Deathspell Omega - Drought
Norma Evangelium Diaboli
Black Metal
6 songs (21:00)
Release year: 2012
Official Bandcamp, Norma Evangelium Diaboli
Reviewed by Charles
After the Diabolus Absconditus EP of last year, which seemed to put one foot back into Deathspell Omega’s past, Drought is basically an extension of 2010’s Paracletus. Rather than one long track, as has been the case with recent EPs by this band, here we have six short bursts- alternating between their familiarly freaky black metal and atmosphere-building post-rock baubles. It’s good, but feels a little like the band treading water.

Salowe Vision is a powerful opener- resurrecting the spirit of the Epiklesis tracks from the last album to great effect. Here, a more restrained, dynamic sensibility is embraced, nicely setting up the ferocious Fiery Serpents. This latter is great, and would easily be one of the highlights on Paracletus. It embodies the techniques that have made the band one of the most impressive black metal forces of recent times. Blastbeats are like outrushes of steam hissing from a burst pipe. Riffs take sudden shape as if coalescing from thick smoke, and then dissipate just as quickly without offering the listener much in the way of hooks to latch onto. This can make them challenging, but the way the band cultivates this extreme instability and fluidity in their songwriting is why I like them so much. Despite their avant-garde emphasis which has often been held up as pretentious, their music itself sounds elemental and unconstrained to me. It squirms so violently that it breaks out of the stability and rigidity that is inevitable with music that leans more heavily on riff-repetition. This song ends so abruptly that it seems like the band are parodying themselves.

For anyone who is familiar with the band (a lot of people, by now) the focus and energy of their most intense moments will neither disappoint nor surprise. Scorpions and Drought or Abrasive Swirling Murk (an appropriate title) are mad; full of abrupt transitions and screeching accelerations. It is easy to see why some people find this unlistenable, but in an era where monstrosities like Portal or somesuch are attracting increasing attention, these kinds of cackling outbursts are an accepted tool in the extreme metal musician’s armoury. This is in no small part thanks to bands like Deathspell Omega, anyway; so we can thank them for that.

Killing Songs :
Fiery Serpents, Salowe Vision
Charles quoted no quote
Other albums by Deathspell Omega that we have reviewed:
Deathspell Omega - The Long Defeat reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Deathspell Omega - The Furnaces of Palingenesia reviewed by Goat and quoted 90 / 100
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 9 reviews click here
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