A different take on Kenose...
With this EP Deathspell Omega have advanced compositional technique in metal to include progressive tendencies,
which are so intricate as to be reminiscent of a symphonic layout, however this band do away with the excesses of
that form, staying well within the confines of metaphysical contemplation, evidenced here by the ability to create
music which is held together in the most precarious way, through vastly distributed and interlocking themes. This
EP is the work of a band who place no inherent limitations upon themselves, and as such it appears that this
EP is merely a stepping stone on their way to further greatness.
Clearly lovers of atmosphere, Deathspell Omega use dissonant, and often arpeggiated chord formations to
create their riff patterns, accompanied by battering percussion which often strays away from the main melodic
features to create its own rhythmic ideas which then link back into the composition. The riffs are at first appear
to be structured in logical pairs, which build create internal tension only to severely jar the listener when the
next section enters. In these transitions the drums come into their own, being the only immediate link between the
two riff pairs. As the songs build in complexity the sections are juxtaposed against eachother, creating obvious
dualities, which then either explode into blasting sections of ferocious intensity, or collapse in on themselves
and give way to luscious but dissonant arpeggios, preparing the way for the next assault on the listener.
It may not be fair to call these pieces songs, as this is clearly written as a single, if very extended,
work. The juxtaposition of sections means that one is often given the impression that two separate songs are being
played, although the appearance of duality is always resolved in cataclysmic collisions. It is like watching two
strands being wrapped around one another, until they no longer appear as two, but are reduced to a single strand.
Consequently, different point in the composition have to logically relate to previous and future points, Deathspell Omega,
rather than merely repeating riffs, use many variations which rely heavily on rhythmic similarity. Just as how points in
two different cycles are analogous, so is every point in this work analogous to countless other points. This is the most
ingenious feature of Kenose, it is structured according to a complex set of interrelating points, warping the listeners
conception of time into a swirling chaotic void in which all dualities are destroyed in the fire of One. After this has
gone on for some time, repetition is used which great selectivity, but they are forced against riffs from the opposing
cycle, and so the final collision is achieved.
Leaving the listener with a sense of wonder at the depths and terror of the cosmos and existence beyond,
Deathspell Omega have created a lasting icon in the world of metal music, it is with great joy that this reviewer
comes upon works which still push metal towards greater metaphysical heights (depths?), and this work certainly
does that. Deathspell Omega are a band worth taking notice of, not because of their merely aesthetic achievements,
but because they, along with bands like Averse Sefira, show the way of the future for metal, if it is to survive as a viable artform.