Deathspell Omega - Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum
First of all, I understand what a poseur move it is to miss Black Metal Tuesday on the week of Xmas. I don't have a decent excuse, and I know how many evil points I just lost. Time got away from me. Forgive me. Anyway, happy new year - bring it in with black metal.
France's Deathspell Omega (DSO) started as a rather straight-forward blackened thrash metal band before embracing abstract melodies and quasi-religious philosophy on their 2004 album, the rather impressive Si Monumentum Circumspice. The follow up, 2007's Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum, takes the abstraction to a whole new level of prog/math/art rock, presenting a chaotic and mostly atonal slab of miserable noise that stretches the limits of most listeners. I would challenge hardcore fans of tech-death acts like The Faceless or Spawn of Possession to tell me that this album is an easy listen. Between the bouts of cacophony is near-silent ambience that merely lets you catch your breath until the next assault.
Technically speaking, there is some impressive stuff going on. The drums are madness, turbo-charged blasts and broken time signatures, completely unpredictable and exhausting. The guitars are playing a great number of things, all at once. There are sometimes 4 independent melodies going on simultaneously - giving the feeling of being between two radio stations - hearing two unrelated tracks at the same time.
If the goal is to make one feel uneasy, then DSO accomplishes the task. The lyrics read like prayers to Satan - the band supposedly wholeheartedly embracing the theistic Satanic religion. Maybe this makes it more legit, or maybe not. At any rate, it certainly sounds evil and is essentially anti-music for the antichrists. If you look at DSO's entire catalog, this certainly is not representative of their sound, so it is essentially a concept album - I can respect that. What I can't do, is enjoy listening to it. It gets a 2 out of 5.