- Review by Faye Coulman
REVIEWED: Deathspell Omega's 'The Furnaces of Palingenesia'
If you thought your Monday morning commute was the stuff of nightmares, you’ve clearly yet to experience this frantic, rampantly brutalising horror show of a record. With its varying strains of bristling hostility, clawing despair and delirium densely packed into the mix like cosmic sardines straining through the ether, there’s something horrifyingly claustrophobic at work here from the off; like the tell-tale cloying stickiness that weighs heavy in the air mere moments before a midsummer downpour. Or that eerily tangible aura of oppressiveness that certain sites and places seem to forever abound with, their past vibrations of bloodshed and atrocity etched into the landscape like the indelible grooves on ancient vinyl. And seventh opus ‘The Furnaces of Palingenesia’ is certainly rich with such deeply disquieting, blackened energies. Yet the question of whether this long-player could exactly be construed as an enjoyable listen is, however, an entirely more questionable matter.
Through expansive slabs of starkly abrasive grooves whose every violently quaking motion abounds with deathly majesty, ‘Neither Meaning or Justice’ marks a pleasingly sinister point of entry into this decidedly demonic assault on the senses. Then, it’s with frantically accelerating urgency that the French experimentalists barrel headlong into the wildly dissonant throes of ‘The Fires of Frustration’. Pairing raggedly acerbic snarls with dense, craggy layerings of frost-stricken atmospherics, the infernal vision at the heart of Deathspell’s coldly mesmeric craft fast becomes keenly apparent. And from poundingly weighty, bass-driven blasts through to visceral fragments of caustic industrial noise that accelerate wildly into a bewildering mindfuck of aggression, ‘…Palingenesia’ is as raw and violently unpalatable a record you could possibly imagine.
But, as we progress through this restlessly turbulent beast of an album, such sheer, unrelenting extremes of aggression inevitably begin to border on the overwhelming, with each frenzied and frantically manic episode frequently blurring indiscernibly into the next. Couple that with a ‘trve’, staunchly traditionalist production that reduces its rhythm section to a muddily inconsequential rumble and there’s no glossing over the record’s more undesirable attributes. That said, from the band’s audible knack for crafting intensely sinister atmospherics through to its genre-straddling compositional merits, there’s equally ample talent and vision to appreciate here.
'The Furnaces of Palingenesia' is out now on NoEvDia
Check out the full album steam HERE