Review by Vinny for Deathspell Omega - Si monvmentvm reqvires, circvmspice (2004)
Whether it is the harsh, discordant and unpredictable nature of the band's sound or becoming embroiled in the media frenzy surrounding the alleged extreme political views of alleged members of a band, there's usually something lurking not too far away from the name Deathspell Omega to make the average listener's toes curl. The fact is that when it comes down to the bare bones of what they do (record music) they are exceptionally good at it.
I find their third full length to be a bit of a middling affair however. It does what it says on the tin most definitely but somehow the whole experience gets a bit lost on me. There's some really well thought out and solidly constructed structures in the thirteen tracks on offer here - First Prayer and Second Prayer in particular - that manage to build jeopardy and unease superbly. Alongside these however are a series of very similar, "smash 'n grab" tracks that only really stand out due to their notional punk influence. As entertaining as they are they do interrupt the overall flow of the record too much.
The album comes across as being undecided on what it wants to be. For me it works better in its less frantic and more mid-paced moments, weaving strong fibres and memorable patterns, allowing the talent of the songwriting to shine through. Whilst certainly not opposed to the more frenetic pace of the BM spectrum, for me it brings little in the way of benefit here and the "extras" such as the chanting and choral smatterings really enhance the offering far better.
With a bit of a trim and maybe less of a storm of ideas the album would almost certainly be attracting near to maximum stars but as it is I struggle to score it much above halfway in comparison.