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4.21 | 14 ratings | 5 reviews
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EP · 2012


1. Salowe Vision (3:45)
2. Fiery Serpents (4:15)
3. Scorpions & Drought (3:10)
4. Sand (1:40)
5. Abrasive Swirling Murk (3:50)
6. The Cracked Book of Life (4:20)

Total Time 21:00


- Khaos / Bass
- Hasjarl / Guitars
- Mikko Aspa / Vocals

About this release

EP, Norma Evangelium Diaboli, June 22nd, 2012

Available in MLP and digipak CD formats.

Thanks to Wilytank for the addition and UMUR for the updates


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siLLy puPPy
DROUGHT was the second EP to emerge after the DEATHSPELL OMEGA’s attention grabbing Satanic trilogy of albums that showed the world that black metal could be as intellectually saturated with theological highbrow concepts accompanied by the most progressive and complex compositional fortitude of any advanced musical style while still hiding in the complete anonymity of darkness. Following 2011’s single tracked “Diabolus Absdonditus,” DROUGHT featured six separate tracks that more or less coalesced into a single 21 minute experience.

Cranking out the already established mix of jagged blistering black metal guitar riffs, bantering bass lines and technical percussive assaults accompanied by despondent Satanic liturgies in the form of raspy vocals, DROUGHT showcased yet another methodology of taking all the individual parts that made up the sonic terror of DEATHSPELL OMEGA and put it all together in yet another unique recipe. Although to the uninvited listener, this will all come across as bantering din from social deviants, this French band finds still more ways of mixing slow plodding, even doom metal fueled nonchalantness with caustic aggressive fury.

“Salowe Vision” opens as what sounds like a band fully exhausted from its decade long rampage with slow plodding riffs that sound as if the band is ready for a complete breakdown but emerges into top form on the fueled by Satan orotundity of “Fiery Serpents.” Fueled with jagged guitar riffs that seem to have taken an even more boastful pride in crating gnarled math rock inspired progressive time signatures, DROUGHT continues the swells of sonic scare tactics in a seemingly limitless ability to shape shift around simple rhythmic processions fortified with an endless array of darkened dynamics.

While “Diabolus Absconditus” seemed to thrive on its simplicity, DROUGHT on the other hand returned to the antics of the Satanic trilogy with incessant drifts of highly fustian freelancing that delivered an entire album’s worth of emotional torture tactics all in the short playing time of 21 minutes. While the shock value may have been long gone for members of the DSO cult, the perfunctory prowess of the musical complexities does not cease to impress. Few black metal bands have mastered the vast arsenal of tricks and trinkets that DEATHSPELL OMEGA has and although far into the band’s canon, DROUGHT only reinforces that this band had an extraordinary beyond human sort of talent that seemingly came from Faustian pacts with you know who.

DSO disappeared for several years after this and wouldn’t re-emerge from the underworld until 2016’s “The Synarchy of Molten Bones” but the band’s legendary status reverberated well into the 2010s with countless imitators adopting the highly complex and atonal characteristics that DSO launched with its lauded masterpieces of molten maniacal monstrosity. It seems that in many ways that this would end the first era of DEATHSPELL OMEGA’s reign as rulers of the black metal underworld and that what came after was simply a retread of all the established sounds that preceded. Fittingly the title DROUGHT signified the four year gap when DSO returned to the underworld to offer the captured souls that their music attracted. Sure the ticket is your soul but at least there is a 30-day satisfaction guarantee or your soul back! Whew, that was close :D
"Drought" is an EP release by French black metal act Deathspell Omega. The EP was released through Norma Evangelium Diaboli in June 2012. "Drought" is available in MLP and digipack CD formats.

The music style on "Drought" is no surprise if you are already familiar with the last couple of releases by Deathspell Omega. Chaotic sounding, technical and experimental/progressive black metal is what you´re treated to. The band are exceptionally well playing, and "Drought" features a professional and powerful sound production that really brings out the best in the rather complex tracks. It´s a slightly less metallic tinged sound production compared to the last couple of releases which is something that seems to suit Deathspell Omega well. While the band´s "core" style is technically challenging and chaotic sounding black metal with raw raspy vocals, multible tempo changes and a sensibilty towards dissonance, there are also post-metal elements in the band´s style that need a mention. Both "Salowe Vision" and "The Cracked Book of Life", which bookend the EP, are instrumental post-metal tracks and have very little to do with black metal. The fact that "Sand" is also a bit different from the band´s trademark sound, makes "Drought" quite a varied and also entertaining listen. It should be noted at this point that all six tracks on the EP seque into each other to form a 21:00 minutes long concept piece. The individual tracks aren´t that long though, and the relatively short format works really well.

"Drought" might not be neither surprising nor a revolutionizing development of the band´s sound, but it´s a damn well written, well performed and well produced effort by Deathspell Omega and another proof of how skilled and inventive they are. A 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is deserved.
Time Signature
Fiery serpents...

Genre: avant-garde black metal

Deathspell Omega's last couple of releases - and especially "Paracletus" from 2010 - have been trailblazing artistic successes, which definitely challenge their listeners in every conceivable way.

Compared to the avant-garde chaotic nature of "Paracletus", their latest EP "Drought" seems very accessible and straightforward. In reality, contains some very complex and progressive music - and, indeed, tracks like 'Scorpions & Drought' and 'Abrasive Swirling Mud' almost reach "Paracletus"-like states of dissonance-driven avant-garde chaos. However, Deathspell Omega mainly explore textures that are quite different from their earlier releases.

The opening track, for instance, is a quiet but dark 'Salowe Vision' slowly builds up towards 'Fiery Serpents' contains some riff-driven passages and some almost thrashy drumming with several different drumming patterns juxtaposed in brief bursts. And there is also a more traditional black metal style tremolo-and-blast beat section to satisfy the die hard black metal fans out there. 'Sand' and 'The Crackled book of Life' both feature some almost post-rock like elements with the latter having a nice organic drive. Even the otherwise chaotic 'Abrasive Swirling Mud' morphs into a very melodic affair towards the end.

To mainstream listeners, this EP is probably unbearable and nearly inaccessible, but to fans of extreme avant-garde metal Deathspell Omega's "Drought" will probably be some of their most straightforward and accessible stuff, and definitely some of their most melodic stuff.

Still, it is progressive and avant-garde enough that even seasoned listeners are likely to find it a nice challenging listen.
Deathspell Omega has been a very consistent black metal band starting from their release "Si Monvmentvm Reqvires, Circvmspice", the first of the trilogy, and this EP doesn't break the chain. They have been releasing some of the most interesting releases in the modern era of black metal. And along with their black metal roots, they have been adding plenty of progressive metal elements to their sound, and especially in this EP.

With progressive metal, I can see I'm very picky. Now I know I'm generalizing here, but a lot of progressive metal just sounds very dreary, dull, drab, and dry. Sometimes it doesn't even feel like you're listening to a band, just a machine that makes music in some odd time signature. But I believe Deathspell Omega is far from that. When I hear this EP, I always hear the raw roots where they came from and that helps put life into this release for me.

The production helps a lot with this album as well. Everything is textured so nicely and everything feels so tangible and you can really hear the instruments...if you get what I mean. Everything just feels so rugged, raw, rich and real.

As the EP starts off with a very atmospheric and slow song, it quickly picks up. The guitars are...excited, as they never really stay in a single riff for all too long and just seem to be jumping all over the place, which I like, but is an acquired taste. If you like having a lot of song structure, this may not be the EP for you because sometimes it does sound a bit scattered. But in all the chaos, you still get to go back to the black metal roots with the types of chords they choose.

Also, besides the instruments, there are of course the vocals. They haven't changed much, they're still the DSO vocals you either love or hate. There still isn't much in the ways of singing as there are a narration, but for some reason I'm always attracted to that style, love the classics like Spiderland and Trout Mask Replica that have plenty of that style. But if you've been turned away by previous Deathspell Omega, I'd recommending checking out this release. It has to be one of their most accessible releases along with the last ofthe trilogy, Paracletus.

Some complaints are that I feel that the EP ends too suddenly. Not that the EP is too short, although it could be longer, it just feels like a sudden stop and I wish it could have gone on longer. But I know this isn't their last release, and I'm excited that after the trilogy, they're still releasing awesome music.
Conor Fynes
'Drought' - Deathspell Omega (10/10)

Yes, Deathspell Omega have gone punk. Yes, they have even pop. In fact, it's been recently announced that Deathspell Omega has been a weekend side project of Blink 182's Tom DeLonge, and through some coincidence, it has been misinterpreted as the continuation of a French band of the same name that broke up ten years ago. After such a cerebral and heavy handed album trilogy about theistic satanism, it's nice to hear Deathspell Omega throw away the evil and sing songs about pretty girls instead.

Jest aside, I can see why Deathspell Omega's latest EP "Drought" has been getting recognition as a change of pace for the enigmatic black metal outfit. They're still the same viciously technical bastards that they've been since their breakthrough "Si Monumentum..." record, but their sound is getting cleaner, and- I daresay- more coherent. For anyone who listened to their last full-length "Paracletus", this evolution from the unrelenting madness of "Fas - Ite, Maledicti, In Ignem Aeternum" to more concise song structures was predictable. Deathspell essentially pick up where they left off with "Paracletus", and with this comes a barrage of jaw-dropping complexity, malefic atmosphere, and some of the best flow I have ever heard on an EP. Black metal's greatest prog-enitors have struck gold once again.

On "Drought" and virtually everything they have done since "Fas...", Deathspell Omega create a quintessential black metal atmosphere, yet manage to do so with surprisingly few black metal conventions. Barring Aspa's trademark croak, and the occasional blast beat thrown between the inhuman permafills, Deathspell Omega have little now in common with the genre's core sound. The guitars are rapturous and dissonant, and may sound a little more like The Dillinger Escape Plan than I would like to admit. Amidst the confusion, there are plenty of thick grooves. Especially on a first listen, things can feel very chaotic, although- perhaps unlike the band's most challenging material- there's just enough melody and comprehensible rhythm in the music to make things coherent. Just enough.

Although the most exciting moments on "Drought" are the chaotic storms, a considerable portion of the album is devoted to some of the most melodic and mellowed ideas Deathspell have done since "Si Monumentum...". "Salowe Vision" is a wonderful opener, gradually building tension and atmosphere until "Fiery Serpents" erupts with the band's signature chaos. "The Crackled Book of Life" ends the EP in a heavier fashion than it started, although a beautiful melodic idea is hidden beneath the gradually fading rhythm. There are no stops in the music on "Drought"; though Deathspell have generally shortened the track lengths, the impression of a twenty minute epic- like their earlier "Chaining the Katechon"- is evoked to great benefit. Even the runt of the litter- the one minute "Sand"- has a place here.

For a long time, I have not been able to cite a band that's gone as far with the black metal style as Deathspell Omega. Even in making their song structures shorter and production cleaner, they still manage to sound as fierce and experimental as ever. I did not think that one of my favourite releases of the year would be an EP, but here it is. As a fan, I've been blown away once again, and as a reviewer, I can only give my highest recommendation. Absolutely phenomenal.

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