It’s probably easier to try and explain the color spectrum to a blind person than to put into words the sonic maelstrom that is DEATHSPELL OMEGA. With each successive release these French decadents continue to push the boundaries of musical technicality and lyrical depth to new heights, and true to form they do not disappoint with “Veritas Diaboli Manet In Aeternum – Chaining The Katechon”, which is essentially their half of the split with S.V.E.S.T. released here as a stand-alone EP. I must admit that I found large chunks of “Fas...” to be unlistenable due to its downright jarring nature, and although “Veritas...” doesn’t differ much from said album it is nevertheless an instantly more “accessible” effort, at least as accessible as their brand of technical/progressive Black Metal can get.
Consisting of only a solitary 22-minute song, the song writing is more compact, by necessity, and none of the overtly off-kilter tangents found on “Fas...” are allowed to take a foothold here. The band hits the ground running right from the get-go without so much as an intro section in sight, and for the next 22 minutes these Satanic overlords take us on a harrowing musical journey, one fraught with both the soulful and the macabre to equal degree. Though structurally similar to “Fas...” (i.e. lots of slow/fast counterpoint laced with considerable atonality) a lot of the elements of their older material get a chance to breathe fire and brimstone here – the raw thrashiness of “Inquisitors Of Satan” (around the 14:00 mark), the haunting chants and oppressive riffing of “Si Monumentum...” (from 18:00 onwards to the end), with the gaps in between being filled with those slithering riffs and quasi-jazz meters that permeated “Kenose” and “Fas...”.
Vocalist Mikko Aspa is once again a force to behold here as he growls, moans and gurgles his way through the suitably dark lyrics, which focus primarily upon the end times, the coming of Satan and the concept of the katechon (something or someone which prevents this coming). Despite its rather lengthy duration this one-track effort kept me thoroughly enthralled all the way to the last blood curdling melodic strain, and with a superbly crisp production job complimenting the more focused approach taken to the song writing department I can do naught but congratulate the band on yet another impressive addition to their already sterling canon of work.
(Online March 9, 2009)