Tech Black/Death Thursday

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I know what you are thinking. “Wait, you’re not Jack Bauer? Where the hell is Jack Bauer?! And Deathspell Omega aren’t tech death?! Pssh.”

Let me handle this sequentially. 1). Jack Bauer is hunting ISIS and snapping necks with his bare hands. Badass anti-terrorism shit that you wouldn’t even believe. He once killed a drone by throwing a terrorist at it. Trve story. 2). DsO are pretty tech. Their sound is rooted in dissonant death metal with flourishes of black metal. And 3.) Fuck off with the inquisition.

I, your illustrious President-to-be, Howard Dean, am stepping in for Monsieur Bauer this week. I’m here to play Virgil. I’m going to take you on a journey to hell and back. Because that’s exactly what Deathspell Omega is: perdition embodied. Deathspell Omega conjure every ounce of wickedness, scorn, fear, hopelessness, and death extant in the human condition, and they manifest it in pure auditory dread. They do not care if you are comfortable, happy, having fun, or entertained. They do not care if you believe or if you don’t believe. You are human and you will suffer. You will sup on brimstone and sleep in hell fire. This is not up to you. The decisions are not yours to make.

“The gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction.” 

Some of you will hate it. That’s fine. In the world of Deathspell Omega, whether you like it or not is inconsequential. In its limitations and vanity, the human consciousness is a child throwing a tantrum, haplessly beating its tiny fists against barriers that will never yield.


 

Paracletus

As you may have guessed by now, I’m a bit of  fan. For the sake of (relative) brevity and sanity (a.k.a. to keep you motherfuckers reading), I am not going to go into every bit of Deathspell Omega’s history, nor will I expound upon every rumor or half-truth circling the interwebs. But I think you newcomers need a bit of a background.

To be honest, there isn’t too much to know about the band itself. The relative secrecy, inaccessibility, and aura of the unknown around the current band is legendary in itself. We really don’t know anything concrete about the band’s members. It was formed as a side project by two members of the now defunct band Hirilorn sometime in the late 1990s. We know Mikko Aspa, prolific Finnish musician and fetish pornographer, is their current vocalist. Their old vocalist, Shaxul, is a fixture in the French black metal underground and is an unabashed “grumpy old metalhead.” A man under the pseudonym Khaos, who once played live with the Japanese band Barbatos, is supposedly the bassist. No one has any idea who the insanely talented drummer is, and some even believe it’s a drum machine (with perhaps the best drum programming ever). And the main man behind the project, Hasjarl, is perhaps the most confounding of them all. His name might be Christian Bouche, and he might be a 35 year old man from Poitiers, France who owns and operates a real estate company called SCI Hiltrud. But he might not be. It can’t be confirmed. He is, however, the owner/operator of End All Life Productions, as well as one of the key figures in Norma Evangelium Diaboli, DsO’s label. But what do we know about Norma Evangelium Diaboli (aside from their excellent taste in bands)? Not a whole helluva lot. They don’t run social media pages, they do not do press releases, and they update their webpage once or twice a year to announce a new release (as of 1/21/15, their page hasn’t been updated since April of 2014).

Deathspell Omega have released 1 demo, 5 studio albums, 5 EPs, 6 splits, and 2 compilations. Their latest full length, the masterful Paracletus, was released in 2010. It completed a trinity of concept albums that began with 2004’s Si monvmentvm reqvires, circvmspice and that continued with 2007’s Fas – Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum. Their future is uncertain. They released the terrific EP Drought in the summer of 2012, but have not been heard from since. For more information about Deathspell Omega and their discography, check HERE and HERE.. To read the only interview with the band since their reformation/restyling, and to gain a better understanding of their beliefs, read THIS.


 

“Lungs filled with embers and regurgitating boiling blood, I say praise the Lord, praise!

O servants of the Lord; We will sing a new song to thee, O God:

A psaltery of thirteen Stations, may scoria bury Eden and blind the light of hope.”

With these words–this promise–Deathspell Omega begin their 2004 album Si monvmentvm reqvires, circvmspice. And with this album, DsO began singing a decidedly new song. Abandoning a past of primitive Satanism set in a frame of second wave black metal, DsO charged forward, breaking new ground. Their first two albums, 2000’s Infernal Battles and 2002’s Inquisitors of Satan, as well as early demos, splits, and compilations, were straight out of early 90s Oslo. Though they were well composed, they were nothing new. But by 2004, the band had changed. And it was a completely new paradigm. Gone were the icy Scandinavian tremolos, the Darkthrone melodies, and the crude, rudimentary Satanism. In their place, a monster was birthed. Dissonant, ugly guitars playing unusual chords, ferocious vocals, choral chanting, and inhuman drumming were the core of the new DsO sound. Their music actually sounds like damnation. Thematically, DsO embraced the void in ways never before seen. Theirs is a decidedly religious devilworship, a fervent, fatiguing devotion to unlocking the metaphysical truths. Duty bound to this task, they trudged forward, using every religious and philosophical text at their disposal to forge a malformed truth of sorts from primordial matter and gravemould.

Click play on the track above, and let that mood sink in. Let those eerie sounds settle. At 1:24, we get the first of the choral lines. It sounds like a backmasked Edith Piaf vocal track. The warbly, unnerving chorus continues throughout. What language is that? I don’t know. It could be Enochian, for all we know. And then the skipping, stuttering guitars. Like a rusty squeezebox. What are we in for?

Relentless, uncompromising hell. At nearly 78 minutes in length, Si monvmentvm… is an exercise in endurance and perverse masochism. It is grotesque. And musically, it is tech. In tracks like “Sola Fide I” and “Carnal Malefactor,” DsO unleash discordance and dissonance in wave upon uncompromising wave. This is a hard album to digest. DsO’s legacy of chaotic, difficult black/death metal married to a theistic ideology was hatched with this album.

What we get with Deathspell Omega is longform, dissonant death metal with all the style and accoutrements that befit the evilest black metal. We get odd structuring, bizarre patterns, spazzy guitar riffs and immense drum fills. We get songs like the three that make up 2005’s Kénôse, a whopping 36 minute EP that leaves the listener a dizzy-headed, mouth breathing shit-stain on the ass of existence.

“Everything, except God, has in itself some measure of privation, thus all individuals may be graded according to the degree to which they are infected with mere potentiality.”

 

Kénôse is considered by many fans to be DsO’s best work, their high water mark, the perfect blend of the technical and songwriting/atmosphere. This is selling the band short on several fronts. The band’s technical prowess/wizardry would peak with 2007’s Fas – Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum, and DsO would write and release their opus–their crowning achievement–in the form of 2010’s Paracletus, HD’s favorite album of all time, and one of the best albums ever made–period.

Though it clocks in at a more digestible 46 minutes, Fas – Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum is an extremely demanding album. With this album, Hasjarl and company really bring the technical madness–what the youth metal culture today is referring to as “skronk.” Tracks like “The Shrine of Mad Laughter” and “Bread of Bitterness” are dizzying with their technicality. Still skeptical? Skip to the 30 second mark below and prepare to have your face melted by the unholy weirdness:

To be honest, Deathspell Omega ruined most dissonant metal/skronk for me. They did so by being so much better than everyone else out there–by combining tech death, dissonant death metal, and orthodox black metal and beating each of those respective scenes at their own game. It’s not by mistake that Luc Lemay, frontman of Gorguts and one of the godfathers of tech/skronk, cites DsO and their guitarist Hasjarl as a huge influence in his playing and personal favorite of his (he can also be spied wearing a DsO shirt at several concerts and in many photo shoots). SOURCE

How did Deathspell Omega achieve the apex of the tech/dissonant/skronk world, even though 99% of metalheads wouldn’t even classify them as belonging to that style? Was it by playing faster? By shredding? By sweeping to their black heart’s content? By recording guitar tracks at half speed and speeding them up in post-production? Fuck no! They did it by properly blending technical metal music with emotion, with atmosphere, and with soul. They did it by sharpening the chaos, by honing it into a deadly, pointed tool with purpose and intent. This isn’t chaotic blasting and guitar masturbation for the hell of it. These are songs with emotion, songs that feel like they have a purpose. Say what you will of religion in metal, but a devotion and deep belief tends to make the music more gratifyingly intense and purposeful. When a man has a cause and he stands behind it with all of his person, he puts every bit of himself into it. With Deathspell Omega, that’s what you get.

“Come, Thou Sanctifier, almighty and eternal God,
And bless this sacrifice prepared for the glory of Thy Holy Name.”

 

On no album do Deathspell Omega do it better than on Paracletus. This is quite possibly the best album ever made. A complete album, top-to-bottom. It even has a perfect album cover that beautifully portrays what horrors are to come. I could write a multi-volume diatribe on this album. I’ve listened to this album more than any other in my library. 9 times out of 10, when I click play on the first track, “Epiklesis I,” I tend to stick around and listen to the entire album. This is a biblical plague of an album, perfectly shaped and crafted into a manageable 42-minute package. Acting more as segments of one single movement, the 10 tracks move seamlessly into one another, and come together with a single purpose: to remind you that you are tiny, fallible, finite, and worthless, and that you should cower before the sheer magnitude of death and the endless void.

Some tracks, like “Wings of Predation,” “Phosphene,” and “Devouring Famine,” disorient with their stuttering, almost math-y guitar riffs. Interspersed are moments of pause, like the solemn buildup and spoken word French lyrics in “Dearth,” and the jangly, nervous chords that begin both “Epiklesis II” and the closing track, “Apokatastasis Panton.””Abscission,” a beautiful track, begins with an odd, off-kilter guitar riff before hitting a sorrowful break a few minutes in. At the end of the track, a manic surge of energy sends the guitars wild, the drums pounding, and the vocals twisting and contorting into a mix of shouts, screams, shrieks, and growls. This is a must listen:

It’s difficult for me to express in words what Paracletus means to me, and how I really feel about it. For me, this is the album that has tarnished so many others, that has caused me to disregard albums I may have otherwise enjoyed. It’s that good to me.

And Deathspell Omega as a band is that good. When I get a new tech/dissonant/skronk band recommended to me, this is why I tend to not like it. Because Deathspell Omega have already done it better and more completely. I’m jaded. It’s hard for me to spend time listening to something inferior when I already own the entire discography of a band that is just plain better.

I wish I were a musician, and that I had a better grasp of music and theory and all that jazz (pun most definitely intended, motherfuckers). I could probably explain the music of Deathspell Omega better if I understood exactly what I was hearing. But I am a layman metalhead with a penchant for hyperbole and longwindedness. This is how I explain it: with maniacal rambling. Thanks for taking this long, painful ride with me.

 

“You were seeking strength, justice, splendour! You were seeking love!
Here is the pit, here is your pit! Its name is SILENCE…”

“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but so much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

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  • Edward/Breegrodamus

    BYAH!

    • Edward/Breegrodamus

      P.S. I am fairly certain this was written yesterday in one sitting. Lol, fml.

      • Howard Dean

        ’twas indeed, NegroD. It was a furious morning. I had to drink goat’s blood and maple syrup for strength.

        • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

          I love a good goat’s blood/Maple syrup smoothie. Throw in some strawberries and cherries and it’s so good.

        • Stockhausen

          Do you not do that every day?

          • Howard Dean

            Trvth. I just had to bib a little stronger draught yesterday.

        • Hubert, Goat ov/of SATAN!!!!!

          🙁

          • Howard Dean

            No goats related to the ToH’s favorite Hubert were harmed in the preparation of my energy tonic.

        • CyberneticOrganism

          THEN THOU ART A KING

        • @disqus_SuTZzQbXC5:disqus, i’m late to the toilet today and haven’t been able to read it yet. having said that, DsO is one of my all-time favorites and it kinda seems like there isn’t a soul who doesn’t enjoy them. i can’t freaking wait to read all this!!! thanks for filling in for TDT

          • Howard Dean

            Thanks JJM! There are actually quite a few newer DsO haters on the web, especially in the more “underground” and “trve” enclaves. Some people are of the opinion that band ceased to exist after Inquisitors of Satan.

          • ok i just read the whole thing, and don’t take this lightly: you knocked this fucker out of the park.
            also, i didn’t know how much you liked Paracletus; i can’t say it’s my favorite but it’s definitely top 5 of all time. and you’re correct it is an ALBUM, the whole thing flows together flawlessly and goes down smoothly front-to-back, no gaps inbetween. great intro, great outro, great segues.
            one of my favorite parts is the strained howling at the end of Persephone (right after the spoken word). okay the whole end of that track is top-shelf!

          • Howard Dean

            Byah! Glad you enjoyed the article! I felt like I needed to do DsO justice if I were going to write about them.

      • PhoenixKing Leonhart

        I’m with you on this. I am one of the worst perfectionists I know when it comes to writing and it takes me like several rewrites to make my articles. But Howard here just busts out epic insightful articles like it’s nothing. It just puts me in awe.

        But then, your articles put me in awe too lol.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus

          Simon his Blut Aus Nord review from last year was so good it made me want to quit entirely, haha.

  • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

    I’m so excited to listen to these bands! I was awaiting this all morning!

    • Tyree

      I had no idea that there were so many bands named Deathspell Omega.

      • KJM

        More than 3 but less than 6.

  • I’ll listen to this whenever I get home since I’ve never heard them. Great write-up Howard, byah!

  • A DAY OF VENGEANCE, THAT HE MAY AVENGE HIM OF HIS ADVERSARIES: AND THE SWORD SHALL DEVOUR, AND IT SHALL BE SATIATE AND MADE DRUNK WITH THEIR BLOOD

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoBk-HLFDcI

  • KJM

    I will raise the mighty Hammer Of Dad Rock high, for Rush is playing Boston on June 23rd!

    • BLXKKBEXRD

      I’d gladly see rush live.

      Sadly, I’ve never seen coheed, the rush of my generation, live either

      • KJM

        Seen ’em both.

      • Guacamole Jim

        Coheed is a blast live. You gotta make that happen, dude.

        • BLXKKBEXRD

          I know. I fear time is running out, too

      • PhoenixKing Leonhart

        I’ve never seen them live either. Even though they played in the NY at least twice in the past three years.

        One day I will see Rush live.

    • Tyree

      They are flawless live. Goddamn incredible.

      • Akercocke ov Steele

        That’s what years of professional touring and lots of rehearsal do. I bet Geddy could play YYZ without ears.

        • Wrath of God

          • Tyree
          • KJM

            NUUUUDE LOOOOOVE!!!

          • Tyree

            I Like Your Booty (But I’m Not Gay)

          • Wrath of God

            Fucking disqus…anyone else see two of the same image or is it just me?

          • Pagliacci is Kvlt/Not Mad

            I know, right? It’s getting disqusting.

          • Akercocke ov Steele

            Neil Peart stands alone

          • God ov All

            Jazz hands!

      • KJM

        They were just as good in 2010 as they were when I first saw them in 1985. This will be the 11th time I see them.

        • Tyree

          Wow! That’s awesome man. I saw them once around when you saw them in 2010. I was completely blown away.

        • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

          I saw them in 2013 and I am surely seeing them on this tour.

      • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

        They are one of the best concerts I have ever seen. They’re so damn good.

    • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

      They’re playing MSG on the 26th. I’m seeing them again.

    • CT-12

      Hey man, did you see the announcement for the “California Psycho Fest” or whatever? It’s fucking stacked, thinking about going, a doom/stoner lover’s dream. Sleep, EHG, Pentagram, Acid Witch, Earth, Om, Pallbearer, Wo Fat, and that’s just to name a few!

      • KJM

        I’d love to go, but I live in Massachusetts and I ain’t rich. : (

        • CT-12

          Yeah, it’s sort of easier for me since I live only a few states over from Cali, shitty mayne. Thought I’d at least inform you if you hadn’t heard.

          • KJM

            I was painfully aware already.

  • Tyree

    Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Vagelis Voyiantzis.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1D32WGn9Zac

    • Howard Dean

      I’m probably 50/50 on whether or not V.V. is the DsO drummer. He has the chops and the connections.

      • Tyree

        That’s partially why I posted him here. The man can fucking play! I wouldn’t doubt that he is the drummer. If I ever see them live I’ll run up on stage and steal his cloak from his face.

        • Howard Dean

          If DsO ever play live, I will pattern my underwear with spraying shit. Also, a DsO live show would probably signal the end times, a death knell for the Earth.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus

            I don’t mean to sound too gross or anything, but I think I came down with some food poisoning yesterday I have been butt peeing all morning at work. Your underwear pattern reminded me of my condition here.

          • Tyree

            Butt Peeing >>>>>>>>>

            Edit: I mean, the opposite of that.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus

            I upvoted you before you added the edit, haha

          • BLXKKBEXRD

            I can’t poop at any other toilet than my own. No matter how clean

            The old lady and I even have separate bathrooms

            #toiletconfessions

          • Edward/Breegrodamus

            What do you do if you have to go at work?

          • Stanley

            Lots of fibre and oatmeal! You need to keep the system on a regular schedule so unplanned ‘breaks’ are not required.

          • BLXKKBEXRD

            I usually have a good bm in the morning. Luckily I live close to work if there’s an emergency

          • Stanley

            I’m with you!

          • Lacertilian

            Blackbeard?

          • Tyree

            Make sure you eat a ton of sea food before hand.

          • Howard Dean

            Oysters, halibut, and like four pounds of sushi grade tuna and salmon should do it.

          • Tyree
    • Fuck.

    • Howard Dean

      Also: the thing that struck me when I saw them live was how much bigger Vagelis is than the rest of the band. Like, half a foot taller and 40+ pounds heavier. He’s a pretty athletic-looking dude, and I guess he would have to be to smash the kit like that for an hour plus. Goddamn.

      • Tyree

        Yeah, he’s ok I guess 😉

  • I notice no one is taking the “DSO isn’t death metal” argument. Anyone?

  • DDubya.

    “Say what you will of religion in metal, but a devotion and deep belief tends to make the music more gratifyingly intense and purposeful. When a man has a cause and he stands behind it with all of his person, he puts every bit of himself into it.”

    Boom!

    • Stryper really exemplified this! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsNhNdnwgZg

      • DDubya.

        Never speak that name.

        • I actually like Stryper in a non-ironic way. If we want another band with a religious fervor/passion that does it in a subtle and powerful way, I’d point to some of Thrice’s later music

          • DDubya.

            It definitely shines through on Vheissu.

          • I’d say it’s most powerful by far on Major/Minor. You can feel so much weight in those songs

          • Guacamole Jim

            There are a couple of tracks on Vheissu that are really overtly religious (Of Dust and Nations), but I agree that the mood of Major/Minor felt more spiritual. Dustin did go on to become a music leader at a church after that, so I guess that’s a bit indicative of his thought process during that time.

          • I’m not religious, but if there’s something that could make me believe, it’s probably music. I’ve seen both August Burns Red and Thrice a few times, and it’s a weird sort of spiritual experience seeing those bands live. Great shows.

          • My favorite openly religious band (in this case is Christian) ever: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01qiEmrZTKw (I need to check a full album of Orphaned Land) (ohh, was mentioned before <3)

          • I’ve actually never listened to these guys before, but someone mentioned them somewhere else in this comments section, too! Will do some investigating.

          • DDubya.

            They’re pretty legit.

          • Guacamole Jim

            This song is a good place to start.

          • Wrath of God

            Undeceived is my fav extol album.

          • Undeceived is also the best Extol album

          • In the latter albums some songs are more and more explicit about the religious point of view, but you can really enjoy them without that, because they got such a nice vibe even when they used black metal riffing in their first albums. They got my approval: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qS9xUkbkag

          • Gurptitude

            Funny thing, I hear the guys in Orphaned Land aren’t actually religious.

          • Yup, you’re right. I meant about the lyrical content.

          • It’s kind of subtle, like if you read the lyrics it’s obvious, but if you never read them or pay attention to the words at all, you wouldn’t pick up on it. That’s what I like. Not to mention the music just has that exhaustion to it. When I heard the album the first time I knew they were done (although maybe not! rumors of a new tour/album!)

          • DDubya.

            We Are the Image of the Invisible is straight out of the Bible.

          • Guacamole Jim

            That song gives me all the feels, man. All the feels. In an epic, triumphant way.

          • But how many people are familiar enough with the Bible to hear that and recognize that? The music video for it added a new side to it as well, which is what I think a lot of people identified with instead of the biblical themes

          • DDubya.

            Probably not many. A sad majority of Christians aren’t even familiar with the Bible.

          • Wrath of God

            I got significantly nicer in the new testament people seem to forget.

          • Guacamole Jim

            I actually had a really interesting conversation with my dad (an ex-pastor) about rectifying the Old Testament God with the God shown in the New Testament. I won’t go into the details here, but it’s something I think that merits serious consideration.

          • DDubya.

            I think you have to look at everything systematically rather than separating it all. I think the concept of Redemptive History and considering how and why things were done at super points is very interesting.

          • Guacamole Jim

            Agreed. This isn’t really the forum for a theological discussion (much as I’d love to start typing up essays, since this is the sort of thing I have an abnormal love of discussing) but have you ever studied Rene Girard?

          • DDubya.

            I have not, but I’m open to it.

          • Guacamole Jim

            I’m not entirely on board with him, but it’s an extremely interesting look at OT law and judgement, and the role that Christ played in the abolishment of the law. I do think it misses/ignores some key points that Calvinism explains much better (albeit much less nicely), but then again Calvinism is not without its faults.

          • DDubya.

            Oh definitely. Remind me some time when we aren’t talking on a metal blog to explain how I ended up in the theological camp I’m in.

          • Guacamole Jim

            hahahaha sounds good to me. Damn I am really bad for running off on theological tangents in inappropriate situations. I should be a Mormon.

          • DDubya.

            I mean, people talk about everything here, so it isn’t necessarily inappropriate, per se.

          • I’d be interested to hear about that

          • DDubya.

            I just typed it up for Guac Jim. I’ll probably share with you and Randall.

          • Gurptitude

            I would definitely read that.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus

            It’s too off topic if you consider the content of today’s post imho.

            h = honest, or humble. Lol

          • Gurptitude

            More religious people in this country (or any country, really) could use some smart thinking about their faith that goes above and beyond SHOULD I BEAT THE GAYS AND SHAME THE WHORES?

          • Guacamole Jim

            Truth. There’s a very interesting discussion to be had around the definition of “sin” and what it means in the modern world, but most people are so stuck on trying to abide by black & white legalism it just turns into hate.

          • Howard Dean

            Indeed. That type of rectification would be a tough road, seeing as on the surface, the two are dramatically different and nearly incompatible.

          • I remember before Vheissu was released, they would put what the band members were reading at the time during their blog posts. 50/50 chance each band member was reading C.S. Lewis

          • Edward/Breegrodamus

            One of the worst things is when a small minority of Christians vigorously quote the Old Testament in defense of their anti-gay beliefs. Jesus came to abolish the Law, guys. Christianity supersedes Judaism. Granted the apostle Paul said a thing or two about homosexuality, but, Jesus did not.

          • DDubya.

            People probably shouldn’t be referencing Levitical laws one way or another to prove a point. Unless you’re a Jew and still abide by the law.

          • Guacamole Jim

            And even then, modern Judaism has moved very far from the Biblical law, out of necessity.

          • religious people in Venezuela are mostly awful people. I really despise them. They want to dictaminate everything here, because we live in a transitional society from catholicism to protestantism.

            I try to mantain myself open and respectful. But I have several episodes of intolerance to my point of views, even from my family, that I can’t stand…

          • Edward/Breegrodamus

            Link I am not a religious man, but I probably know more about the Bible and religion than many of those that claim it. I think if religion makes a persons life better, then it is good. However, I have personally known a few too many that tried to include me in beliefs which I did not share. Fuck those people.

      • Wrath of God

        the fact that no one is mentioning Becoming The Archetype makes me sad. even though they are on the spectrum of being super open about their faith in their music, they do it in a really fucking brutal way. Dichotomy is one of my favorite melodic death metal albums of all time.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeTobvx5c2g

    • Stockhausen

      Extol>>>>>>

    • more beer

      I have a hard time getting past the whole invisible man thing.

      • Ellison?

        • more beer

          That`s funny. But no any make believe being fools choose to worship.

          • God ov All

            Bitch I’m right here.

  • DDubya.

    Also, great post. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It seems to me that DsO take a similar approach to songwriting (with a very different outcome) as AEvangelist.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus

      Dubya have you gotten around to listening to DsO? Are you still swearing off because of Mikko Aspa’s perverse lifestyle?

      DsO >>>>>>

      Grunt >>>>>>

      • Dude, you got get some DSO in you

      • DDubya.

        I have not given them the chance. The Aspa stuff rubbed me the wrong way.

        • I don’t know what he’s done, and now i’m not going to research it, because I love this band

          • Howard Dean

            He makes fucked up porn. He also has power electronics projects with very controversial themes.

          • BLXKKBEXRD

            What’s wrong with making fucked up porn?

          • Howard Dean

            Nothing, if you’re into it. As long as it’s legal and consensual. I think a lot of people get bad vibes from Mikko, though (and that’s precisely why DsO decided to work with Mikko–they said so in their interview).

            He’s shared that he has a propensity for sadism/masochism and urinating on people in one interview I saw. He’s… a different type of cat.

          • BLXKKBEXRD

            I was never much into dso, but this makes me like them a little more

          • Howard Dean

            From their interview: “We chose to work with Mikko A. after we noticed how close we actually are. You know his usual rhetoric, and this is far from turning around religious patterns, but his smart down to earth approach has lead him to conclusions extremely similar to ours, even if he started from different observations and ended up with a different formulation of facts. He is one among very few who can take the most atrocious things very naturally, and he is one among very few who truly shares a fascination and appreciation for things of an utterly sadistic nature that I will not unveil here.”

          • BLXKKBEXRD

            See. Kindred spirits of mine, maybe

          • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

            Also not everything he does is assuredlyon the legal side of things.

          • DDubya.

            Yah, I think that’s why I’m hesitant.

          • Howard Dean

            For Mikko bands/projects, I only listen to DsO and Clandestine Blaze. I’ve listened to a little Fleshpress (funeral doom/sludge) on occasion. I’m not a fan of power electronics or noise, so I avoid those. I think he’s really fucked up side comes out mostly in his power electronics projects.

          • DDubya.

            The Mighty Tapir was talking about that one day. If someone wants to do weird fetish things with consenting adults, that’s they’re business, but it seems that he’s pretty open towards those who can’t legally consent.

          • Howard Dean

            Yeah, I agree. That’s when it goes beyond just being “different” or “alternative” and becomes creepy, fucked up, and wrong.

          • DDubya.

            That’s my main roadblock. I enjoyed the music of Paracletus quite a bit, but I’m not sure if I’ll listen further. As I said, though, this was a great article. Your writing always inspires me to push my own writing further.

          • Howard Dean

            As far as I know, Mikko doesn’t bring any of his personal perversions into the DsO fold. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t write any of the lyrics, either, and isn’t really involved with the composition beyond the vocals. If you compare the DsO lyrics to anything he has ever written, the DsO ones are light years ahead. I’m pretty sure the lyrics are written by Hasjarl or someone else in the fold–perhaps even a French academic.

          • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

            I just dived in head over heels.

          • Howard Dean

            Yeah, he’s a bit fucked. His personal ethics and morals likely don’t coincide with the laws in any Western nation (or any country, for that matter).

          • Scrimm

            Those themes stop me.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus

          Fair enough.

        • Scrimm

          I will not support them because of that.

    • Howard Dean

      I would agree with that, Dubya. There has been a pretty steady stream of bands with a similar approach to DsO in the last few years. In my opinion, none of them do it as well. None of them have had close to the same impact on me as DsO (fanboying hard, I know).

      • DDubya.

        Your excellent words on this here internet page might very well convince me to give them a listen.

      • I think the difference between DsO and a lot of these other “I’M SO EVIL” bands is that DsO truly believes what they’re writing about, and are expressing themselves rather than trying to be purposely antagonistic. If that makes sense

      • DDubya.

        Alright, since @disqus_4E0xQtrX2p:disqus decided it was cool to put me on blast for why I haven’t checked out this band, I’m giving Paracletus. Musically speaking, it’s everything I look for in metal.

        • Howard Dean

          That is honestly my favorite album. If someone asks me, “what’s your favorite album?” 100% of the time, it’s my favorite every time.

          • DDubya.

            It would be hard for me to answer that question. My musical taste has been in flux for the last few years. For a long time, though, I would have told you …And Justice for All.

          • Howard Dean

            I think in the past (pre-Paracletus for me), I would’ve been the same way. Since that album came out, though, that’s been the one.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus

          Sorry, I was just making conversation the putting on blast was unintentional.

      • DDubya.

        Ok, Devouring Flame just kicked my hiney.

  • BLXKKBEXRD

    Howard, aside from myself, you are my favorite wordsmith that we have here.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus

      Woah woah there BB.

      • BLXKKBEXRD

        Sry ed, HD Got dem words, yo

        • Edward/Breegrodamus

          … besides I was totes kidding, HD >>> Breegro lol

          • Guacamole Jim

            HD>>>>>>>>>>>> every other writer on the Toilet.

            Every other writer on the Toilet >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> every other writer

            BYAH

          • Stockhausen

            Everything louder than everything else!

          • Howard Dean

            All the other writers on the Toilet > HD.

            The other writers are prolific. I’m a sporadic, unproductive cherry-picker.

          • You just age your writing before posting, like a fine scotch.

    • Howard Dean

      Many thanks, Blackbeard! I really enjoyed your Musk Ox interview from the other day

  • This was a great piece, HD. I had never given DSO a try before today. I’m digging it. Also, it’s helping drown out the ceaseless chatter of my coworkers so that’s nice.

    • Stockhausen

      I always think of the lady from Office Space when I hear the term coworkers, and it makes me glad I’m a teacher. But then my 6th grade students come shrieking into my room and I wish I had an office job. The point is, life sucks, listen to Deathspell Omega.

      • Most days I can get away with plugging in and just hammering through work. It’s pretty sweet. Today… today people want to “chit chat”. I am dying.

      • more beer

        When I read things like this it makes me so glad I work in the trades and alone!

    • Howard Dean

      Thanks, Joe! If you turn it up loud enough, it might literally cause drowning in your coworkers. Lungs filled with ash and boiling blood.

      • I am seriously considering giving that a try.

        • Lacertilian

          DO EEEIT
          DO EEIITTT NOW!

    • Mr.CustodialArts
  • I’m a bit indifferent to DSO but I genuinely appreciate what you’ve written. Good stuff.

    • Same here. I respect them because they make this well structured blend of dissonance and metal. But, it’s not my style.

      In fact, this article just reforced my position: I don’t like it, but I respect them more because of their belief, etc. BYAAHHH, my friend Howard Dean!

      • Howard Dean

        Thanks Link!

    • Howard Dean

      Thanks JAG! Knowing your tastes, DsO definitely wouldn’t be your cup of tea, most likely. But the thing that really sets them apart (for me, at least) from the rest of the “chaotic and dissonant black/death metal” bands is their ability to put feeling into the music, and to write albums with variety.

      • I was listening to a Loverboy record last night…I shouldn’t even be permitted to post here haha.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus

          Fuck that, JAG >>>>>>

        • Howard Dean

          Hah, no worries. Recently, I’ve been listening to speed/power metal and stuff like Van Halen and Ratt 75% of the time. And I just wrote an article on Deathspell Omega.

          I’ve never gone full Loverboy, though. I won’t go there.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

            I love Ratt! I own all their albums!

          • I only have Out of the Cellar.

            They were kinda like the Korn of the ’80s: you hear three songs and go “welp, no sense in listening to any more…they’re all gonna sound exactly like that.”

          • KJM

            You never go ‘Full Loverboy’.

        • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

          I despise Loverboy so much. They make Dan Fogelberg sound heavy.

  • Guacamole Jim

    Interesting stuff, HD. I don’t know if I dig it yet, which is good. It merits more investigation.

    • Howard Dean

      Thanks, Guac! Like a lot of similar artists, DsO’s music is polarizing, and usually an acquired taste. Add in their extreme religious Satanism, and it’s an even harder pill.

      • Guacamole Jim

        It does tie in a bit to your article on Nazi sympathizers. At what point do you appreciate the art for art’s sake, and disengage yourself from the individual?

        • Howard Dean

          For me, DsO is yet another case of not believing the message but appreciating the music. I’m not religious, but the sheer emotion they are able to convey in their art is appealing to me. And to be honest, the themes are creepy as fuck. That makes it appealing, too.

          • You can squeeze gallons of passion out of apokatastasis pantôn

          • Howard Dean

            Confession: Apokatastasis Panton is the most played song on my iPod.

            Confession 2: That track has literally made me tear up. There be some passion and emotion in that song.

          • That is by far my most played DSO track, and one of my top of all time. No shame brother

      • OldMetalHead

        I’m listening to Kénôse now, and I can’t understand the singer well enough to determine their religion. Maybe the next album. That said, I always thought religious overtones in metal was an unneeded gimmick. However, I might be changing my mind a bit. Although I don’t consider myself religious in the least, I still found the lyrics of “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer” to be quite creepy and interesting.

        • Howard Dean

          The vocals on most of their albums are indecipherable without the lyric sheet. Some lyrics on Paracletus–especially the ones that are spoken word–can be deciphered. The other issue is that DsO write extremely dense and esoteric lyrics in English, French, Latin, Greek. Even with the sheet, it’s hard to understand.

          I’m not a religious person at all, but I find the deeply theistic and philosophical satanism of DsO to be fascinating–especially since they so thoroughly convey it in their sound. And like you said, it’s creepy as fuck. That’s what initially attracted me to them.

      • Mr.CustodialArts

        Pill? For me personally, DsO is more of an inhalant…love these dudes, what a MINDFUCK. Great piece, brother, fuckin’ BYAH!!!
        http://31.media.tumblr.com/933b0d01657be34f394d4b5cc54255b3/tumblr_mt31ayzId91rv1ckao1_500.gif

        • Howard Dean

          Many thanks, Herr Custodial Artist!

        • Tyree

          DON’T YOU FUCKING LOOK AT ME!

          • KJM

            PABST
            BLUE
            RIBBON!!!

      • Scrimm

        For me it’s the subject matter of some members other musical projects. Just can’t support certain shit.

        • Howard Dean

          Truth. Mikko Aspa’s power electronics projects have some fucked up themes. I’m not a power electronics/noise fan, so I’ve never bothered to listen to them anyway.

          • Scrimm

            I only researched enough to find out that it was true when I heard about it. I can’t condone that shit, especially given my former career. Awesome job though. Still read this whole article.

          • Howard Dean

            Thanks Scrimm! I certainly don’t condone anything he does, either. The only reason I’m really familiar at all with his is because of DsO and Clandestine Blaze. Other than that, I don’t care for anything involving him.

          • Scrimm

            The praise is well deserved! I wouldn’t take anybody to task for listening to them I just can’t hear them without thinking of itand that’s deadly.

          • Bodycage

            What was true?

          • Scrimm

            That some of his projects promote some nasty shit with kids/minors

          • Bodycage

            Like? You do know the difference between being a provocateur and advocating/condoning behaviour? Obviously not. I want to see a single shred of evidence ‘promoting’ any of that. Mikko A has given many interviews, is very open about his views, but that forms no part of it.

          • Scrimm

            And as someone who worked with kids for years I coule give a fuck. You’re putting that shit out there, regardless of which reason you stated above is not ok. Not for that shit.

          • Bodycage

            What does working with kids have to do with anything? It’s like refusing to watch a film because it brings up provocative subject matters, such as rape, violence, abuse etc. Do you dismiss those out of hand, too, without knowing why they’re even being used as topics? Besides, I asked you to provide one shred of evidence to suggest it is promoting that, which you are unable to do. Brass eye made a controversial episode on said subject matter, where people like you got up in arms and missed the whole point of it.

          • Scrimm

            Because I have worled with severely abused people and it had a large hand in forming my opinions ofn said subject and my decision to support media that deals with it in any form which is all I gave above. And I dont have to justify that opinion because the”evidence” isn’t enough for someone else. It was more than enough for me.

          • Scrimm

            Because I worked with many kids who had been through hell and it went a long way towards forming my opinions on whether or not to support anything that dealt at all with such subject matter, which is all I stated above. I don’t feel the need to provide evidence to anyone, what I read/heard was more than enough for me, and “People like you?” Really?” I’m done.

          • Bodycage

            Nothing? How apropos.

          • Scrimm

            Ugh, because I worked with many who had been through hell and it had a large hand in forming my opinions on whether or not I would want to support something like that. I don’t feel the need to provide evidence as all I did was state my opinion but ffs look no further than playground.

          • Bodycage

            That’s fair enough and your prerogative, but my point was that this no more “promotes” this horrible behaviour than an artist who uses rape as a subject matter. Does a death metal band talking about mutilation make them sadists/murderers?

          • Scrimm

            Not really, don’t condone that either

          • Bodycage

            Man, your film collection must be slim pickings.

          • Are you really trying to claim some kind of highbrow superiority for enjoying pedo noise. Rest of the world to you: “lol”

          • Bodycage

            No, I’m just basking in the ‘high ground’ of asking someone to qualify their original comment, only to be met with nothing. Are you trying to claim some kind of lowbrow inferiority by also saying nothing, other than ‘lol’? Btw, I haven’t heard a single note of that project. Ouch, you really didn’t think this through.

          • I had no idea. How could I ever predicted THE MOST RATIONAL THINKER ON EARTH would stop by and comment on my humble web blog? I am not worthy.

          • Bodycage

            No problem, man. It’s a good blog btw, happened across it the other day.

          • Maik Beninton™
          • Bodycage

            A genre literally built on covering the most extreme topics, covers an extreme topic. This just in.

          • Maik Beninton™

            For some reason, you wouldn’t google it even though Scrimm said “look no further than playground” and Mikko’s power eletrocnics project were mentioned before, so here it is, your welcome.

          • Bodycage

            I think you’re confused here; not having heard a single note of an album /=/ not knowing what it’s about. Are you going to direct me to where this behaviour is promoted, or just offer Google links to what we already know?

          • Maik Beninton™

            No, I’m pretty sure you can do it from here, I gave you a good headstart.

          • Bodycage

            At least you’re not shy in admitting you can’t provide anything. Thanks.

          • Let people not listen to edgy shit in peace.

          • Nfl

            2 + 2 = 5

  • Pagliacci is Kvlt/Not Mad

    Last time I looked for a video of Deathspell Omegle, some fat guy showed me his penis. Never again.

    • Howard Dean

      Hahahahaha!

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Stop looking for Deathspell Omega videos on Snapchat

    • The Satan Ov Hell

      My favourite game!
      Go on omegle
      set interest as music
      Insist that Black Noise is the pinnacle of music.

    • That’s what you get for asking Axl Rosenberg for music!

  • JamesGrimm
    • Holy shit, it’s been ages hearing these guys! I was supposed to interview the singer about 11 years ago, but he was in the middle of some personal/financial stuff from what he told me, and I quit music journalism not long after.

  • Hubert, Goat ov/of SATAN!!!!!

    I read the entire interview, I didn’t get much (any) of what was said, but it very interesting indeed, BYAH!

    I listened to Paracletus a bit, but I was put off by the excessively loud mastering job. It left a bad taste in my mouth, and haven’t gotten back to it. I’ll try the other albums though and maybe Paracletus later.

    • Howard Dean

      The interview is dense, esoteric, and rambling. It takes repeated readings. And I can say that as I guy who has read it several times.

  • NefariousDude

    RIP CHICKEN FRIES

  • NefariousDude

    I <3 d$pll mega

  • sweetooth0

    Shit yeah, Deathspell Omega rules! Managed to snag the vinyl picture disc box set that includes their trilogy and all of the supporting EP’s that surround it for a mere 80bucks from some dude in Finland. Typically I’m not down with the picture discs, but these ones actually sound pretty good, and the box set is damn handsome.

    http://www.discogs.com/Deathspell-Omega-Untitled/release/3705511

    • Howard Dean

      Whoa dude, that was a steal! Congrats! I don’t collect vinyl, but that was a sumptuous box set, for sure.

      • sweetooth0

        yeah had to jump all over that, the typical asking price as like $250-300. Now I just need to get the other one with all of their earlier stuff and my Deathspell Omega collection will be complete.

  • Guest
  • JamesGrimm

    Tex deth. Brutal.
    http://youtu.be/6QeWUr-Oo5M

  • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

    As an avid Aspa fan and admirer of DsO, I enjoyed the flush out of this article.

    • Howard Dean

      Many thanks, Finnbear!

  • Stanley

    I’ve never listened to this band and I haven’t clicked on any of the music links yet (this I will do later), but after reading the entire article I feel like I know the band. Great writing!

    • Howard Dean

      Thanks Stanley!

  • Gurptitude

    YES! I was listening to Paracletus yesterday and am super stoked for a new album.

    • Howard Dean

      Since Drought dropped in ’12, I’ve been (im)patiently waiting for something new–anything at all. Even an EP. Just something. I have this fear in me that we will never hear from them again. That would make me very sad. The slowing down of business/almost complete inactivity from Norma Evangelium Diaboli has me a little nervous, too. They’ve never been the most open or prolific, but in the last few years, that label has nearly fallen off the map (only Teitanblood’s new album and the Dead Congregation vinyl release from last year).

      • Edward/Breegrodamus

        Teitanblood came out on that label? That makes sense.

        • Howard Dean

          Yeah, Teitanblood have been with them for quite some time.

          Norma Evangelium Diaboli is a small and fairly tight knit label. Right now, their bands are Antaeus, DsO, Funeral Mist, Katharsis, Malign, Sorhin, and Teitanblood (if you are familiar with those bands at all, you definitely begin to see a pattern–musically and aesthetically).

          Dead Congregation is affiliated with NED a little (the Promulgation of the Fall vinyl was released by them), and former bands on the label include Ofermod and S.V.E.S.T. NED definitely have a “style.”

          There’s also quite a bit of crossover between NED and the labels End All Life Productions, Northern Heritage, and The Ajna Offensive.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus

            I have not listened to a lot of Katharsis but you have posted them in ROTW before and I seem to recall them being in your author description. I remember looking for their music once and it being somewhat hard to come by…

          • Howard Dean

            They are probably my favorite “straightforward/old school style” black metal band. They are so damn good.

            I own all of their albums on CD. I bought one directly from NED/The Ajna Offensive, two from World Terror Committee (German label/distro), and one off of eBay from a dealer in Germany.

  • JWG

    Whadyamean “I know what you are thinking”.

    How could I possibly identify that someone else had written the article even before the first word? Author details are at the *bottom* of the article.

    That said, I’m definitely going to set aside a time later today to listen to all of these tunes. I’m not at all familiar with DsO (other than the other DSO) but a convincing case has been made to rectify that oversight.

  • meat

    had to stop lurking just to say i loved this

  • Mother Shabubu III

    DsO – the sounds of the void.

    • Howard Dean

      Void personified.

  • Andrew Ross Millar

    >implying Chaining the Katechon isn’t the best Dso release

    • Howard Dean

      Of the three ~20 minute single song EPs, my favorite is actually Mass Grave Aesthetics.

  • PhoenixKing Leonhart

    First Prayer is still one of the most menacing intros to an album, in any genre of music.

    My favorite DsO album is actually the EP they released between Fas – Ite…and Paracletus though.

    • Howard Dean

      Which one? Chaining the Katechon or Mass Grave Aesthetics?

      I agree on First Prayer. Shit is just unnerving and downright creepy.

      • PhoenixKing Leonhart

        Chaining the Katechon.

        I believe Mass Grave is a re-release.

        • Howard Dean

          Ah yes, trvth. A reissue from their “From Entrails to Dirt” split.

  • The Xan is a fan of the Deathspell.

  • If I’m not mistaken, didn’t Khaos play in Samael for a short little bit?

    • Howard Dean

      I’m not sure. On the metal-archives, the only bands he is credited as being associated with are DsO, Barbatos, Hirilorn, and Solekahn–and in a non-musical sometimes (photography).

  • It’s been forever since I’ve listened to Deathspell Omega, but listening to it again makes me all girly and giggly with delight.

    http://lh3.ggpht.com/-bAtT69o7aqE/U_umranKbhI/AAAAAAAAG24/2YZ7SlA8hbs/rhona_mitra_from_ali_g-40604.gif

  • Lacertilian

    Thanks @disqus_SuTZzQbXC5:disqus
    I like many others have mentioned am yet to listen to this band.
    I will rectify this with Paracletus, good entry point?

    • Howard Dean

      Thanks! I think Paracletus is their best album and probably the most accessible–many of their other albums and EPs are harder listens due to their density or length.