Deathspell Omega - Veritas Diaboli Manet in Aeternum: Chaining the Katechon Review
by Mark Hensch
In keeping with the existential and theological exploration they did on 2007's Fas – Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum, France's Deathspell Omega return with an equally challenging EP entitled Veritas Diaboli Manet in Aeternum: Chaining the Katechon. And much like on Fas, Katechon is a whirlwind of darkness and chaos, carrying on much where the last album left off. Unlike Fas, however, Katechon features a level of malicious irony that its forebear simply could not have foreseen. Though Deathspell has always enjoyed committing blasphemy with religious orthodoxy's own symbols, Katechon is a recording which takes heresy into a completely different layer of Hell.
Rather than revisit the various hypnotic incantations of their last EP, 2005's Kenose, Deathspell instead turns Chaining the Katechon into a singular, foul behemoth. Over the course of its 22 minutes, listeners are alternatively bombarded with blistering percussion, atonal cacophonies, angular chords resonating with sinister murkiness, and moments of somber, ritualistic guitar drone. The end result is a jarring track indeed, with the entire movement at times sounding like several competing forces all vying for attention and dominance. Truly, the language of the damned is noise.
Though there is much going on, "Chaining the Katechon" overflows with memorable moments. There are breakdowns into pitch-black angular chord progressions, firestorms of blastbeats out of absolute silence, and complex, slamming time signatures. Towards the song's end, the band soars through a wicked maze of ringing harmonics, the likes of which stab like black lightning. Last but not least, "Katechon" ends with a spine-tingling chorus howling hosannas over a gloomy procession of otherworldly doom riffs.
When put together, the entire song redefines the black metal genre while retaining everything which makes it such a potent medium for expression in the first place. In much the same way Kenose turned heads by capturing the epic feel of religion while simultaneously inverting it, so too does Katechon raise hairs towards Heaven while sinking spirits towards Hell. As far as black metal EPs go, Veritas Diaboli Manet in Aeternum: Chaining the Katechon is essential for those wondering where the future of evil will go.
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