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Deathspell Omega: Paracletus

Devouring Famine

Released three years after their highly acclaimed Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum, French avant-black metal band Deathspell Omega returns with another competent album, Paracletus. Although the band doesn't play a style of music that I can call myself a fan of, fans of experimental, noisy, and dark technical black metal will really enjoy this one. As for myself, I honestly only enjoy Paracletus in small bursts. This album seldom has melody and is mainly focused on enough dissonance and speed to make your head explode. For some people, this extremely difficult and challenging music may be a good thing. I'd much rather put on a less experimental black metal album, but the quality here is unquestionable. Although Paracletus is a very hard album to sit through for someone who isn't a huge fan of avant garde music, the album's inaccessibility is what will make it so great for some people. This isn't for the faint of heart at all, but anyone who's looking for very challenging music will definitely enjoy Paracletus.

The music on Paracletus is a cross between old school black metal, avant-metal, and noise rock. The insane blast beats, low-fi production, and vocal styles all hint towards black metal, though the album is clearly very experimental in attitude. The songs are mainly built off of speeding blast beats, dissonant chords, and shrieking vocals. There are occasionally some more melodic parts, but keep in mind that most of Paracletus is extremely heavy and technical. The level of musicianship in Deathspell Omega is unquestionable, and ultimately the best thing about the band. The guitar playing and drumming are the most notable, considering this album is filled to the brim with complex drum patterns and fast guitar riffing. The compositions get quite monotonous at times, but the level of musicianship often makes up for it.

The production is very lo-fi, so you can take that as you will. For black metal fans, that's probably a good thing, but for some people that may be a detriment. I personally think the unpolished production style adds to the atmosphere of the album, despite the setbacks that it creates in terms of bass audibility and the sound of the drums. There are quite a few times on this album where the drums just sound plain awful, and it's a bit of a shame. The sound is an acquired taste, though, and I could understand black metal fans thinking this sounds great.

Conclusion:

Paracletus is a good, sometimes even great, album by Deathspell Omega. I can see fans of avant-garde and twisted black metal really liking this one. Unfortunately, when it boils down to my own personal taste, I'm not nearly enough of an experimental black metal fan to completely grasp this one. As it stands, this is worth 3 stars for the appeal it will have for its intended audience. I would approach this one with caution for anyone who isn't already a fan of Deathspell Omega, however.


Track Listing
1. Epiklesis I (1:42)
2. Wings of Predation (3:43)
3. Abscission (6:07)
4. Dearth (3:47)
5. Phosphene (7:03)
6. Epiklesis II (3:06)
7. Malconfort (4:57)
8. Have You Beheld the Fevers? (2:59)
9. Devouring Famine (5:09)
10. Apokatastasis Pantôn (4:01)

Added: December 4th 2010
Reviewer: Jeff B
Score:
Related Link: Band MySpace Page
Hits: 1880
Language: english

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