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Review: Deathspell Omega - Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice
Deathspell Omega
Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice

Label: Norma Evangelium Diaboli
Year released: 2004
Duration: 77:39
Tracks: 13
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: November 19, 2005
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice

Rated 3.42/5 (68.42%) (38 Votes)

Well, this is quite a disc. Usually when Black Metal bands get all 'high-concept' the stink of rotten offal can be reliably predicted to spread far and wide – and not in a good way. Deathspell Omega are a French band, and it seems that lately France has been a great place for the genre as a whole. This is the third DSO album, and while it is monumentally ambitious enough that it has to be taken seriously, it isn't an unqualified success.

When this band gets down to the metal, they play some unholy fucking slayage, like the awesome title track, and the massive "Drink The Devil's Blood", the problem is they got a little carried away with the atmospheric stuff. They sprinkled the album with softer, moody pieces that may well be meant to give you a rest before the next assault, but they also drag on for too long, and bog the album down. This is an album full of excellent Black Metal music, but as a whole it is just too darned long. The production is very good, much more a modern BM job than the usual underground style. I have to say I don't think the guitar tone is quite as strong as it could be, but the riffage is chaotic, inventive, and blistering.

Lyrically, this is the most intelligent blasphemy I have ever read. If you just read the song titles, you'd think this was maybe some kind of Xtian band, but one read through of "Jubilate Deo" will dispell any such imaginings. The lyrics are good enough that I wish the band would devote themselves to something more interesting than flogging the dead horse of denouncing the Xtians. It just seems like a waste of time.

So this is an impressive disc, but to digest it as a whole at one sitting is just too much to ask, as it is trying just a little too hard to be arty. If this band had throttled back on the 'concept' and just cranked out a real killer of a Black metal album, I'd be much happier with it. But the talent and dedication on display here are undeniable, and this is not a release to miss.

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