Deathspell Omega – Drought(EP)
Deathspell Omega, as a band, are either very scared, or very confident. They’ve reached a point in black metal where it’s the easiest thing for them to make a single mistake that will ruin years of confidently conquering most critics and fans of this genre, not to mention one that will put an ugly blotch on their consistent musical output.
I’m just trying to get the reader warmed up here, there is very little to worry as Deathspell Omega make no such mistakes. Drought takes up where Paracletus left off, a swirling mass of cacophonous yet marvellously structured passages of black metal vengeance. This is technical metal done right, with no apologies for the tempo variations and the complexity, where the largely dissonant riffs make for a heady concoction of scales and modes, some immediately recognizable and native to black metal, others that draw from more exquisite technical death metal like Gorguts and Demilich, or just inspired by the band’s provocative, near-occult beliefs and unyielding anonymity.
Ironically enough, this EP somehow named what it has been, is a perfect listen for a murky monsoon Monday morning in Mumbai. The only ‘dry’ factor that I can make out is probably in the production. The guitar sound is exact, there is no homage to 90s black metal, and none of the excessively polished tech death-esque production – entirely modern, but still starkly minimal in its articulation, with no note sounding clearer than it should. Though as far as the drum sound is concerned, I would’ve preferred had they taken a leaf out of BAN’s book, who managed a brilliant drum sound in their last release, one that would’ve enriched the listening experience for this EP even more.
Easily amongst the top ten black metal releases of the year, DSO have struck yet again with a compact collection of songs not exceeding 21 minutes that has excellent replay value. Seasons of Mist release, go check it out asap.
Top tracks: Scorpions & Drought, The Crackled Book Of Life