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Dodens Evangelium - 95%

Orlok666, March 28th, 2012

Ondskapt exists as part of a general Swedish rise in what is being called "orthodox" black metal, which essentially comes down to a few things. The bands in the orthodox scene, at least in Sweden, tend to be connected ideologically, though each one represents differing viewpoints in conception, and all seem to be trying to return back to a certain aspect of the early black metal scene. This being the sound of Mayhem, Thorns and some early Swedish bands, accompanied with the hate filled and anti-life statements and theistic Satanism of said bands.

While bands like Ofermod really are rising up the corpse of Thorns and then pretending what they would have done if Thorns had been a chaos gnostic band writing about Tiamat and occultic subjects, Ondskapt represent a diffferent paradigm within the orthodox movement, being a band who are filled with malice for humanity and have found an ideology fitting to their feelings. From reading interviews their general perspective is based from an belief that God and Satan exist, and Satan is essentially punishing us for our transgressions against God. Satan being the lord of this Earth leads us into all the sins and evils we perpetrate against each other. Ondskapt being against life and humanity are followers of the devil and wish to spread all this evil and destruction until there is nothing left.

Such types of ideological and religious beliefs tend to be rather controversial in the black metal scene. Particularly when bands present these ideas as being the only truth or the only way within black metal, which of course has never been homogenous, with bands featuring many different ideas and concepts throughout its history. However as a presentation of the musical method and mood upon this recording it is essential to the understanding of what they are creating.

Lyrically we are dealing with Biblical and apocalyptic Satanism which is dedicated to the spread of all the evils of man so that we become weak and destroy ourselves. There are some aspects of occultism throughout which display the bands supposed links to the Temple of the Black Light, which is much more of an influence upon Ofermod and Watain. The booklet is quite stunning, featuring excellent artwork and printing the lyrics in a gothic font, giving it the feeling of some ancient tome. It's a cd presentation that is worth your money.

Now musically what do we find on here? Well I suppose people have compared this album to Mayhem's De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, but this is primarily present in the mood and feeling of this release, and in certain riff structures and aspects of the vocal work. I also hear elements from the early Swedish bands in some of the melodic guitar work. There is in ways a similarity to Ofermod and Nefandus, but Ondskapt are lacking in the warm and organic occultic feeling of their work. Instead this album is a very cold release that sounds like it was recorded with a dark abyss being kept in mind throughout.

The production only serves to highlight this feeling, being very reverberated, with a lot of space in the sound. The production is very good and very clean, which one can expect from Necromorbus Studios, however it's not Nuclear Blast clean. The drumming is very organic, there are no triggers or any studio wankery here.

Vocals represent probably the real thing that puts this album over the edge, as they are very intense and evil, sounding like Attila and Dead had a baby then cross mutated it with genomes of Varg Vikernes. Thus never really dull or boring instead showing a prevalence to the inspired vocal work of other members of the orthodox scene like Funeral Mist.

The songwriting strikes me as being all of the same mold, giving the feeling of the album being one long song broken up into segments and sections that progress the albums theme. As the album progresses it moves into more ambient and instrumental sections, as if after the blazing insanity of the early sections it needs to spread out like a toxic ooze. Similarly the music itself starts taking on a doomier sound, with slower and more malevolent riffs. This is around I Kristi Skugga and the tracks surrounding it. Afterwards it continues with a progression between fast and slow, exuding throughout a malevolence you can almost feel.

Now it must be said, this album and I have a long history together, with me going from love to hate like a bad relationship. However I have come out the other end with a different perspective and understanding of this release, and although I don't relate to the ideological under current of the release, that really is not important to the way one reacts to the musical creations (unless you're one of those people and I was one of them, who has to listen to music that fits your ideas at that moment). In the end this album is an excellent recording that presents a dark and fucked up world, where the devil seems to torment us and those who are with him do the devils work and spread pain and agony to the world. And presents this world with excellent song writing and ambience that really pushes the black metal world to progress into a new era.

This is a controversial, modern classic of black metal, that does what great art should do, which is confronting and challenging its listeners with an ideological storm that tries to gnaw at your sanity and ideas of what is right in this world. Highly recommended.

Infernus et perditio non replentur similiter! - 99%

bittr, June 22nd, 2005

"Dödens Evangelium" proves to be a lusterous black monument far transcending even their previous release which had been advertised as the "most evil album ever recorded". Evil yes, however in comparison, the second charred sacrificial offering from the fervent patriarchs of Ondskapt sinks to new oceanic depths of iniquity and total spiritual perversion possible through the medium of music. In listening to an album such as this, one must begin to wonder just how far further this concept could be taken.

The song structures here possess a greater forethought in their arrangement than the previous album. The guitars and bass are in a continuous state of serpentine slithering flux, being both often abrasive and hypnotic; obvious strategic aims of the composers/chanellers. The varied drums likewise seem more atuned to the violent mass of twirling or sawing riffage and feel a good deal more solid or rather, appropriate. The vocals are in a word... otherworldly... severly tormented and disturbed screams, moans, roars, gurgles, cries fomenting with appraent conviction a corrosive agenda unlike most.

"Dödens Evangelium" is of course standard fare and essential for any devotee of Svartysn, Funeral Mist, Ofermod, Watain, and the like. Although, I suspect this form of musically grounded extremism may be a serious turn off to those unilaterally interested in black metal a form of music only. In that sense, the title of the album is almost deceptive in the sense that this material would probably appeal to strictly those already corrupted and not serve as much an evangelical instrument.