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The divine mystery reversed! - 99%

Jarnroth, June 27th, 2008

"The holy union of Ofermod stands for the death of all existence. Stop the development and freedom of the human virus.
Destroy your natural instincts and submit to Chaos! A life through self-mastery is flesh for the master.. Let our God live through you!"

With lyrical themes dealing with the gnostic mysteries and, perhaps most importantly, death and all that is evil. Be prepared to be engulfed by the chaotic devotion from the masters of orthodox black/"death" metal. When I first approached this EP it was without prejudice or expectations as it was something I just got on a fluke... And so, I went out on a journey into the soul. Michayah, previously known as Belfagor, the mastermind, songwriter and lyricist behind the project had the vision to take the message of occult, religious worship of the devil within black-metal to another level, something I think we can say he accomplished with the inspiration the band have been on bands such as Deathspell Omega, Watain, Ondskapt and perhaps even the late Dissection. To help us in this task he teamed up with Nebiros, now known as Leviathan, to help him with the vocal duties, with his distinctive, harsh "spoken wordish" screams.

The EP is split into two parts: Part I, "Mysterium Iniquitatis", and Part II, "Netivah Ha-Chokmah", the only difference being the time of recording and purpose of the lyrical content. "Mystérion Tés Anomias" and "Chained to Redemption" make up part I, and they are both taken from the 7" single released in 1998, limited to 500 copies, and here they show us how to deliver true orthodox black metal. On the second part they perform what they like to call orthodox "Death" metal, since they've moved on from the worship of Satan to instead revere the force that was before divinity and creation; Lord Silent, the Naught, the Chaos-God, the most primitive in aspiration of Pralaya... The No-Thing - Utter Spiritual Death. The first half of the EP may seem to lack a bit in production, but if you're inveterate fan of black metal I'm sure this won't bother you, and it may indeed give you a more throughsome experience. Part I start off with the intro taken from a sacral composition by the Russian composer Alfred Schnittke, a devote Christian interested in the Gnostic mysteries, setting the perfect mood for what is to unfold with the chorus slightly building up into a crescendo until...

"To enter the principle of orderless evil, the divine mystery reversed... Oh, this discipline of a spirit in pain... by the constant touch... Mystérion Tés Anomias! Unholy enemy of Christ!"

Suddenly, we're attacked by a wall of buzzing, raw guitars delivering one awesome riff accompanied by almost esoteric drumming, and then a howl from the abyss, and on we go! Unleashed with this first track is basically a hymn to Satan and the mystery of the abstract concept of the "Word" (Anomias). One thing, among many, which make this EP so great is the songwriting. Like in this first song when a bassline which is introduced at the last line of the first verse is coming back in a different situation later on, making the song flow just brilliantly and which I think showcase the genius of Michayah. But the most important factor which make Ofermod extraordinary is the drumming also performed by Michayah. Since his main proffession is being a guitar player, one would expect a poor performance or atleast one of little to no interest on the drums, but the case is instead the complete oposit. He's like a beast behind the drums, furiously hitting everywhere and anywhere without being any technical mastery, but still getting it to work just splendidly. Like a beast is lashing out his claws hitting the different part of the drum-set at the most crucial moments, enhancing what is happening in the music or lyrically, it's an most ountstanding demonstration of pure energy and willpower. The prime example of this would be in this first song after the line "The splendor of the horns!", where he immediatly after the line is delivered hit the cymbals once, then twice to great effect, emphasizing that the splendor of these horns is indeed one of great magnitude.
Anyway, this epic song continue in basically the same fashion, furiously pounding on until it enters the second part which is a bit slower, but just as brilliant in it's execution, this time enhancing the lyrics once again with it's contemplative nature, the song is then slowly fading out leaving one in awe of the onslaught the mind just have been target of. The second track, Chained to Redemtpion, doesn't stick out very much from the first track but is more or less the logical continuation of the previous one, but something which make this song stick out is the lyrical content. While the first song was a hymn of sorts, this is more or less how Michayah in religious terms is describing the purpose of his existance, in a metaphysical way.

"I saw Tiamtu, the watery deep yes, the ancient serpent of chaos in all it's horrid glory, raging relentlessly at the fire that had become the self!"

So now onto the second part of the EP, with Khabs am Pekht... This is what marks the return of Ofermod which had been inactive for a little more than six years, and I got to tell you, the beast known as Ofermod has grown, in more than one way. First, Michayah recruited two guys from a amature black metal project from Borlänge known as "Dödfödd" (Stillborn), calling themselves Atum, on guitar, and Tehôm, on bass, names perhaps given to them by Michayah, or atleast taken straight from the lyrics written by him. I'm sad to say though, that Atum has become a new born christian and has, most probably, been sacked from the band. He also recruited is the one who owns the studio where they recorded the singel aswell as this effort, the infamous Necromorbus. I guess Michayah would rather continue his studies of the occult and perfect his songwriting skills rather than having to play all the instruments as he had done before, but the new members are simply a vessel of his creative genious. In any case, Ofermod didn't only grow in size, but also in execution and finesse. The production is a lot better, for better or worse, this time arround, almost thick. Every instrument is distinct and the sound is what you've come to expect from releases produced within Necromorbus studio, while being distinct from most of the bands who have recorded there over the years. The drums aren't as unpredictable with the aforementioned behind the set, though he's doing his best mimicking the style of Michayah. In any case, they have returned... Oh, indeed they have. Khabs am Pekht bursts out of your speakers releasing the wicked monster from the chains of time with an unrelenting fury. This is the logical successor of their past release musically, but on the other hand it has grown lyrically in a way. It's continuing in the same fashion as before with it's lyrical structures, but the content behind it showcase the results of Michayah's occult studies during the six years which Ofermod have been resting, taking bits and pieces from mysticism and occultism of all kinds of branches arround the world, from the old semitic religioins to hinduisum to esoteric occultism of the abrahamatic religions. But the impressive song-writing is still there, being memorable aswell as interesting, never turning dull. The last song of this magnificent release, Rape the World, is basically a farewell to their past, being written before the entity know as Ofermod actually existed, probably for Michaya's first project "Nefandus", this track isn't as interesting as the first three. Basically it's a rhytmical song pounding on forward with determination, but one thing make it stick out.
At two points of the song Michayah is taking over the vocal duties, first doing a few lines in finnish in the same style as Leviathan, and then later a chant in hebrew.
Other than that, the song is pretty much going on in the same fashion without the fury otherwise might be associated with their music, and from what I've conducted by an interview there's no plans to make songs like this in the future, but simply a tribute to the what has been. Also, after the first three songs it's welcoming to hear a song which doesn't take as much attention or, metaphorically speaking, vaporize you into dust, but instead simply crush your abs.

Anyway, this marks the end of an era, aswell as a new beginning. In my old review I gave this EP 100%, but it have failed the test of time to an extent and is now dethroned by what I these days hold as the epitome of darkness. Still, this is still a review worthy of a full rating, but only one album can claim the throne!

"Pralaya... Motionless Rest!"

Unholy fucking Chaos - 92%

orphy, February 18th, 2008

Chaotic demons of impurity spew forth from the Swedish cult known as Ofermod. For those who haven’t heard this unholy band before, this is black metal the way it should be. Much like their label mates on NoEvDia, this band takes what Mayhem set to create and expands on it in a truly evil way.

This EP is essentially a compilation. It contains the only four tracks the band has ever released. So why the hype? Because this sets such a prime example of how fucking powerful black metal can be, and fully lives up to the potential that black metal has to offer. Granted, yes, it would be nice to have a full length, but that doesn’t change the fact that this EP rules.

So, the first two tracks were originally on a demo from 1998 of the same name. The first track opens up with some eerie atmosphere, and then explodes into madness. Ofermod takes the best of Mayhem’s DMDS and allows that demonic atmosphere to be conjured up. Riffs that are actually catchy and memorable cut over quick drums. This is the longest song on the album, but doesn’t ever get boring as the song arrangements are clever, as are the riffs. Unholy vocals spew forth chaotic lyrics. The next track is probably my favourite on the EP, as that intro riff is absolutely fantastic and will be permanently etched in my head. These two songs are the strongest on this release.

The last two tracks are taken from a 2004 recording. The style is essentially the same, very “Swedish orthodox” for lack of a better term. The last track, “Rape The World” is probably my least favourite due to the intro riff (it just seems uninspired), but the rest of the song is ripping with plenty of good tremolo picked riffs. Ofermod makes a good use of different melodies that would fit easily on early Dissection material.

This band, along with their fellow countrymen in Malign, NEED to release a full length. These bands create some truly unique black metal without any lame frills. Fans of Malign, Funeral Mist etc will eat this up.

A sip from the Devil's wine - 89%

Manwaring, January 27th, 2005

Hello children, are you tired of Dark Funeral pretending to cut up cats? Are you tried of Gorgoroth disguising their homoerotic S&M as satanic rituals? Do you want real black-metal?

Ofermod come storming on, with all the viciousness of their devil-worshiping, swedish breathern. Funeral Mist and Watain . But unlike the albums from the above bands, this album is raw. Not raw in the UIver "Nattens" sense, or raw in the Emperor " In nightshade". The sheer agression with which this was recorded litterally overwhelms the production. The melodic guitars saw like razors over the ferverishly played rhyme guitar, while the drums pound insanly in the background. The vocals have all the religious fervor of a bapist preacher hailing satan and destuction.

If you're looking for one the greatest uber-kvlt-I-dont-suck-like-vlad-tepes-demo. This is for you.