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DEATHSPELL OMEGA - Veritas Diaboli Manet in Aeternum: Chaining the Katechon cover
4.64 | 13 ratings | 4 reviews
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EP · 2008


1. Chaining the Katechon (22:12)

Total Time: 22:12


- Hasjarl / guitars
- Khaos / bass
- Mikko Aspa / vocals

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siLLy puPPy
After the groundbreaking milestone of black metal complexities delivered by DEATHSPELL OMEGA with its lauded “Fas – Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum,” the band released two EPs before concluding the trilogy of albums that ended with “Parcletus” with themes that focused on the highly advanced Satanic theology inspired by the philosophies of George Bataille, Michel Leiris and Pierre Klossowski but then again pretty much everything this band unleashes on to the world is about those topics so in reality makes little difference how you approach them from a chronological point of of view.

The EPs “Mass Grave Aesthetics” and VERITAS DIABOLI MANET IN AETEMUM: CHAINING THE KATECHON were both released on 8 December 2008 however VERITAS was released both as an EP and as a split with the other French black metal band S.V.E.S.T. (stands for Satanas Vobiscum et Spiritum Tuo) which i suspect may have been DEATHSPELL OMEGA’s side project as a pseudonym because stylistic approaches and especially vocal style are suspiciously similar.

The DEATHSPELL OMEGA EP consists of the sole track “Chaining The Katechon” which refers to a New Testament term used to describe the one who prevents the rise of the Antichristand therefore stopping the second coming of Christ. The track clocks in just over 22 minutes but features the classic jaw dropping characteristics of the band’s Satanic trilogy that were instrumental in taking black metal into a much higher level of philosophical and progressive credibility.

Laced with the hallmark dissonant jangle guitar riffs and the transmogrifications from creepy slow tempos to buzzsaw blastbeat fueled black metal fury, CHAINING THE KATECHON essentially served as an intermission between the final two chapters of the Satanic trilogy but was every bit as intricately designed and fueled with some of the scariest combinations of sound that have ever haunted the metal universe. Ranging from Meshuggah-like swells of dissonant metallic passages to moments of Orthodox choir chanting, CHAINING THE KATECHON excels in conjuring up demons and dwells on dreadful sounding progressive black metal with the complexities leagues above the competition.

While DEATHSPELL OMEGA has been far from what one would call a melodic black metal band, the fact that scant melodic passages are inserted into the works ensures that just enough hooks keep the listener intrigued enough to prevent them from losing their minds as the atonal jagged guitar riffs chug along with creepy atmospheres and top notch precision percussive workouts. Mikko Aspa’s unmistakable vocal style dominates the chilling soundscapes with raspy declarations of darkened ideologies but finds more moments on VERITAS to offer clean narrative proses that add to the overall diverse rotisserie of progressively infused weavings of stylistic shifts.

While very much in the ghoulish spirit of the Satanic trilogy which bookmarks this EPs place in the overall canon, VERITAS DIABOLI MANET IN AETEMUM: CHAINING THE KATECHON more than stands up on in its own in the near indescribable freakery that DEATHSPELL OMEGA is capable of crafting. The beauty of this one is that it feels more like a condensed version of the longer albums where certain segments are truncated and serves as a sampler for those brave enough to dip into this band’s world of terrifying and horrific sonic assaults. This sole track is for sure one of the band’s finest moments and a mandatory extension of the brilliant triumvirate that remains the band’s finest hours.
So, this will be more of a track review, mainly because this EP has only one track, but this track is 22 minutes, so it makes slight sense.

This EP is a rather interesting one. This is actually a split EP between the band S.V.A.S.T., but oddly enough I can't find the other half of the EP. So while I search for the other half, I'll have to talk about this half of the EP.

This track is a complete rollercoaster really, and compared to the material on “Fas – Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum” it is a complete step forward. One of the biggest shocks is the cleanest of production. All the negatives I found in the production on “Fas – Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum” have all been toned up, and the production on this album is pretty stellar. The echo has been turned down, and the vocals are turned up, and each note the guitars and bass play can all be heard, which is a definite positive.

Musically the track is a slight less frightening than the tracks on “Fas – Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum” (as odd as that sounds), but it still does hold a lot of fright. The best way to describe this track is like a rollercoaster. It starts off like a head rush and anytime the track slows down and almost becomes something beautiful, from out of nowhere the track peaks up again and scares the crap out of you. This track is a definite step in the right direction for the band, mainly due to the popularity starting rise behind this track.

Lyrically the track is just beautiful. And I know that sounds weird, but poetically speaking the images brought forward are really vivid and colourful. Mixing Milton esque imagery with original black metal dissonance, the tracks lyrics and the performance from the vocals really do sound like a sermon of evil.

In conclusion, this would be the pinnacle moment of this band for me. While “Fas – Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum” can be a rather difficult listen, this track in many ways is a lot more listenable. In fact, this may be the best way to sum up the band and even there entire career. An absolute stellar track that should be listened by all Black Metal and Metal fans.

Conor Fynes
'Chaining The Katechon' - Deathspell Omega (10/10)

Deathspell Omega is a band that has had the same effect on me that only a few others like , Opeth, Blotted Science and Voivod have had on me earlier in my life; they have effectively changed the way I look at metal. With Deathspell in particular, they demonstrated to me how far the black metal style could be pushed forward. and ever since, their modern classic of controlled madness 'Fas, Ite - Maledicti, In Ignem Aeturnum' has been one of my top favourites. Naturally, I was spurred to listen to as much Deathspell Omega as I could after hearing how incredible these guys are, and while their earlier output certainly does not have the same impact on me as does the later, I do consider them to be a remarkably consistent band, and absolute innovators. Leave it to a band like this then to create an EP that leaves my jaw dropping.

'Chaining The Katechon' (also known in longform as 'Veritas Diaboli Manet In Aeturnum: Chaining The Katechon') is a single song EP that lasts twenty minutes long. Much like a progressive epic, this is a single suite of complex composition where Deathspell Omega brings their greatest elements to the table; their darkly philosophical and disturbing lyrical content, their madly technical and dissonant performance standard, and that pleasant sensation of having one's soul torn open and having hell pour in, you know, the sort of atmosphere that only a band like DSO could foster. Despite merely being an EP, this is wildly challenging music, and there are enough musical layers and ideas to keep a listener busy for weeks. 'Chaining The Katechon' begins abruptly, jumping straight into a barrage of musical fury and Deathspell Omega's trademark rasps. Beginning an epic without any flowery build up introduction is startling, but it works so well; there is not a second on the epic that seems meant to fill up the disc time.

While 'Fas' was an album intentionally void of much in the way of 'beauty', there are actually some melodies this time around, although not nearly enough to make the band any more accessible. For the most part, this is a continuation of the sound on the band's fourth album, but in between bouts of madness and technical loops, there are parts here where some melodies from the guitars are allowed to escape from the wall of sound and be heard. Most times, these melodies aren't beautiful in the traditional sense, but when compared to the very ugly and complex fury that Deathspell Omega is used to churning out, it is a really welcome change of pace.

The guitars all feel dissonant and out-of-tune, so it becomes so surprising that Deathspell Omega is able to craft some massively powerful grooves with them. More than a few times here, Deathspell changes up their tempo and allows for a slower, but still intense aggression that is sure to get heads banging along, despite the avant-classical sensibility here that would make one think this was purely music to sit down and carefully analyze. This is indeed music to feed the intellect, but that doesn't mean to say that there aren't parts here that will get the listener fueled as well.

One last thing I will mention about the album are the vocals. As one could have guessed, the rather standard rasps here are the least impressive thing that Deathspell Omega goes for on 'Chaining The Katechon', but I have found it strangely poignant and interesting that no matter how intense and complex the instrumentation and music gets, the vocals maintain their reserved stance, rasping away, but rarely letting loose. The strength of having the vocals in this music are obviously for the lyrics- which are common to go into bouts of archaic Latin- and while they may be mixed just a little too highly compared to the rest of the sound, these dismal rasps only compliment the dark atmosphere that the band crafts here.

'Chaining The Katechon' is easily one of the most profound EPs I have ever heard, not only in black metal, but in my experience with any music. There is more than enough musical depth here to be worth the same concentration that a full-length album would warrant, and no matter how many listens I put into this thing, I always seem to be hearing new things in it.
If any of you read my Isa review, you'd recall me calling "Return to Yggdrasil" my favorite black metal song. Well, it has been dethroned by none other than "Chaining the Katechon."

I am fairly new to the world of Deathspell Omega, but "Fas – Ite, Maledicti, In Ignem Aeternum" was the album that got me hooked. Let me tell you, that is also an amazing piece, but that is a review for another time. They're primarily a black metal band, but they do have elements of avant-garde thrown in every-so-often. This is both technically powerful along with musically. I can imagine the excessive blast beats being a bit too much for some people, but not I.

Well on that note, let's grade the drumming. The blast beats are something I really like in this track. They don't sound repetitive because the drummer really knows his stuff. He changes the blast beats around with the cymbals enough to it doesn't sound like he's rehashing the same thing. Looking beyond the blast beats, I also do like the parts where his bass drum aligns with the bass to really get a full sound. The fills are really nothing to write home about technically, but they complement the feel of the song and feel so seamless that it is easily forgivable. The drummer is the spine of the band and this drummer certainly provides a very strong one. Exceptional in its context.

Since I already talked about the bass a bit, I'll continue on that. It pretty much does the same thing as the drums job which is make the song feel that much more powerful. The bass never really steals the spot-light, but like I said with the drums, the bass is perfect in its context. It does what the band wants it to do, all though I do find myself wondering how it would have sounded with a different bassist. Sometimes the bass really surprises me on albums on how good it is, but not really this one. I'm not saying it's bad, actually quite the opposite, I still love it, but it never really "WOW'd" me at any point besides when it doing some slides behind the guitar or really giving more power to the song on the powerful kick-drum hits.

Now the guitars are just fucking great. I mean, they're technical and atmospheric. This album does have an evil sort of vibe to it and the guitars definitely help. Their tone is absolutely perfect for an album like this. There is quite a lot of variety. Everything from the slow atmospheric, haunting feel to the blazing fast technical feel, but while still retaining the mood of the album. The guitars definitely make the album what it is. I honestly can't think of any down-sides.

Now the lyrics and vocals. The majority of the song are growls, but there are some clean vocals too. The clean vocals do their job, helping the song play out. They're very welcome in the whole atmosphere, nothing to complain about, nothing really exceptional either. But now, I do think the growls are exceptional. They have an excellent amount of force to them and he balances them quite well. Another plus is I think they are quite easy to understand. I'm not saying that your mother would be able to, but if you listen to black metal often I'm sure you can as well. The lyrics are also great. If you read them just on a website I know you won't think too much of them, but the way the band presents them through-out the song is exceptional. Being able to understand these powerful lyrics is certainly an upside. Nothing at all to complain about here.

There are also misc. instruments around the album that add to the feel of the album so very well. They don't get played enough for me to really crack down on everyone, but they're all great (especially the brass instrument near the end!). All in all, this is a 22 minute epic that no black metal fan, or even any metal fan who isn't afraid of growling and blast beats, should check out. It's just too good to pass up. Also, listen on full-blast! This song definitely has a lot of things you won't notice the first time through, but every detail adds to the mood.

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