Review by Danny Katz
Before I begin, I have a confession to make; I hated Deathspell Omega. I first heard them by way of their full length, Si Monumentum Reqvires, Circumspice, and just well, wasn’t into it. It was too cacophonous. I could barely make out structure to some of the songs. The vocals were off putting for some odd reason. I tried with every subsequent release of theirs too, as they were generating a lot of praise from sources I generally trusted. It didn’t do anything for me. Until it did.
My how things change. Fast forward approximately a decade, and they’re easily one of my favorite black metal bands. I don’t know when they clicked for me, perhaps with the release of Paracletus, but finally, I suppose I “got it”, whatever “it” is. I’ve now poured over every release they have, including Si Monumentum Reqvires, Circumspice, and love them all, a lot. However, I can objectively mention that their most recent release before The Synarchy of Molten Bones, the Drought EP, was a bit of a drop off in quality. Make no mistake, I enjoy it greatly, but it is widely considered their most conventionally structured, boring, and weak material. However, in spite of that, when Deathspell Omega announced that they were releasing The Synarchy of Molten Bones, I was elated. It has been some time since Drought, and I was eager to see what they’d do next.
The Synarchy of Molten Bones is a “return to form”, and by that, I mean they have eschewed standard song structures, pleasant interludes, and have returned to the nearly free form, dissonant riffing, chaotic drumming, and breakneck pace of albums like FAS – Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum. There is not a moment’s respite on The Synarchy of Molten Bones. From the second the album opens with the titular track, you are immersed in chromatic, atonal riffs, blast beats, and menacing, yet clear vocals. I should note that I absolutely love Mikko’s unique vocal delivery, and while I’m sure he sounds sort of like someone else, I’ve never heard it. No song on The Synarchy of Molten Bones relents for a second, and by the time the album closes with “Internecine Iatrogenesis”, I almost felt exhausted.
So I did the logical thing and immediately started it over. With Deathspell Omega, you have to know what you’re signing up for. This isn’t atmospheric black metal. This isn’t melodic black metal. If you’re looking for any sort of pleasing musicality, look elsewhere. However, if you’re looking to be absolutely bludgeoned by a band, and enjoy bands like Gorguts, Ulcerate, Portal, and other technically proficient nightmares, Deathspell Omega may very well be your new favorite band.
Release Date: November 8, 2016
Label: Season of Mist/Noevdia
RIYL: having nightmares if you fall asleep with this on.