Deathspell Omega are well-known in black metal circles, and a new release is always somewhat of an event for people with a taste for high quality esoteric substance.
On playing The Furnaces of Palingenesia we find 45 minutes of black metal that demonstrates the band’s dissonant, avant-garde tendencies tempered with elements of melody and refined songwriting. Make no mistake, this is dark and imposing, and probably quite impenetrable for those who are not carefully indoctrinated into this sort of extremity. However, the band’s music here is streamlined and frequently shows, dare I say it, near-catchiness, (of a certain unfriendly, malignant kind).
This latter aspect coalesces in the mind of the listener upon repeated visits, indelibly imprinting the songs on your psyche, almost like living things worming into your brain. This is memorable material, even from the first exposure, and works as both a holistic collection of tracks and as strong individual songs in their own right.
Blackened aggression and dissonant mayhem are combined with grimly majestic atmosphere and streaks of venomous melody to produce songs that sound evil, but never in a hamfisted way. This album reeks of malevolence and otherworldly terror, but in a way that most bands could never match. It’s individual to the core, and walks its own path in the darkness.
Deathspell Omega are a band that have proven their ability and worth many times over by this point. Despite the fact that The Furnaces of Palingenesia will probably do nothing to wildly increase their popularity, (which I’m sure isn’t even the point, of course), it’s still an exceptional new release from them, one which fans of the band will no doubt rightly lap up.