece, and diehard fans may prefer some of their earlier work (Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice and Inquisitors of Satan are particularly well-executed), but Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum is far better than 90% of the BM releases you’ve heard this year. As such, it’s well-worth a listen, and almost guaranteed to captivate all who witness it.
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