Sunday, September 09, 2007

Deathspell Omega – Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice


Black Metal for me is a unique experience. Something that I look forward to in small measures. Over the years I’ve found few bands from this genre that I liked.

Now, even if the genre once originated with Venom the bands today sounds nothing like them. Black Metal has undergone a tremendous change. From dirty Satan worshipping rock n roll to burning churches to meditations on existentialism and worshiping the self. The music too has undergone a sea change and with it, the tastes of the listening public. Not too many years ago, Ulver shocked the Black Metal horde by releasing an acoustic album. They were derided for straying and then cast aside. Last year Drudkh released an all acoustic album to universal acclaim. The music is changing, the themes are changing and it is becoming difficult for me to tell when something is Black Metal.

Still, I’m not reviewing Negura Bunget here. DsO, while a terrific black metal band are not particularly original. Deathspell Omega play a brand of black metal that is harsh and punishing to the ears. The music is complex, the songs veer this way and that and it is buried in the usual sludge of the kvlt Black Metal album. Make no mistake, my friends. You have been warned. This is as kvlt as it gets. Honestly. Kvlt Site should adopt this album as its mascot.

The band come from France and their lyrics supposedly deal with some musings on existentialism. I can almost picture them drinking their absinthe and exchanging thoughts on the matter. If I could paint, then that is the picture I would paint right now. Deathspell Omega sitting round a table, sipping absinthe and contemplating existentialism. I’ll even paint a copy of Sartre’s Nausea on the table. So you can just about see the title. Come to think of it, that could be their album cover.

But enough! I digress here. I should get back to the matter at hand but the album’s over and now I need to play it all over again.

The album starts with a slow foreboding intro. A doomy guitar riff and vocals that sound like some sort of chanting that you might even hear in one of our temples. Similar melodies anyway. The song goes through the same damn riff over and over with minor ebbs and flows till I’m dropped into an ambient soundscape with the same chanting type vocal line. First Prayer has passed and Sola Fide 1 is a raging death black beast. If these guys had a clean production… they’d sound a million times better. I mean this is the kind of song that Behemoth can only dream of writing. And the song’s barely started. Going of into a melodic section, a staccato riffing pattern and right back into this incredibly heavy death metal riff. The song proceeds to a melodic black metal vibe while sounding nothing like Dimmu. Two songs in, the band sound pretty damn impressive.

Ok, now, I can’t listen to this album twice in a row. I feel like I can’t breathe. Like there’s a pressure round my chest. My humble apologies. I will return.

I’m going to skip a couple of songs now. Not because they’re bad but because I can. In an unrelated aside half my comics seem to be missing.

The album moves on to Third Prayer. A mid tempo black metal song that brings to mind the work of Rob Darken. Perhaps not as militaristic but definitely some Graveland influences happening here. I have no problems with that. Graveland rule \m/.

The title song is pure Immortal. Hell, the vocalist even sounds like Abbath.

Okay, I think I’m getting the hang of this record now. DsO basically take the best bits from all my favourite Black Metal bands, be it Immortal, Emperor or Graveland and then add in death metal parts to keep things just off balance. Off course its all wrapped up in that kvlt production so it sounds like my favourite albums by those bands too. While I am referencing away to high heaven I may as well add this name. The Chasm. I think Daniel Corchado and his boys have had a bit of an unwitting influence on newer black metal bands coming from Central Europe and that bit at the end of the title song sounds like a Chasm song slowed down.

Look. I don’t have the bloody patience to sit through this album right now and really want to listen to the new Alabama Thunderpussy. So if you like all or any of the names that I’ve dropped in this entry and fancy listening to a band that can sound like all those bands in the same song and deal with some hi-funda lyrical concepts then check Deathspell Omega out. Or you could just listen to the other bands mentioned in this entry (excepting Behemoth).
Thank you for your time Dear Diary. I know you’re a busy woman.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

this and that

Orange Goblin is kvlt. There's no better description for this British band. Formed in 1995, the band has over the last decade and more released 5 albums. Starting in the stoner doom tradition, the band evolved by their fourth album to become a noisy Motorhead meets Stoner meets blues rock kind of band. Very original and as can be heard on 2004s Thieving From The House Of God, quite captivating.

I would like to review the new Orange Goblin very much right now. Sadly, words are not happening.

India won today. Terrific victory. Robin Uthappa played a blinder and Sachin played a classic. I'm going to be glued to the telly on Saturday. Also, i have a strong suspicion that this series was fixed. I don't think this Indian Team is good enough to be beating England. That too in such dramatic fashion. Still, watching Sachin bat in the last two games was worth it. Like Sidhu said about Azhar, “ So what if he did it. Lets remember him for the joy he gave us with his batting.”

I don't know why i wrote about cricket. Still i guess its better than nothing.

The new Orange Goblin is fantastic. 5 on 5 for kicking some serious butt. Ben Ward's vocals have become a lot better and the band are just on top gear through the whole album. I think A Beginners Guide To Suicide is the song of the year so far. I still have to hear the new Down and the Deathspell Omega but something tells me Healing Through Fire is going to be as good as it gets for a while. Superb album.

I hope Monster Magnet get round to releasing an album this year. I'd like one. Anathema supposedly releasing a new album this year. I wonder if Mick Moss has collaborated on it.
I got a terrific Matter Of Life And Death poster from the beloved. Very nice. I also got a bunch of boxers. In fact every single boxer i use at this point is gifted by her. I swear, underwear shopping fucks my head.

I think i should sleep now. Tomorrow promises to be a long day. A long tiring day breaking backs and breaking hearts and sitting on the steps at the city's heart and baiting the policemen who beat the streets where south meets north and all is in flux and it is THE place to be.

In other news dear diary, I'm slowly trying to rebuild the collage on my cabinet. I'm off to a decent enough start so far. Still I can never replace the ad for Seventh Son from 1987, Henry Rollins during his Black Flag days and some insane blood smeared Misfits pics. Still, I managed to find a replacement for the Dark Angel Darkness Descends line up pic so all is well and good.

This has to be the most inane post in a while. I can feel Aunty Shame pointing her finger at me and mocking. Just like she did, the time i got out for a duck in the under 13 game against Josephs. Such is the bitch that is Aunty Shame.

I've listened to the new Orange Goblin album about a dozen times in the last 3 days. I can recognize it's brilliance but i cannot describe it. This band has pulled off an absolute blinder. The band has moved from the garage to the same rarefied atmosphere inhabited by the likes of Clutch and CoC. Healing Through Fire is godly.