Ofermod - Tiamtu
Ajna Offensive
Black Metal
8 songs (42'29")
Release year: 2008
The Ajna Offensive
Reviewed by Alex

As oddly and unhip as it may sound, I am about to commit irreverence to the dark art of blasphemy. I am about to show little embrace and admiration for one of the Norma Evangelium Diaboli releases (my copy coming licensed to the North American Ajna Offensive). The Swedish Ofermod presence and stature among the underground is substantial. Their earlier demos offered a glimpse into a new cavern of extreme metal. It is beyond any doubt that the mainman Michayah Belfagor eschewed all silly “necro” style Satanic worship to be replaced with a much deeper and more personal understanding of holy chaos and dark cosmos. And yet, Ofermod’s first full-length Tiamtü, despite all of its profound lyrical mysticism, has failed to capture me musically.

Numerous listens through Tiamtü, I have waited to be whisked away, to be crushed by its massiveness and subdued by its worshipful nature. Alas, the feeling of delving deep, of drowning in Tiamtü completely never came. I obviously did not look for the common early Norwegian black metal traits from Ofermod. I did not seek thin buzzing bassless guitar sound and blasting speeds. The Swedes probably could execute all of the above, but their sound is purposefully not cold shivers, but a suffocating sadistic black mass instead. Unhurried riffs, grinding away methodically, bass guitar, mixed higher than usual, drums pounding away, but never taking off uncontrollably. To this musical backdrop Nebiros adds his cranky, croaking and cantankerous, almost speaking vocal manner, preaching at you, trying to penetrate your skull.

Where Tiamtü stunningly failed for me is that all of the above proceeded way too linearly, very little in a way of emotional spills and splashes. The album completely lacks variation and the twisted unexpected departures of Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice. An unfair comparison? Perhaps, but isn’t Deathspell Omega, Ofermod spiritual brethren, being compared to their own masterpiece constantly? Whether it was early Ofermod which influenced Deathspell Omega, or the other way around, once a classic is created in the art, all opuses produced hereinafter would inevitably be measured by its tall shadow.

It is actually the moments when Ofermod tried to depart from their hefty measured delivery which touched me the most. Pralayic Withdrawal starts with this quick melodic buzz creating subliminal feeling. Eu Angelion is more demonic, while being a lot more frantic. Tophetian Cleansing: Furnace of Moloch is a tribal quivering instrumental, fitting for dark gods worship. Closer Maasseh Nechushtan, after a brief acoustic intro, starts playing awesomely courageous riffs, which are scuttled way too soon, not given proper development.

New wave of modern black metal or orthodox religious death metal (as they call themselves), Ofermod had loads of potential and expectations with Tiamtü, which they failed to meet for me on the purely personal level. Feel free to grasp your own feelings and bash my review saying the deeper notion of Ofermod’s music totally flew over my head.

Killing Songs :
Pralayic Withdrawal
Alex quoted 65 / 100
Goat quoted 71 / 100
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