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A terrifying symmetry adorns the packaging of this EP, from the eyes set in the corners of the cover to the panels opposite the lyrics, and it creates an instantaneous sense of oppression, of having sunk so deep into Hell that there is no escape but to wonder at the abyss in all its misshapen, alien glory. The music of this Canadian black metal duo follows the artwork's lead, quavering with bleak hostility and monotonous, thick darkness. That's not to imply that there is no order to the musical construction, because very often the band have thick strains of melody wrought through their compositions, but there is this unerring sense of foreboding and helplessness that is present on only the blackest of the black recordings.
And no one will accuse Insidious Omen of promoting any other color, but despite its ravenous, authentic carnality, I didn't find Anointed with the Blood of Chaos to be even remotely curious. This is an EP from a few years back being reissued to a larger audience through Ahdistuksen Aihio Productions, and it's composed of three tracks in nearly 30 minutes that could not be any more straightforward. "Serpent's Gate (Thus Malkuth Be Reborn)" opens with an extensive, yawning chant that sets the cavernous aesthetic for the remainder of the recording, and then after almost two minutes it breaks into a ripping, dissonant flurry of viscera streaming chords and raw blast beats, the vocals of Bzath executed with both the stock rasp of the genre and a number of passages where he layers in a more decrepit backing tone. Unfortunately, despite the track's momentum and over 10 minutes of content, there's nothing here but a cerebral impression of menace. The actual riffs are never quite compelling, and there are no surprises lying in wait.
The same goes for the shorter pieces, "Feasting at the Trough of Lies" and "Through Stone and Steal the Flesh Speaks Deceit". Both carry provocative titles and thoughtful, ritualist lyrics, but like the first track, there is never a moment where one cannot predict the momentum. "Feasting..." has a bombastic breakdown segment, and "Through Stone..." a dire, ambient back end with some eerie chants, but other than atmosphere there's nothing musical happening that one has not already heard countless times. Insidious Omen does perform the material with an appropriate hostility, and unswerving purity and a raw but edible production standard, but I simply discovered nothing exciting in the subtext.