Saturday, November 13, 2010

Diabolus in musica



The comforter ain't so comforting after all.

À mon avis, orthodox black metal howls for an unorthodox crispness, the buzz of dead leaves & bones under marching feet. The past efforts of said genre's favorite sons were pierced by high frequency peaks in a chain of trebly chaos; that self-requisite remains, but Paracletus glares out from the choking, Stygian smoke of oxidizing souls & audible bass. Re: structure, see Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice: sides split into four; this time, two, the choirs of First, et al Prayers (mostly) silenced, the spaces twixt tracks obliterated until left with a suite of noise canalized towards the approaching end point.

Doom-n-gloomers of all stripes, believers or no (hi there fellow Cthulhuians! punch & cookies after the show), short of a field recording of Ragnarok, you'd be hard pressed to spin a more appropriate soundtrack to worldwide fuckery.

The invocation, Epiklesis I, chords bubble, tap in the blood, recalling Matthew 12:32: 'Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.' Bubble, bubble, toil in the rumble. Tap, tap, tap.

On Wings of Predation, though more so elsewhere, inchoate violence is, given the album's subject matter, surprisingly lessened the merest of a smidgen. But consider, taking into account the folly of a strict chronology of mythic time, whether all this is pre- or post-Antichrist (going by the last EP's commentary, I subscribe to the latter), a vision of the future, or Armageddon at your door. In either case, 'It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.' Witness our Abscission, the bait-n-bludgeon blisters subsisting for a deftly placed handful of classic metal measures, the vine split in a pressurized denouement.

'Et la solitude du jardin de Gethsémani en partage!' Everyone share in the hypnotic suffering, a Dearth of escape routes. 'Thy pomp is brought down to the grave.' Hark, the trance goes black, in the blinding Phosphene, spitting venom, celebratory mocking of the vine's failure; & a messenger:  'He breathed on them and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost,' as the film of voices from works past play a gorgeous fin du premier acte.

Where there was once abscission, there is now recession, the second fall in another boiling Epiklesis, the end beginning with the Chaining the Katechon-esque riffwork of Malconfort, 'in fire and hail, in fire and hail,' a grinding, serpentine second death. Have You Beheld the Fevers? I've beheld its bursting, neo-death metal chop & its lyrical anticipation of Devouring Famine, all points swallowed by shadow, a kernel of the band's orthodoxy found amidst the musical detritus of apocalypse: 'I am an accomplice and my disheveled laughters and moans/Are of the same essence as the fervour of a Saint/It is senseless to fight against this infinite stream.'

'L’exclusion inconcevable d’une seule âme serait un danger pour l’Harmonie éternelle.' Thus, the final restoration, Apokatastasis Pantôn, the sound up above (lit. & fig.) the source of the grace of salvation in the form of Origen & Gregory of Nyssa's cleansing fires, a now famously Dantean notion (but not that lovable little scamp & (ex?)perv, Augustine), turned on their heads. Whom you leave behind leads to what you find; not what you thought: 'You were seeking strength, justice, splendour! You were seeking love!/Here is the pit, here is your pit! Its name is silence.' Good times.

Building, but rarely climaxing, the edifice, Deathspell Omega's trademark sprawling harmonies of discontinuity flower tension, tension, tension, yet, whereas past works (for the better in Si & Kénôse, for the worse in the at-times brilliant, at-times forced Fas – Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum) skewed their time- & lyric-signature tendrils like an acid-saturated octopus, the groaning textures of Paracletus are built upon a more unbroken path, the final thrust of creation into the fires of the end. Though here, there's no return to paradise, only ash. Perhaps Augie was right about the punishment, but fell short on just how many get to burn.

18 comments:

Demeur said...

One look at the graphic was enough to have me running for the hearing protection.
Or was that the front cover for Rays' lunch menu special?

Tom Harper said...

Nice soundtrack. I'm awake now.

S.W. Anderson said...

Oh, for the days of Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, for Mickey & Sylvia, for Telstar simplicity and verve.

Admittedly, those are a bit short on "lyric-signature tendrils like an acid-saturated octopus," but also less work and more fun. ;)

Randal Graves said...

demeur, what, you've never had serpent under glass?

tom, my friend, you're probably the only passer-by who wouldn't require a gun to the temple to listen to this album.

Unlike one Mr. SWA with his grandpa music - wait, are you saying this isn't fun? Don't be so narrow-minded. :)

okjimm said...

Don't you know any nice songs?

okjimm said...

ya, what SW said.... maybe a little Kingston Trio, too, hun!

susan said...

That night Cthulu called a cab, uh huh huh
(Satan can't do it)
He left his R'lyeh home so drab, uh huh huh
(Satan don't do it)
He went out on the town
Knowin' it would make the Old Ones frown
(Death cab for Cthulu)
(Death cab for Cthulu)
Abdul's gonna have to pay his fare.

"That is not dead which can eternal lie.
And with strange aeons even death may die."

Now may I have my punch and cookies, please?

Beach Bum said...

Sounds good, but I'm tired and drunk.

Demeur said...

Okjimm why not just listen to Lawrence Welk and have a mind devoid of brain cells? Everybody thinks waterboarding is torture. They've never been Welked.

Charles F. Oxtrot said...

The last time another's written words confused me so, I was trying to study physical chemistry. In both settings I'm sure the subject was interesting and meaningful, but my noggin said "huh?" But I like feeling like the rookie/initiate, so... thanks!

okjimm said...

Demeur.... I was Welk-ed as a child. To that I ascribe my current mental malfunctioning. More into Jazz, blues.... and random shit the kids throw at me. Currently, Black Keys, "Brothers".....of course there's always Mitch Miller on vinyl. :)

Liberality said...

upon a more unbroken path

the only way to go!!!

Anonymous said...

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SY said...

unfortunately the video didn't work for me ;(

but sounds like it would've been enlightening

S.W. Anderson said...

For the record, before anyone gets the wrong idea, Welk and Mitch Miller were considered "grandpa music" when I was a kid.

Also, Randal, I ventured a moment's listen to your selection du jour. It imparted strong feelings of, "Man, I'll bet their parents were relieved when they finally moved out of the house." ;)

La Belette Rouge said...

Me thinks that you just need a new comforter. Perhaps a Scandinavian down comforter or maybe a Hungarian one with an Egyptian cotton covering would do the trick.

Tengrain said...

Graves, you swine!

Up Yours, With People.

Rgds,

TG

Randal Graves said...

okjimm, of course I do, & have played many, including this one.

susan, that was so lovely, you get an extra cookie.

BB, try sobriety, though I wouldn't recommend it for work.

demeur, each time we visited my grandparents, we had to watch Welk.

charles, now you know how I feel when you brainaics start waxing detail on economic matters. Revenge is dish best served loud.

See, okjimm is further proof of the nefarious influence of Welk!

liberality, then you best keep your stilettos at home.

Pooty Poot, is that you?

SY, now I must insist you find a working YouTube!

SWA, it's an acquired taste. :)

LBR, but I don't speak Angry Norwegian, Hungarian or Demotic.

tengrain, serial killer.