Deathspell Omega

Deathspell Omega

Deathspell Omega

Fas — Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum

AJNA Offensive/Southern Lord

There are two sides to this story, for Fas cannot be distilled down to one sound, one description. Deathspell Omega’s sound is a Janus-faced one; two sides, greatly different, coexisting and uneasily complementing one another. This finds its most obvious embodiment in the twin “Obombration” opener and closer — the first is a careening, detuned stunner, a doomy march with broken glass shards of lead guitar and an incantatory feel that is preceded by dense ambiance, water dripping down the walls of ruined cathedrals. The closer is two-minutes of Wagnerian, classically orchestrated dread; a proper black mass summoning.

Side the first:

Fas is wild and untamed sorcery; spontaneous, cinematic and insular. Black metal as conceived by De Kooning or Jackson Pollack, splatters of darkling color and dimmed light — sounds shift and shimmer and devour. Instruments careen wildly, the tunings are arbitrary and avant-garde, instrumental flourishes and song rhythms work according to their own perverse logic. Songs fade in and out sometimes mid-chord, transforming drastically, shedding skin and emerging anew, between long stretches of tense, muted atmospherics and ominous silences, so pregnant with possibility. This is nowhere more evident than in the jarring, sprawling “The Shrine of Mad Laughter” — the very essence of insanity/possession.

Side the second:

The raw ambition of Fas towers in a dizzying fashion far beyond mosh pits or corpse paint or rebelliously-flashed baphomets. This is devotional music. Grand classical flourishes. These songs are grandiose, ancient incantations and evocations and musical forms as old as the tortures of the Inquisition or martyrs being burned at the stake. There are forces at work here. Images called to mind are black marble hallways, an aristocracy turning their back on morality and seeking an order in darkness. Whispers, distant echoes of inverted ceremonies and left-hand prayers; mental hospitals where the gates have been long hence thrown open. Gregorian Chant and choral music forms are appropriated and used as they see fit. This is far beyond black metal and has as much in common with the Swans, Sonic Youth, Coil, Shadow Project, the most poised of church musiks, Wagner, free jazz…..

Pure expressions of elegant evil that acknowledge no master and no peers. Fucking stunning.

Southern Lord: www.southernlord.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Comin’ At Ya!
    Comin’ At Ya!

    The Blu-ray reissue of Comin’ At Ya, a 1981 3D Spaghetti Western movie falls flat.

  • Bobby Rush
    Bobby Rush

    Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush ( Omnivore Recordings). Review by James Mann.

  • Geezër
    Geezër

    Geezër brought their old-school show all the way from their Miami rest home, and Julius C. Lacking thinks they were quite spry.

  • Bully
    Bully

    Bully greets Orlando with apathy and anger toward one of its theme parks. Jen Cray smiles and thinks, “Man, this band would have fit in well in the nineties!”

  • Luther Dickinson
    Luther Dickinson

    Blues & Ballads: A Folksinger’s Songbook: Volumes I & II (New West Records). Review by James Mann.

  • Conway
    Conway

    Big Talk EP (Self-Released). Review by Jen Cray.

  • Freakwater
    Freakwater

    Scheherazade (Bloodshot Records). Review by James Mann.

  • The Haymarket Squares
    The Haymarket Squares

    Light It Up. Review by Carl F Gauze.

  • Ani DiFranco
    Ani DiFranco

    Years pass, and so do our legends, but one constant remains: there are always artists living and breathing that are worth your time and attention. Ani DiFranco is a major one, according to Jen Cray and a whole legion of fans.

  • Javier Escovedo
    Javier Escovedo

    Kicked Out Of Eden (Saustex Media). Review by James Mann.

From the Archives