Deathspell Omega - Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum
Norma Evangelium Diaboli
Blackened Technical Death Metal
6 songs (48'18")
Release year: 2007
Norma Evangelium Diaboli
Reviewed by Adam
Album of the month
Despite a complete lack of publicity, self-generated or otherwise, and an aura of enigma, Deathspell Omega have managed to remain firmly on the tip of every black metal fan’s tongue. Of course, excellent albums such as Si Monvmentvm Reqvires, Circvmspice and Kénôse, will deter even the most avid attempts of a band trying to keep a low profile. The band has shown a progression of sound with each of their recent albums, from the raw black metal approach of SMRC to the more epic and progressive sound of Kénôse. Suffice it to say that the progression continues in earnest on their latest output, Fas – Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum, an album that is sure to polarize their fanbase and introduce even more people to their extreme and cold sound.

As their listeners are accustomed to, DsO start out with an eerie, atmosphere creating opening track, in this case Obombration I. Nearly five minutes of chanting ambience and ghastly sounding plucked guitars once again give the feeling that a most evil wall of sound is gathering steam before being unleashed upon you. Once again, this is true, but not in typical DsO fashion. The opening onslaught of The Shrine of Mad Laughter is one of technical and brutal death metal with only a dash of black metal thrown in. The vocals remain as the lone true blackened sound in this mixture. The remaining black element of the guitars and drums in not even really tangible, existing only in a certain feel and attitude that is much easier to hear than it is to describe. What amazes me is that, in spite of all this, the sound is still unmistakably Deathspell Omega. To me, this is the hardest aspect to pull off for a band introducing a stylistic change, and DsO have apparently mastered this art. You are still overcome with a feeling of absolute despair, even during the softer bridge portions. This is the sound of fear, being unmercifully lavished over its listener as only this band can do.

Those black metal purists expecting SMRC Part II will largely be put off by this album, while those willing to take this album for what it is, the next progression in the sound of a great band, will enjoy it thoroughly. In fact, I hear far more elements carried over from Kénôse than I do SMRC. The majority of songs, with the exception of the opening and closing tracks, are extended and unstructured epics. The shortest of these, Bread of Bitterness, is an exercise in creating similar atmospheres using many different methods. I particularly enjoyed the combined beauty and menace of the soft passage near the middle of the track. The next two chapters in this story continue much in the same vein, with A Chore for the Lost perhaps being the most sinister and amazing track on the album, with its countless memorable guitar passages.

Fas is the next logical step for a band who clearly care more about what they want to play than what their fans want to hear. It would have been easy for DsO to rest on their collective laurels and simply rehash Si Monvmentvm Reqvires, Circvmspice. However, this is truly a band that is looking to push their boundaries, a desire they have more than successfully executed here. While the production of Fas is a bit more polished than their previous recordings, the overall feel is just as raw, chaotic, and evil as ever, perhaps even more so. I would not even want to try to guess what new wrinkles will accompany the band’s next album, but I can only hope that they manage to incorporate them as beautifully as they have here.
Killing Songs :
The Shrine of Mad Laughter, Bread of Bitterness, A Chore for the Lost
Adam quoted 95 / 100
Goat quoted 90 / 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
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