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Solid, Satanic Black Metal - 75%

Odovacar, December 23rd, 2011

Black metal is a curious beast; it can be a very conservative sub-genre and at the same time one of the most diverse types of music to be composed. Bands like Enslaved, Dimmu Borgir, and Deathspell Omega have shed most of their black metal roots in favor of something different, whereas, Darkthrone, Dark Funeral and Mayhem have remained relatively unchanged, keeping the usual fast-paced and lo-fi quality of evil that permeates within. The duo from France (eponymous guitarist, bassist, and screamer Haemoth and skinsman Syth) have stuck fairly close to the original template of black metal while adding their own embellishments.

Not all of what Haemoth composes is repetitive and extremely fast – opener “Odium” lulls the listener in with an evil, dissonant motif that slowly builds into a climax of the second track, “Slaying the Blind.” Haemoth unleashes the fury of Hell with a nearly 20 second scream and continues on with a vocal delivery that reaches deep into the circles of Hell. Early Emperor minus the symphonic bombast is prevalent throughout with a short break into thrash territory around the 2:14 mark. This is all tied up into an ambient soundscape that invokes a feeling of wandering through a long abandoned dungeon that has seen many atrocities.

It’s a common practice on In Nomine Odium that Haemoth sets up such a mood not only in the aforementioned blazing tracks, but also on slower tracks such as instrumentals “Spiritual Pestilence” and “Son of Black Light” that have an Emperor and, surprisingly, Pink Floyd-type arpeggio to open it up.

The production is higher quality than most black metal; the guitars are still saturated in distortion and reverb that could easily summon Hell’s demons. If Haemoth‘s goal is contribute to humanity’s ruin, then I feel they have done an admirable job with In Nomine Odium. While it’s not terribly shocking with the numbness of black metal setting in after so many years, they do know how to harness their misanthropy for a solid black metal album.

Originally written and posted for Teeth of the Divine.