Deathspell Omega - Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice
Norma Evangelium Diaboli
Black Metal
13 songs (77:39)
Release year: 2004
Norma Evangelium Diaboli
Reviewed by Daniel
Album of the month

After the first listen I was impressed; I was expecting the new Deathspell Omega album to be good, but I wasn’t expecting it to be absolutely brilliant.

The band evolved and matured so much in only two years it's amazing; Inquisitors of Satan was a very primitive (yet good) Black Metal release, and all of a sudden Deathspell Omega forges a new improved style and releases one of the most killer albums I've heard in a while, creating an incredible concept and executing it perfectly.

In this album we find Deathspell Omega making some important changes; the first thing you’ll notice is that the raw production is long gone, instead a very clear yet dark and cold production is used in this one; the other change, which is actually the most important one is of course the music. The once simplistic and straight forward Black Metal Deathspell Omega played has been left behind; well actually it wasn’t exactly left behind; it was more of an enhancement than a completely new sound. The dark brutal riffing is still here as you can notice at the beginning of the title track, but Deathspell Omega have definitely broadened their soundscape; a lot of variation happens throughout the album, I mean, not to the extent of being classified as progressive, but the songs indeed are varied and have enough twists and turns to be separate them from the flock; like the complete riff and tempo change in Sola Fide II or the change from brutal riffing and blast beats to some arpeggios and a great lead in Jubilate Deo (O Be Joyful in the Lord).

The thing that makes Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice so amazing and different from the rest of the Black Metal albums out there is the kind of “religious” feeling and atmosphere this album has, it's like if you were standing in the middle of a black mass. The opening track, First Prayer, features some incredibly cool latin prayers in the way the Catholic mass was and is still sung somewhere; these prayers can be found in other places in the album and they sound incredible, either used while the brutal blast beat, tremolo riffing fest is going on like in Sola Fide I, used as an amazing interlude in the middle of a song, like in Carnal Malefactor, or as an interlude to the album in Prayers 1, 2 and 3. Adding even more to the album’s atmosphere and content are the Satanic vocals which could easily belong in a Satanic Bible or something like that; very philosophical and deep.

To be honest I don’t know how many members are in this French band and what their background is as it is something kept in secret, but what I can tell you is that they sure know how to play. The guitars play everything from some great tremolo picking riffs, to some arpeggios that are slower paced and a bit hypnotic; there are even some riffs that remind me a bit of Satyricon, specially the ones that include a quick sweep in the middle of the riffing; although the riffing isn't limited to only this techniques, those are their main resources. The drumming is very good with tight blast beats and some great fills here and there. The vocals in the album are kind of mix between Death and Black Metal; nothing spectacular but I enjoy them a lot.

This album can prove to be kind of difficult to grasp at first, especially because of its extremely long duration (almost an hour and twenty!!!); but I assure you that once you get the hold of it, you’ll be totally captivated by this dark jewel.

This is an album, any Black Metal fan couldn't live without, so if you consider yourself one, get this album as soon as possible; steal it, kill for it, sell your body (or soul) for it; I don't care, just get it. These guys have created one fuckin' amazing piece of art. Truly a Black Metal masterpiece worthy of your undivided attention.

Hails to this unholy French horde and their incredible spell !!!!

Killing Songs :
Every single part of the deathspell cast on this black mass is amazing.
Daniel quoted 97 / 100
Alex quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by Deathspell Omega that we have reviewed:
Deathspell Omega - The Furnaces of Palingenesia reviewed by Goat and quoted 90 / 100
Deathspell Omega - Drought reviewed by Charles and quoted no quote
Deathspell Omega - Paracletus reviewed by Charles and quoted 92 / 100
Deathspell Omega - Veritas Diaboli Manet In Aeternum: Chaining The Katechon reviewed by James and quoted no quote
Deathspell Omega - Manifestations 2000-2001 reviewed by James and quoted no quote
To see all 8 reviews click here
24 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 51 replies to this review. Last one on Wed Mar 29, 2006 10:52 am
View and Post comments