Deathspell Omega – The Synarchy of Molten Bones (2016)

Article by Lance Viggiano.

Deathspell Omega return with another uninspired and uninspiring record entitled The Synarchy of Molten Bones. Their last record, Paracletus, was built on a foundation of Voivod-lite chords executed with the alt metal sensibilities of The Dillinger Escape Plan. In an effort to build ambience, additional guitar tracks would attempt to produce a microtonal effect without actual production of microtones; just more dissonance. These techniques were then deployed over pop-leaning melodies which become pronounced should one decide to hum the otherwise atonal morass.

This new record sees the band return to the intensity of their watershed title Fas- Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum which at least was black metal in a non-narrative but aesthetic sense. Unlike that record and its successor, The Synarchy of Molten Bones offers no pretension of an emotional lattice to the chaos of both melody and structure here. Devoid of distinct or memorable melodies, even during the intelligible slower sections which merely sound like Earth at double the pace, the music proceeds from section to section in short order enabled by blistering but uninteresting EZdrummer patterns. Vocals are multi-tracked to compensate for worn chords and subdued in the mix; follow the inane rambling lyrics without meter or meaning.

The record begins and ends with brief, obligatory and ambience that neither sets tone nor provides resolution after the fact. The music bursts forth without proper acceleration and collapses suddenly without exhausting its moment. The whole is a half hour flash in the pan which begs the question as to its purpose existing. The least that could be said about preceding efforts was that they attempt grandeur and climax despite how utterly empty the music ended up being. There are no such theatrics on The Synarchy of Molten Bones as it maintains an even but random dialectic between extreme and moderate.

The absence of thematic development or variation such as it leads to narration via internal development of character or spirit would be forgivable if at the least the unchanging center or subject of the work were experiencing significant external events as a form of somatic suffering as was the Satan character of the Fas album. Deathspell Omega are a deleterious artistic failure here as elsewhere save for perhaps the album artwork of which they themselves have never been responsible. At this point the only thing to look forward to with the prospect of a new release is a fairly interesting mythological painting. The musical content therein remains highly underwhelming and an utter betray to the subjects it attempts to address.

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94 thoughts on “Deathspell Omega – The Synarchy of Molten Bones (2016)”

  1. fuck off the NPR metal says:

    Exactly what I expected, more babby’s-first-modern-classical wrapped up in a brickwalled overcompressed clicky drum trigger package. Fuck that production’s bad. I dunno how anyone can complain about Metallica’s Death Magnetic or whatever and then think this is what underground metal should sound like. When everything is loud, nothing is loud. No peaks of intensity. That’s the kiss of death for this sort of spastic beardo jazzrock shit.

    It’s benign but it represents something I hate: the genre gentrifying, outsiders renovating metal for upper-middle class tastes and claiming they’re adding “depth” when they didn’t get metal the first time around.

    fuck off the NPR metal

    1. Dave says:

      You sound like a bad parody. Gentrification? Haha, good grief, grow up.

    2. fghjmkhj6 says:

      Good summary. Fuck SWPL metal.

    3. Necronomeconomist says:

      C’mon my nigga, do you really think this works for any upper-middle class tastes? Who the FUCK upper-middle class is listening to this.

      1. lance vigianno says:

        Well, here is an example:

        1. Necronomeconomist says:

          Those cats aren’t upper-middle class.
          Apparently not Hessians, but that doesn’t make them upper-middle class, or gentrifiers.

  2. Johan P says:

    I’ve never been exposed to a single track by this band and that makes me feel like a privileged and fortunate human being.

    1. Marc Defranco says:

      Inquisitors of satan is a good album to me.

      1. Johan P says:

        Well, it is a catchy album title…

      2. lance vigianno says:

        I’d rather listen to this mess than the fifth rate gorgoroth of their early catalog.

        1. Marc Defranco says:

          Of the early releases I think inquisitors is the only one worth checking out. Better than gorgoroth’s entire discography imo. Good riffs, drumming, vocals and lots of nods to Darkthrone without copying. Also it does not drag on. Hits a sweet spot with memorable parts and lacks filler.

  3. Rainer Weikusat says:

    »Pirates of the Caribean« soundtrack?

    1. Lance Viggiano says:

      You know what’s funny about that? Zimmer reused a motif from gladiator as the main theme of PoTC verbatim.

      1. Gladiator is the same as Crimson Tide too. The trailer with the “Anvil of Crom” was better than the actual Roman WWF movie

      2. Syphilis says:


        Isn`t he the guy that uses farts for dramatic effect?

  4. Anthony says:

    my favorite avantgarde klezmer band

  5. Neck says:

    This review is predictably embarrassing, containing one of the most meaningless run on sentences I’ve read for some time:

    “The absence of thematic development or variation such as it leads to narration via internal development of character or spirit would be forgivable if at the least the unchanging center or subject of the work were experiencing significant external events as a form of somatic suffering as was the Satan character of the Fas album”

    Holy shit, that is a hum dinger, even for this cess pit of a site.

    It warms my heart to know how real progressive metal triggers you so much. Back to circle jerking over a sub par slam record from 1990, neck beards.

    1. Coors Light Enthusiast says:

      You should be used to nonsensical run on sentences, being a fan of this band and reading their lyric sheets.

      1. Neck says:

        Of course, not being a fan, you’ve read through them all. Just to check. Of course. Ouch.

    2. Matt Risnes says:

      Hey, when an albums narrative cohesion is so deleterious as to propagate genre dissonance within the sub-strata of incremental tonal inconsistencies, sometimes the only way to call it out is a run on sentence.

      But I will give DMU credit for posting your absolutely correct comment after moderating it.

    3. Memoncy - Joined in Dankness says:

      Maybe if you removed the cocks from your ears you’d be able to discern that this album is Phish playing Obscura with faggoty TRVE OKKULT EVUHL lyrics and imagery.

      1. -_- says:

        Clearly the cock penetration has reached depths of such extremity as to crush into the sides of his brain, preventing both adequate motor control (all he can do is operate a keyboard, shove soy-based vegan meat substitutes in his face, and fap to furry shota even though he’s not gay he’s just open-minded), and damage his aural processing capacity to the extent that he thinks early ’90s slam is bad. Pity the fool!

    4. fuck off the NPR metal says:

      “real progressive metal”

      1. Neck says:

        Haven’t you got a sub par 90s potato death metal album, that nobody cared about, to fawn over hipster?

    5. Simulated Zamboni says:

      Is this a parody post?

      1. Matt Risnes says:

        Every post and every comment on this site is a parody of human expression.

    6. hot buttered pumpkin says:

      Right on! See you at the Opeth show! I’ll be the guy with the stupid haircut and glasses wearing a real progressive metal shirt! Try to find me!

  6. Abe says:

    Had a listen to this the other day, thought it was excellent. Finally, a band that has the chops to pull off this dizzying complexity but still bare it’s teeth.

    1. I’m sure those art fats attempting to imitate Jackson Pollack with their own blood, semen, shit, and bile are just as complex.

      1. Abe says:


    2. lance vigianno says:

      Can you tell me what you like about this album specifically? How does it make you feel?

      1. Abe says:

        Like I said, it is dizzying and complex but also violent and visceral, which is extremely rare in any genre. From a guitarist’s point of view, the dude is running rings around everyone and takes way more inspiration from no wave bands than your average BM dreck or old school forest dwellers.

        1. Lance Viggiano says:

          That doesn’t really answer the question. I suspect because the band has no appeal beyond the sensory assault.

          1. Dr. Khan says:

            It answers the question no better or worse than, for instance, the following answers the question of “what do you not like about the album specifically”:

            “The absence of thematic development or variation such as it leads to narration via internal development of character or spirit would be forgivable if at the least the unchanging center or subject of the work were experiencing significant external events as a form of somatic suffering as was the Satan character of the Fas album.”

            Not only is this laughably piss-poor writing, it doesn’t really _say_ specific anything about the music in question. It’s really dumb. It reads like the abstract for an article in a journal on hermeneutic understanding written by faux-intellectual academic fucktards. Instead of sounding enlightened, it sounds stupid.

            It honestly seems like the new reviews at DMU are trying to copy a style and language of the old archives and just end up sounding retarded overall.

            1. Academic Fucktard says:

              The sentence may be problematic — and, yet, I follow it. This: “Finally, a band that has the chops to pull off this dizzying complexity but still bare it’s teeth” sounds like ad copy to me.

              1. Dr. Khan says:

                Then please, Mr. Academic Fucktard, translate that sentence for the non-hipsters in the audience.

                1. Lance Viggiano says:

                  Explained because you’re 5:

                  It (The Synarchy of Pretensious Wank) doesn’t do anything well that music tends to do: it doesn’t explore themes by introducing variations that unfold into narratives. It doesn’t cycle between pleasant or engaging phrases like pop music. It doesn’t even explore the attempt at Classical Tragedy (somatic suffering) which it did on the Fas record which saw no internal character development (ie no narrative as previously expressed) but did at least see the songs maintain a sequence of events that inflicted suffering upon a subtle central character of the work, namely Satan.

                  Maybe I should have worded it in better detail, but why when you can suffer?

                  1. Jimmymcrustler says:

                    That was even more embarrassing than your original assessment, so at least you’re consistent I guess.

                  2. Danske says:

                    “It doesn’t cycle between pleasant or engaging phrases like pop music.”

                    This site has reached a nadir.

                  3. Dr. Khan says:

                    What the hell man. You didn’t ‘translate’ any of that. If anything, you just repeated the same word-salad bullshit… with more words!

                    I mean, look at this shit:

                    “It doesn’t even explore the attempt at Classical Tragedy (somatic suffering) which it did on the Fas record which saw no internal character development (ie no narrative as previously expressed) but did at least see the songs maintain a sequence of events that inflicted suffering upon a subtle central character of the work, namely Satan.”

                    What the fuck is this? No seriously, what the fuck is this? This doesn’t clarify anything — you just repeated yourself and actually made your ‘analysis’ even more obtuse.

                    What is the difference between music that creates “a narrative” and music that creates a “sequence of events that inflicted suffering upon a central character of the work”? I assume you must have some kind of theory behind your review but until you can translate this into something coherent that a non-hipster can understand, we are focrced conclude you are full of shit.

                    The funniest thing about this conversation is when you said:
                    “Maybe I should have worded it in better detail, but why when you can suffer?”

                    Indeed, why write clearly when you can spew incoherent nonsense under the pretense of sophistication? You fucking hipster. Pitchfork Media looks forward to your next article submission.

                    1. No seriously, what the fuck is this?

                      Wow just wow!



                    2. My interpretation is that a narrative is, for example, a tale with events in it, rather than one theme being repeated (by theme I don’t mean technical-musically, but romantic-musically, like what the music can describe; despair, hatred, fear, etc).

                      Key To The Gate by Burzum has this. It starts out a bit chaotic and dangerous, then there’s a part that sounds like discovery or searching or contemplating, and finally it becomes convicted, certain, and willful.

                      This is what he means by narrative.
                      What he means by a sequence of events that inflicts suffering on a character, I think, is that while it’s still technically a story / narrative, it’s just the same theme (suffering on the character) being expressed through different melodies, harmonies, and rhythms.

                      He also seems to be saying that this latest album doesn’t even have that. It’s all technical candy without describing or expressing any concepts that he finds meaningful.

                    3. -_- says:

                      tfw you think you’re a righteous defender of metal but you dropped out of 5th grade because all of the ADHD drugs in the world could not help your reading comprehension get up to snuff but you became an addict so you got a career with your dad stealing pseudoephedrine from drug stores but he got caught and went to jail and you’re on house arrest so you got nothing better to do than make an ass of yourself on metal sites comment sections.

                    4. Dr. Khan says:

                      Ludvig B.B (vOddy) has provided an explanation that makes sense. He is a better communicator than the reviewer.

              2. Abe says:

                It was just a succinct the description of why I think this succeeds on every level. I could have written a long winded, nebulous, self indulgent, self serving ‘review’ like the above, but what would that achieve, aside from an exercise in pseudo intellectualism.

                1. MANSA MUSA says:


          2. Abe says:

            Read: “Your opinion on this album is different to mine, ergo I won’t accept it”. You need to start really growing a thicker skin if you’re going to put your writing out there. You asked why I liked it and I described, very clearly and succinctly, why. It is ‘technical’ music but avoids the pitfall of self indulgence. It is dense but not artificially layered and synthetic. It also greatly rewards repeated listens because beneath the swirling guitars, there are memorable arpeggios and some really great bass lines. There are clear progressions in these works, they just aren’t following the typical resolution you get with bands crutching on power chords and the Phrygian mode.

            1. Lance Viggiano says:

              Stop projecting for a moment. What I wanted to know was how the music affects you? What imagery or symbols arise out of the experience? How do you feel when listening? I would like to see a person describe DSO in these terms because almost nobody does whereas for almost any other black metal band the reviews are something to the effect of “It sounds like living in the forest and wanting to kill everyone.”

            2. -_- says:

              “artificially layered and synthetic” What else do you call it when you layer guitar after guitar with perfect equalization and stereo panning to the point that it would be impossible to replicate in a live setting? What the fuck is artificial and synthetic then?!

              “typical resolution” Show me examples of these typical resolutions in black metal, or make like a tree and get razed, processed, and pressed into toilet paper so I can put you to good use.

              1. hot buttered pumpkin says:


                Sounds like Abe is yet another person who likes listening to DsO because of the craftsmanship in the individual parts and recording techniques but gets nothing out of The Synarchy of Molten Bones* besides.

                Just sayin, Abe: this album means precisely jack shit as a whole and you know it.

                *and people call DMU autistic?

    3. Memoncy - Joined in Dankness says:

      PSA: this is a troll quoting the needle drop guy.

  7. OliveFox says:

    Synarchy, huh. Somebodies been flipping through the ol’ dictionary.

    1. -_- says:

      If we were to judge albums based on vocabulary alone, DSO would own the top few spots.

      I gotta hand it to them; their presentation is solid and consistent. Nice artwork, cool names of songs and such. Kind of makes me sad that it goes to waste cuz the music is a real spergfest.

      1. Lance Viggiano says:

        Their lyrics are 90% quotations from religious texts, or extra-religious texts.

        1. -_- says:

          Duh. Since when do ancient religious texts about eschatonic obliteration not sound cool? The presentation makes for an alluring package. Much like your own. Hubba hubba.

  8. David Rosales says:

    How can they continue to be THIS boring?
    Even if they are not ideally metal, I think the latest Abigor and Nightbringer do a much better job at this rather hyped up black metal aestheticism.
    But this band is not even playing metal at all, it’s just pseudo-prog ramblings.

  9. Jimmymcrustler says:

    “In an effort to build ambience, additional guitar tracks would attempt to produce a microtonal effect without actual production of microtones; just more dissonance”

    One has nothing to do with the other. Why even bother tackling a subject you clearly know nothing about?

    1. lance vigianno says:

      “effect” was chosen so as to avoid communicating that they were actually trying to produce microtones. I suspect this band is trying for a little raga and chill to captivate middle class western types who go to buddhist monasteries to “not think”.

    2. Different things can produce similar effects.
      He interpreted the music as attempting to produce an effect that could be produced with the use of microtones, by adding dissonant tones within the chromatic scale.
      You may think that he has misinterpreted the intention, but in music, it is indeed possible to achieve the same effect through technically different means.

      1. James says:

        I think you’re confused here; there are microtones within their music, mainly in the bending and use of octave pedals. They’re playing in D standard but do a massive amount within that range. DMU reviewers have a habit in getting severely out of their depth with describing the music, when they have no background nor knowledge in what techniques are actually being used. Also, there’s comparitively little use of chromatic progressions here.

        1. I haven’t heard the music, but I believe you when you say that they use micro tones through string bending. That seems plausible to me.
          I will both accept the possibility that I have misunderstood the reviewer’s statement, and leave the reviewer to defend himself from the implication of my statement.
          Have a good day.

        2. Lance Viggiano says:

          So the conclusion changes from: fails to produce microtones to successfully produced microtones. The point was to describe the experience. If you want composition autism go read someone else. I don’t remember anything from music courses I took in college nor care too. My aim is to describe the experience with the toolkit I have available. Evidently you all got that point so maybe, I don’t know, relax?

  10. First time i ever bothered listening to this band. Sounds like the aesthetics I always wished Averse Sefira had but with none of the content. Cool if you like weird chords, but a dickslap in the face of anyone expecting competant organization of ideas. To be forgotten.

    1. lance vigianno says:

      Averse Sefira is much more sparse, lyrically and musically. It is well organized However, what they have is quite boring with very few exceptions. Advent Parallax is almost entirely castrated while Tetragrammatical Astigmata is moderately exciting but for most of the run time, rides on painfully simplistic “inverted” powerchord riffs as atmosphere. Battles Clarion might be the best thing they ever did and I can hardly find a reason to want to hear it.

      I get why AS is hyped by ANUS as they offer a challenge to other dissoshit by upholding the DLA ideal of structure autism but the reality is, they are well beneath stated influences such as Immortal or Immolation.

      For parity:

  11. Necronomeconomist says:

    These guys have long had a cool, intriguing guitar tone though.
    What rig could it be? A Super Strat into a boutique amp?
    It doesn’t strike me as Marshalls…
    Not Metal Distortion, but a creamy overdrive. Boosted in the mids. It allows a lot of clarity amidst the clusterfuck that is his playing.

    1. C.M. says:

      Considering how they never play live, it’s likely as not just run through some digital effects and EQ’d perfectly. Cheaper than a good amp and easier to set up to sound good.

  12. sbragl says:

    As a theology & philosophy student, it’s really astonishing how senseless and narrow-minded are the critics towards the band’s work in terms of content and meaning. If you can’t understand something, before shovelling shit on it you should spend some time trying to get to grips with its basics. Oh, and.. the music follows the lyrics, translating the concepts in an instrumental form: just check Abrasive Swirling Murk from Drought, Phosphene from Paracletus, or several moments from Chaining The Katechon, a single song which – by the way – is far more complex than anything from the bands I saw quoted here or there.

    1. Metal lyrics don’t fucking matter for the most part, especially if you can’t understand them. Most metal songs use the name of the song in the song as a vocal hook like a bad action movie saying the name of the movie in the movie. The lyrics (and vocals too) just don’t matter for the music nor do we care if Deathspell Omega attempts to convey them. If I say deathcore breakdowns represent the sound of a phallus thrusting into the abdomen putrefying corpse in a 4/4 time signature, it doesn’t make the deathcore good or even metal. The band claiming as such certainly does not make the deathcore not shit compared to exceptional metal with gory lyrics, e.g. Carcass.

      How complex and what ideas the schizophrenic carnival music is attempting to convey, doesn’t make it not schizophrenic carnival music. Schizophrenic carnival music is not good music and is objectively worse than both carnival music (Satyricon) and schizophrenic music (Liers in Wait) as the sins compound each other ever more so.

      1. Jimmymcrustler says:

        That’s a lot of words to say absolutely nothing, so in that sense it sits beautifully next to this ‘review’.

      2. sbragl says:

        Well, what one prefer to ignore mustn’t be laid on the band/artist – if you judge a cat by its ability to bark, you’ll be quite disappointed. When details and conveyance are a big deal in a piece of art (of any kind), I find purposefully overlooking them and then complaining about how that piece of art is shit rather silly.

        1. Death Metal Underground does not judged metal by how “artistic” it is; we judged metal based the quality of the music when compared to the best of the past. Deathspell Omega is an F-grade gimmick band like so many that have come before. Metal is not post-modern visual art and post-metal is not metal. Get that through your balding skull.

          1. sbragl says:

            Ehm.. so no kind of music is art? Then again, if this website should write only about “simple” – meant as pure – metal, why bothering reviewing something clearly beyond that target and then acting “woah, this is shit”? Pretty self-indugent, done for the sake of it – which is useless, then.

            1. Pure metal succeeds as music where pseudo-metal fails. AC/DC is more musical than Deathspell Omega.

              1. This drama is growing a desire in me to listen to Deathspell Omega for myself so that I can have my own opinion on the matter.
                I might go for it.

    2. Lance Viggiano says:

      I understand the philosophy: it’s French hedonistic materialism and fatalistic classical theism where God is an indifferent terrifying being while Satan is the essence of mankind which is fallen and cannot be redeemed so it may as well sin. The problem is, the music does not produce a gratifying aesthetic experience because it is ill constructed on one hand and bereft of endearing riffs on the other.

      They should have spent time writing dissertations instead of art. Though, because the lyrics are mainly citations, it’s doubtful these gents have actually absorbed much of any of this.

      But they aren’t worse than Averse Sefira so there’s that.

      1. sbragl says:

        If those can be the basic elements – and they are, to some extent -, reading the lyrics and “studying” them reveals a bigger picture and a personal view; even looking at citations doubting of how much they internalized what they refer to, you must know what you’re talking about to quote what otherwise would look like big random words, if not organized and set in some kind of vision. This said, surely this is not a riff-driven album (nor is the band’s work) although some hooks are there; anyway, if the quantity of – intelligible – riffing is what may make an album good, this one surely doesn’t race for the win, but again – everything should be judged for its purpose.. which is very difficult to do, since DsO have established a trademark (whether it’s appreciated).

        1. Lance Viggiano says:

          You highlight a critical point of contention: this is not riff based music. If nothing else, metal is all about the RIFF.

        2. hot buttered pumpkin says:

          In DsO’s case, said purpose is NOT to make quality metal music.

    3. Lance Viggiano says:

      Unless complexity translates to something moving, we may as well just listen to Von.

  13. Resting says:

    I’ve been digesting this for the past week or so. Excellent release. It’s almost relentlessly complex at times, but contains some really great transitions and flourishes (e.g. proper horns, layered vocals etc). Supported.

  14. Hræsvelgr says:

    Death to false avant-metal! Only Jute Gyte is real!

  15. ANUSaanite says:

    About this band and some of the article’s detractors: I guess some people need to be spoon fed their “dark music” and analysis.

  16. C.M. says:

    This comment section: “This music is good because it’s so complicated. Like, listen to everything going on, I can’t even take it all in. You just don’t get it, man, it goes over your head so you don’t like it. I would describe why it’s good but it’s just too complex to put into words.”

    1. hot buttered pumpkin says:

      That’s always what ‘true’ fans of ‘progressive’ music sound like. Those lucky souls just ‘get it’ and we don’t. I guess we just have to accept our crappy lot in life and listen to our simpleminded bonehead music as we watch the tears drop rhythmically into our pints of plebian pilsner.

    2. Lance Viggiano says:

      Im sure if I had written a positive review in the same manner my detractors here would be after my Lance.

      1. Dr. Khan says:

        Surely a positive review written by Lance Vagina or Vaggiano or whatever would have been equally as stupid and incoherent.

        Some more examples of Lance Vagina’s shitty writing:

        “deleterious artistic failure”
        LOL because otherwise you can have a “helpful artistic failure”.

        “random dialectic between extreme and moderate.”
        You don’t even understand the words you’re using you dumb ass hipster.

        “flash in the pan which begs the question as to its purpose existing.”
        It doesn’t “beg the question” idiot, do you even know what that means?

        DMU needs better reviewers and/or editors.

        1. hot buttered pumpkin says:

          I, for one, anxiously await your submissions.

        2. lance vigianno says:

          Will you do me a favor, hun? Troll all of my future submissions.

          1. Dr. Khan says:

            Sure thing, assuming the editor is stupid enough to ever again publish your shitty writing.

            1. Necronomeconomist says:

              R U really a doctor?

              Hell, am I really an… NECRONOMECONOMIST?!

              1. Well I am REALLY a private investigator and I would like to investigate your privates.

  17. KebabVendor says:

    I think this album is decent, not great. This review is total garbage though

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