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A little over hyped. - 73%

drewnm156, September 4th, 2006

By the end of the 90’s the Norwegian black metal scene, which had spawned countless bands and imitators, had somewhat died. The scene was not producing hungry bands to carry on the tradition of Enslaved, Emperor and Mayhem. During this time through the turn of the century bands in Finland, America and France were carrying on the black metal tradition with strong releases that simultaneously stayed true to their roots while creating something original in their own right.

Deathspell Omega’s 2nd full length album (counting Infernal Battles) was full of harsh Norwegian worship black metal. Deathspell has made a name from themselves in the past couple of years with some very ambitious black metal releases. Few would have probably predicted where they were to go based on this album, although some signs were there. There is nothing bad about this album, but there is nothing great either. In listening to this album most songs blast by without really establishing anything special. I love fast black metal; however these songs just don’t stay with me once the record stops spinning. By far the best song in my opinion is track 3, Desecration Master. This song weaves faster sections with more tempo and riff changes. The riffing in this song also foretells some of the styles that were used so effectively on Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice. The problem with this song and most on the album is it is over long and looses its power after 5 minutes.

The production is decent for this style of music with guitar, drums and vocals at a good mix, where none is drowning out the others. The band comes up with decent riffs every so often, like in the aforementioned Desecration Master and Decadence. The latter utilizes more mid paced riffing to better effect. Again traces to SMRC can be seen, however since just about every song is played at a similar tempo, the album sounds very homogenized. These elements combine to create a black metal album that can be listened to in its entirety, but not much is taken away once the music has faded away.

Good to pick up to if you are completeists of the band or scene. Hardly essential, regardless of what others might imply.