Release DetailsLABEL Southern Lord Records
RELEASED ON 1/20/2009
Veritas Diaboli Manet In Aeternum: Chaining The Katechon
posted on 1/2009 By:
As far as I'm concerned, Deathspell Omega remain one of the most challenging and interesting projects in extreme metal today. And when I say "challenging and interesting," I'm not only referring to elements purely of an auditory nature. Naturally, the focus of music reviews is normally spent canvassing musical details, but to me, the entity that is DsO push the height of intrigue to a level where I find I have no choice but to utterly consume "the entire package" in order to reap maximum reaction. Of course the music can be enjoyed whilst knee-deep in any number of mundane everyday tasks, but these works are ultimately gifted towards those who truly understand they require devout attention to the word, the auditory and the visual simultaneously and with equal heed. Interestingly enough, this actually renders the catalog of these delightfully heinous ontological devils rather unfit for piracy, which only further stokes the fires of my appreciativeness. If some lowly twat wishes to swipe DsO albums in hopes of further investigating "the hype," well then, 1) they're missing key pieces to the puzzle, and 2) as the band so eloquently stated some time ago, "those who want to confront themselves with the breath of the beast, blessed be."
"Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it." - Habukkuk
As confessed by the band through The Ajna Offensive years ago, Deathspell Omega take a rather different approach to the creation of their art in that the "foetal structure" is not fertilized through the use of notes, but by what's initially penned to paper through words. Unlike (what often seems like) the great majority of metal bands currently flitting about, DsO's lyrics are as essential a piece to the metaphysical puzzle as the music that cudgels your ears. Veritas Diaboli Manet in Aeternum: Chaining the Katechon points this particular course of study toward End Days consideration, and more specifically, the events involving the katechon, or "the one who restrains." At its crux, it's essentially a slice of Pauline epistle involving the leavening of iniquity, the great Apostasy, the eventual rise of the Son of Perdition, and the second coming of the Messiah. According to Paul, preventing the occurrence of the arrival of the Antichrist is something (datechon) or someone (katechon) that/who is restraining him. The lyrics contained herein paint a sickly landscape of populations gathering during End Times as "slopes slaver pus towards the sky," and as the flock promenades and collectively "drink the Lord's blood from the trough," they bask in the rotten light of temple that imprisons the katechon, whose release leads to the arrival of the Antichrist. Thought provoking material for those with a profane or moral interest in the Scripture, and the subject matter definitely matches up well with the aggressive music at hand.
"And he said unto them, he who hath ears to hear, let him hear." - Mark
The band's portent of eventually steering this metaphysical ship into waters not involving the black metal genre was certainly pushed to the back burner with this 22-minute opus. For those who glean affect purely from the surface, you will find Chaining the Katechon to be a fairly logical subsequent chapter in the Deathspell Omega credo. This is exactly what I'd call the consummate definition of "progressive, technical black metal." It is progressive in that it's undoubtedly developed, dynamic and intensified as compared to the project's most primordial beginnings (and compared to a large measure of other offerings in this copious genre). And it's certainly supremely technical in that each villain performs his (or her) task with an absolute and routing skill. But in truth, when this work first strikes the ear you'll notice a wealth of elements already fully explored with the band's previous releases, particularly from the Kenose point forward: the production is still crisp, balanced and deserving of even the fussiest of metal fans' ears; the guitar tone remains decidedly clean and homogenous to many of the days progressive post or death metal bands; the voice still squirms slowly from the darkest dirt like a conquering worm bloated with affliction; and those drums, those battering, flesh rutting drums are still spotlighted and featured quite prominently within the mix.
That said, following several lengthy bouts of meditation with this EP, I firmly believe this psalm eclipses every tune found on Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Igrem Aeternum. The expansive ambient interludes are mostly gone, making way for Chaining the Katechon to simply smite with fury for a large portion of its 22-minutes. And when it clouts, it clouts with the same edged blade used extensively for the past 5-years: the guitars are angular, discordant and violent, like a barracuda angrily cutting through prey; and the rhythm pelts, punches and wallops with all the fury of a shocked victim suddenly turning tide against assailant -- "fierce" is a grave understatement, and the air here is rife with nervous electricity. But even still, Katechon is a more focused and less jarring attack when balanced against the violence of Fas. And when passages assuage this time around, the EP thankfully lessens the arty prog/post rock jangling a bit in favor of airing out the sick bed with measures of wavy, flanged notes bent over with nausea.
"There are none so blind as those who will not see."
I'll quickly confess ignorance in regards to the true meaning behind the visual pieces scattered about Chaining the Katechon, but I will say they're righteously compelling in their own rite and definitely do the trick to further stoke a curious mind sitting down to consume this pestilent offering. End Days, eating flesh, crashing waves and looming giants all seem par for the Apocalyptic course, so to speak, and the piece nestled on the back of both disc and vinyl offers a wonderfully crude closing to the work, as we're left with two hands conjoined by consuming serpents rending the Latin phrase "the highest sum divided."
"He that toucheth pitch shall be defiled therewith." - Ecelesiasticus
I admit I was left fairly apprehensive following my slight disappointment with Fas, but Chaining the Katechon has effectively extinguished any misgivings seeded by the previous record's imperfections. I'm not quite sure how they manage to do so, but the organism that is Deathspell Omega seem particularly well versed in honing musical daggers of extensive lengths. First "Mass Grave Aesthetics", then "Diabolus Absconditus" and now this; it appears they've finally concluded a different version of a triune immersion?
I certainly count myself one of many who glance pryingly towards the future and what DsO experiences it may bring. For the time being, however, perhaps a "recommendation" is too flippant a word to cast when dealing with works so profanely tempting. Be wary, "be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour," and not all doors opened may lead to peaceful pastures.
Register to post comments.
7/3/2012 Deathspell Omega
11/22/2010 Deathspell Omega
Fas - Ite, Maledicti, In Ignem Aeternum
7/17/2007 Deathspell Omega