Deathspell Omega “Drought” (2012)

Let’s start from the actual epilogue of the much awaited latest offering from D.O., shall we? Because it shifts the classic French band’s sound into a facet that reminds me, thanks to the Gregorian chants softly woven in with an almost sensual and morbid approach, of the legendary electro-ambient German project Enigma, specifically their first album “MCMXC a.D.”: could Hasjarl actually be Michael Cretu?!… Jokes aside (no disrespect meant to the supreme gods of twisted AGM-BM), this EP, following a breathtaking trilogy, is wonderful!

The instrumental “Salowe Vision” is superb, subtle dark jazz intertwined with ominous, esoteric, über-dark doom which, in a magnificent slow-paced manner, unfolds magically into post-rock glory; a perfect intro to the ever stunning, dizzying, jerking melting-pot that we have been accustomed to. Whether schizophrenically torn between angelically tormented melody and frenziedly evil chaos, D.O.’s sound is always captivating because it is consistently thick, metaphysical and yet vividly present, constantly at your throat no matter what speed the tracks are flowing at.

And with the hellish “Fiery Serpents” and “Scorpions & Draught” it all kicks off: the sound is clear yet morbid, filthy, churning-away in an insane turbine of styles that just fit and do not fit, making you feel like you are drowning into a dark, foul-smelling, tempestuous ocean. The demented free-willed obliqueness of jazz-fusion interacts like fire on a sea of oil with the swirling, disturbing pandemonium of black metal; this flows intermittently through-out the 5th track, offering what is expected from the maestros, who seem though to have lifted their game of at least two notches.

“Abrasive Swirling Muck”: what a title, a true pictorial manifesto to conceptual songwriting that seems to be ever-growing into whichever direction is chosen, as the utter masterpiece of the EP, the sixth and last track “The Crackled Book of Life”, amply demonstrates. Here we do not find the distinctive all-out attack that the band is famous and revered for, but rather a slower, moody post-rock/ambient piece of D.O. art crowning this work. It starts with a bewitchingly odd, melodic, slanted tune that might have just as well come out of Davide Tiso’s head, but also bearing an ever so slight whiff of 60s vintage Frenchness (think of the darkest Fursy Teyssier); this eventually dilutes into a suffused, eerie, spell-binding dirge that builds into one of the most beautiful musical moments of late… only to vanish with the same sudden, blood-chilling manner of an otherworldly entity being sucked back into its own distant dimension.

Expect this entity to come back to inspire another magistral album that will, I’m sure, surprise and astound once again.

-Mystery Flame


Release:  22nd June 2012
Avantgenre:  Avantgarde Black Metal
Duration:  20 Minutes
Origin:  France
Official site:  None
Review online since:  21.06.2012 / 18:42:28


01 – Salowe Vision
02 – Fiery Serpents
03 – Scorpions & Drought
04 – Sand
05 – Abrasive Swirling Murk
06 – The Crackled Book Of Life

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