Deathspell Omega: Veritas Diaboli Manet in Aeternum – Chaining the Katechon
Norma Evangelium Diaboli (2009)
I’m yet to indulge my interest in noise and Black Metal on this site, but what better place to start than with mysterious French weirdos Deathspell Omega.
Since 2000, the band has steadily evolved from a straightforward ‘raw’ Black Metal band into a transgressive sounding act with bizarre philosophical overtones that have lead some to describe them as avant-garde.
Chaining the Katechon is a twenty-minute, single-track e.p. that continues to push the boundaries of their sound. Originally released as split single with S.V.E.S.T. this is Deathspell Omega’s longest and most complex track to date.
There’s no fucking around here. Press play and it explodes out the speakers with blast beats and ringing, augmented guitar work that leaves you dizzy and elated. The vocals shift between a low growl and echoing baritone, while guitar notes are constantly bent of shape so that everything feels woozy. Think Xasthur played at 45 rpms.
The power of Deathspell Omega is their ability to dissolve into stuttering, quiet moments of intrigue and suspense before returning to beat you around the head. It’s a skill they use to mesmerising effect here. The sense of release when they shift from nonsensical riffs into passages that almost resemble melody, is indescribable.
Where other Black Metal bands achieve weirdness through lo-fi, murky recording techniques, Deathspell Omega reject that ethos in favour of clean production and chiming guitars that almost make you feel seasick. Chaining the Katechon is way fucking out there because it doesn’t sound like anything else, and has possibly pushed its way into my top ten Black Metal records of all time.
If you’re not into this sort of stuff, this isn’t going to change your mind. But for the rest of you just buy it already.