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The band's logo.

Come, Thou Sanctifier, almighty and eternal God,
and bless this sacrifice prepared for the glory of Thy Holy Name
Epiklesis note 
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Deathspell Omega are a French avant garde Black Metal band. Alongside Blut aus Nord and Alcest, they are probably that country's most famous black metal export. They are notable for their unconventional approach to the genre, eschewing black metal's traditional Three Chords and the Truth philosophy in favor of a far more complex approach that makes use of incredibly intricate, difficult music and erudite, philosophical lyrics dealing with satanism on a metaphysical level. They are considered part of the "orthodox black metal" movement, which does not refer to their highly unorthodox musical style but rather to their theistic satanism (in contrast with atheistic satanists like King Diamond and Akercocke; other orthodox black metal artists include Ondskapt, Funeral Mist, Watain, and S.V.E.S.T.). They are also notable for their extreme reclusiveness; none of the current band members' identities are known for certain and their last interview was conducted via email in 2004. In 2010, they completed a trilogy of Concept Albums dealing with God, Satan, and man's relationship to both. Their most recent release is 2016's The Synarchy of Molten Bones, released after a four-year gap, although The Furnaces of Palingenesia will be released in a few weeks.

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While they don't have an official website, they did set up a Bandcamp where you can stream and purchase their music.

    Full discography 

Studio albums

  • Infernal Battles (2000)
  • Inquisitors of Satan (2002)
  • Si monumentum requires, circumspice (2004)
  • Fas - Ite, maledicti, in ignem aeternum (2007)
  • Paracletus (2010)
  • The Synarchy of Molten Bones (2016)note 
  • The Furnaces of Palingenesia (2019)note 

EPs

  • Kénôse (2005)
  • Veritas diaboli manet in aeternum: Chaining the Katechon (2008)note 
  • Mass Grave Aesthetics (2008)note 
  • Diabolus absconditus (2011)note 
  • Drought (2012)

Other releases:

  • Disciples of the Ultimate Void (1999, demo)
  • Demoniac Vengeance (2000, split with Sob a lua do bode by Moonblood)
  • Split with Clandestine Blaze (2001)
  • Split with Mütiilation (2002)
  • From the Entrails to the Dirt (2005, split with Malicious Secrets, Antaeus, and Mütiilation)
  • Crushing the Holy Trinity (2005, split with Stabat Mater, Musta Surma, Clandestine Blaze, Mgła, and Exordium)
  • Manifestations 2000-2001 (2008, compilation)note 
  • Manifestations 2002 (2008, previously unreleased material)
  • First picture disc box (2009, 5-LP compilation of the band's 1999-2002 material, including both Manifestations releases and their side of the split with Clandestine Blaze)
  • Second picture disc box (2012, 7-LP compilation of the band's 2004-2012 material)


Tropes:

  • Album Intro Track: "First Prayer" for Si monumentum, "Obombration" for Fas - Ite, "Epiklesis I" for Paracletus, and "Salowe Vision" for Drought.
  • Anonymous Band: Probably one of the most effective examples of this in metal. In the Age of Information, there's nothing concrete about the band members' identities; there are no promotional photos of the band, they have no official website, and after their first two albums, they stopped even crediting themselves under pseudonyms (or indeed, listing any credits for their albums at all). There is speculation, though:
    • Metal Archives claims that the band was formed by Hirilorn ex-members Hasjarl (guitars) and Shaxul (vocals), plus ex-Barbatos live bassist Khaos. The vocalist from Si monumentum onwards is likely Finnish black metaller Mikko Aspa, of Clandestine Blaze and a ton of other bands, and the drummer may be Hasjarl's brother or a well-disguised drum machine. A few others say they have no fixed lineup, with members from other bands collaborating for each release; S.V.E.S.T. and Abigor have been named as possible guests.
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    • At least one name has been confirmed: Ghost vocalist Tobias Forge stated that French Synthwave musician Franck Hueso of Carpenter Brut is Deathspell Omega's producer.
  • Apocalypse How: Lyrically, The Synarchy of Molten Bones largely describes an apocalypse.
  • As the Good Book Says...: The English Biblical quotes in their music are usually from the King James Version. There are some in classical Greek or Latin, too. Naturally, they're generally used ironically, with the references to God often inverted to refer to Satan.
  • Avant-Garde Metal: Became this as of Si monumentum requires, circumspice. Interestingly, this seems to have made them more commercially successful, even if their music is nowhere close to being mainstream.
  • Badass Baritone: All of the spoken word parts on Paracletus, notably the lengthy monologue in "Dearth."
  • Band of Relatives: As indicated under Anonymous Band, it's rumoured that the guitarist and the drummer are brothers.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Many of their lyrics are in Latin and French (most of the band members, it should be noted, are French. Probably). They also throw in other languages, including Aramaic, Greek, and German.
  • Black Metal: A very dark and noisy variant, though their early material is more conventional.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Their work often comes across as a Real Life example. Considering that they're heavily inspired by French decadent art and esoteric studies of obscure aspects of Christianity, this is par for the course.
  • Boléro Effect: The first five minutes of Kénôse are a steadily building instrumental section with some spoken word that transitions via Ominous Latin Chanting into the band's typical black metal assault.
  • Bomb-Throwing Anarchists: Laurent Tailhade, an infamous Real Life example of this trope (with whom most modern anarchists probably won't agree), is quoted in the epigram to "Mass Grave Aesthetics":
    "What matter the victims, provided the gesture is beautiful? What matters the death of vague human beings, if thereby the individual affirms himself?"
  • Bookends: Fas - Ite begins and ends with different versions of the song "Obombration." In addition, "A Chore for the Lost", the last full song on the album, reprises the lines "God of terror, very low dost thou bring us, very low hast thou brought us", which were the first lines of "The Shrine of Mad Laughter", the first full song on the album.
    • Also, Paracletus counts; see Creator Thumbprint and Recurring Riff below.
    • The Synarchy of Molten Bones opens and closes with similar orchestral stings. They may also be intended to serve as Call Backs to "Obombration".
  • Breather Episode:
    • The prayers on Si monumentum and the midsection of "Carnal Malefactor", compared to the rest of the album - the prayers are really heavy and experimental Nightmare Fuel in their own right, and the middle of "Carnal Malefactor" (which has had a Nothing Is Scarier feeling throughout) subverts the trope by ending with a Scare Chord.
    • The acoustic midsection of "Diabolus absconditus", though again, it's downplayed - it's still pretty creepy.
    • Fas also has several, though yet again, it's downplayed or Zig-Zagged. Several passages are almost inaudible, but again, this simply creates a feeling of Nothing Is Scarier. There are, however, more clearly audible passages that are fairly gentle and aren't quite as paranoia-inducing - for instance, both "The Repellent Scars of Abandon & Election" and "A Chore for the Lost" begin this way.
    • On Paracletus, "Epiklesis II" serves this purpose (though - are you noticing a pattern yet? - it's downplayed). There are also a few other shorter passages within other tracks that aren't as heavy as the rest of the album.
    • The Synarchy of Molten Bones is a largely unrelenting assault, but even here, the end of "Famished for Breath" is legitimately beautiful and serves as something of a case of this trope.
  • Childless Dystopia: Alluded to in "Malign Paradigm" and "Chaining the Katechon". The band's overall philosophical stance has sometimes been described as anti-natalist (i.e., they are philosophically in opposition to human reproduction).
    Dei nostri templum terrarum orbus est.translation 
  • Classical Mythology: This has become a major lyrical theme of theirs starting with Synarchy.
  • Concept Album: Si monumentum through Paracletus forms a trilogy of concept albums based around God, Satan, and man, with Drought serving as a sort of appendix (Kénôse, "Diabolus absconditus", "Mass Grave Aesthetics", and Chaining the Katechon are also sometimes considered related works, including, according to Norma Evangelium Diaboli, by the band themselves). The Synarchy of Molten Bones also has a concept dealing with the apocalypse.
  • The Corruption: Their view of Satan seems to be something like this. Rather than being a distinct entity, they seem to interpret Satan as being the metaphysical force of corruption in the universe.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: They arguably apply this mindset to Biblical scripture.
  • Crapsack Cosmos: Their cosmology seems to have a large element of this. It's difficult to tell for certain underneath all the layers of Mind Screw, but given their portrayal of both God and Satan as nigh-Eldritch Abominations, the inevitable conclusion seems to be that humans are doomed to suffering. The reason they side with Satanism appears to be primarily due to At Least I Admit It.
  • Creator Thumbprint: From Si monumentum requires, circumspice onwards, there's usually a deliberate, careful structure to their otherwise chaotic material.
    • In their interview with The Ajna Offensive, they commented that Si monumentum's structure was influenced by rock double albums from The '70s: the first three sides open with Lighter and Softer "prayers"; side D's "Carnal Malefactor", though somewhat breaking the pattern, is still lighter than the album's other metal songs even at its heaviest and is also broken up by a church chant midsection; and the album closes as a whole with a mellow instrumental.
    • Fas is bookended by two different variations of "Obombration" (though they're not closely related musically) and some shared lyrics.
    • Paracletus opens each side with an "Epiklesis" (Greek for "Invocation", though again, they have little in common musically), and side B is bookended by a Recurring Riff.
    • Drought is bookended by Lighter and Softer instrumentals, and The Synarchy of Molten Bones by similar orchestral stings.
  • Dark Reprise: The second "Obombration", which closes out Fas with a hellish orchestral swell and screamed vocals in Latin.
  • Darker and Edgier: Along with Anaal Nathrakh, they (somehow) manage to be this for Black Metal.
    • Also, Fas and Synarchy somehow manage to be examples of this when compared to the rest of their work. Furthermore, everything recorded after 2002 probably counts when compared to the Shaxul-era material.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The video for "Ad Arma! Ad Arma!" The final scene has some splashes of blood, though.
  • Design Student's Orgasm: They tend to have very detailed and ornate album covers, often inspired by classical Christian artwork. Si monumentum, Paracletus, Drought, and Synarchy are good examples (though the last of these is inspired by literature instead; see Shout-Out below).
  • Devil, but No God: Earth is depicted in their lyrics as "a frenetic psalmody for His venue", with God either having left it behind due to its inherently sinful nature, or actively destroying man for the very same reason. Meanwhile, their song title "Diabolus absconditus" ("hidden devil") is derived from the theological concept of deus absconditus ("hidden God"), which basically postulates that this trope has happened.
  • Downer Ending: Paracletus concludes the trilogy saying that everything man seeks is, in the end, devoid of meaning and the only thing to be embraced is his own perdition.
  • Drone of Dread: Used a couple of times, notably in the intro to "Diabolus absconditus," both versions of "Obombration", the opening of "Kénôse Part 1", and the intro and outro to Synarchy.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Most of their material before Si monumentum sounds more like conventional black metal in the vein of Darkthrone and Burzum, occasionally exploring subgenres not often associated with them (like depressive black metal in "The Suicide Curse"). They started experimenting in earnest on Manifestations 2002, and got even weirder from there.note 
  • Eldritch Abomination: More or less how both God and Satan are portrayed in their lyrics. In "Chaining the Katechon":
    "We went to the trough, Lord.
    We went, bent and convulsed.
    We saw blood, Lord. It was glittering.
    You dispensed it and we drank it.
    We saw your image.
    The gap of your eyes and mouth is void.
    We went, bent, and convulsed.
    It broke us and dissolved us."
  • Enfant Terrible: The cover of Si monumentum features a bloated, decaying cherub.
  • Epic Instrumental Opener: Many of their recent albums start with one, like "First Prayer" in Si monumentum... and "Obombration" in Fas.
  • Epic Rocking: Frequently.
    • "Diabolus absconditus" and "Chaining the Katechon" both exceed twenty-two minutes, with "Mass Grave Aesthetics" following at nineteen minutes.
    • Kénôse (all songs above nine minutes, with the longest reaching almost sixteen) and Fas - Ite, maledicti, in ignem aeternum (all actual songs above seven minutes, with the longest approaching twelve) both consist entirely of this as well (excluding the intro and outro of Fas).
    • Depending on whether you consider continuous song suites to be this trope, Paracletus (with both album sides above twenty minutes; the CD and digital versions have no gaps at all and run for about forty-two minutes) and Drought (which runs for almost twenty-one minutes, although there are gaps of a couple of beats between certain tracks) could also be considered examples of this; if not, the latter is Miniscule Rocking instead (at least by this band's standards), though Paracletus would still have examples with "Abscission" and "Dearth".
    • Lesser examples include about half of Si monumentum, with "Carnal Malefactor" (11:44) being the standout on that album, and all of Manifestations 2000-2001 and their side of their split with Clandestine Blaze (yep, even before the band abandoned their Three Chords and the Truth sound, they were doing this). One song on Manifestations 2002 and two on Inquisitors of Satan also break the six-minute threshold for this trope.
    • They're still at it on The Synarchy of Molten Bones; the shortest track is just under six minutes long while the longest is just over ten.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Their second singer's vocals employ this, being a sort of guttural, death metal rasp. Also pops up with some of their spoken word passages, which are performed in a deep baritone voice.
  • Excited Show Title!: "Ad Arma! Ad Arma!"
  • Existential Horror: Human autonomy (or rather, the lack thereof) is a recurring lyrical theme. DsO insinuate that by accepting free will from Satan, man has no other choice but to sin.
  • Fading into the Next Song: Most of their albums starting with Si monumentum do this at least occasionally. On Paracletus and Drought it rises to the level of Siamese Twin Songs. There are actually no gaps at all on the CD and digital versions of several albums (Fas, Paracletus, and Drought, most notably, though you'll need the volume up fairly high to notice in the case of Fas).
  • Fanservice: The liner notes for Si monumentum contain digitally altered vintage erotica (it's an old photograph of two nude women with one of them altered to have angel wings). The band commented in one of their rare published interviews that it was included due to its transgressive nature. There's also Fan Disservice though; see Gorn below.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: The opening of Synarchy employs this alongside orchestral Drone of Dread.
  • For the Evulz: Invoked by the band in interviews. Evil for its own sake is also a recurring lyrical theme, summed up well in "The Repellent Scars of Abandon and Election".
    "I was beyond withstanding my own ignominy. I invoked it and blessed it. I progressed ever further into vileness and degradation."
  • A God Am I: At the climax of "Diabolus absconditus" (taken from Georges Bataille's Madame Edwarda):
    "'You can see for yourself,' she said. 'I am God.'"
  • God and Satan Are Both Jerks: To put it lightly.
  • God Is Evil: A core part of their philosophy, though it may also be interpreted as "God is impotent" or "God is apathetic". It should be noted that this does not mean that they think Satan is Good.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Comes up from time to time in their lyrics. A notable example is "Chaining the Katechon", especially the lyrics quoted under Eldritch Abomination.
  • Gorn: And not just in the way expected of a metal band. The liner notes for Si monuentum contain actual archival photos of murder victims.
  • Grand Finale: "Apokatastasis pantôn" concludes the band's trinity of concept albums in a fittingly epic manner.
  • Gratuitous Greek:
    • Song/album titles:
      • "Hétoïmasia" ("Ἑτοιμασία") means "Preparation" (often used in reference to the throne of Jesus Christ for the Second Coming).
      • Kénôse is the French version of the term Κένωσης (Kénosis), referring to a doctrine of Jesus' "emptying himself" by becoming human (incidentally, Blut aus Nord used this term's exact antonym, "Henosis" or "Ἕνωσις", meaning "Union", for a song title on Memoria vetusta III: Saturnian Poetry).
      • Paracletus is a Latinised form of the Greek word Παράκλητος ("Paraklitos"), meaning comforter or advocate and commonly used to refer to the Holy Spirit.
      • An epiklesis (Επίκλησης) is an invocation.
      • “Apokatastasis pantôn” (in Greek script, "Ἀποκατάστᾰσις πάντων") is ancient Greek for “recreation of everything”.
    • Lyrically, the first "Obombration" is a mixture of ancient Greek and Latin (the second is all Latin).
    • And of course, the band’s name itself is also an example.
  • Gratuitous Latin: They use lots of (surprisingly good) Latin. From their album and song titles:
    • Si monumentum requires, circumspice is one letter off from the inscription of Sir Christopher Wren's tomb, which reads Si monumentum requiris, circumspice. Deathspell's version technically means "If You Will Seek a Monument, Look Around You", but is usually just translated without the future tense. Wren's tomb doesn't have the future tense.
    • "Sola fide" means "Only Faith", referring to (and mocking) a doctrine in some sects of Christianity that it is possible to earn salvation through faith alone. The song itself contains the line, "Wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?", a direct quote from James 2:20 (KJV).
    • "Odium nostrum" means "Our Hatred".
    • "Jubilate Deo" has the subtitle "O Be Joyful in the Lord", which is a fairly accurate English translation.
    • "Diabolus absconditus" means "The Devil Is Hiding" or "Concealed Devil". This appears to be a reference to the theological concept of "deus absconditus", which espouses the idea that God has essentially abandoned the world and cannot be known or accessed by humankind.
    • Fas - ite, maledicti, in ignem aeternum means "Divine Law - Depart, Ye Accursed, into Eternal Flame". The bulk of the title (apart from the first word) comes from the Vulgate translation of Matthew 25:41.
    • Veritas diaboli manet in aeternum means "The Devil's Truth Remains in Eternity".
    • "Ad arma! Ad arma!" means "To Arms! To Arms!"
    • "Imitatio Dei" means "Imitation of God".
    • There are also an awful lot of Latin phrases in the band's lyrics. A mostly complete list of the band's Latin phrases (along with commentary on the grammatical correctness thereof - there seem to be at most a handful of mistakes, which is fairly impressive given how much of it there is) can be found here.
  • Guttural Growler: Their second vocalist. The first uses something closer to a typical black metal shriek.
  • Hell Is That Noise: A lot of the time.
    • The screams in "Phosphene" sound like someone being tortured.
    • Special mention goes to that Scare Chord in "Carnal Malefactor" right after the midsection, which also qualifies as this, in a Nothing Is Scarier sort of way.
    • At the climax of "Chaining the Katechon", the vocals degenerate into the wails of the insane, coupled with Voice of the Legion.
    WE WENT! TO THE TROUGH, LORD!
    WE WENT, BENT AND CONVUUUUUUULSED!
  • Humans Are Bastards: According to their first album, at least. With Satan portrayed as the metaphysical ego, it's safe to say that man is ultimately irredeemable. Reinforced with the liner notes for Si monumentum, which, among other things, depict crime scene photos of murder victims as an example of Satan's influence on mankind.
    Praised be human nature, ciborium of shame and waste
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The cover of "Chaining the Katechon" depicts two giants devouring each other in a manner similar to the Ouroboros symbol.
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: While typical for black metal, here the vocalist often seems to not bother pronouncing certain syllables or words, to the point Allmusic's review of Kénôse likened his voice to "Beelzebub on a bad day". However, the band's occasional spoken word sections avert this.
  • Ironic Name: If Metal Archives is correct, Hasjarl's real-life name is Christian Bouche.
  • Large Ham: Some of their vocals can get quite passionate. The spoken word in "A Chore for the Lost" and "Abscission" are notable in this regard.
  • Laughing Mad: Referenced in "The Repellent Scars of Abandon and Election", as well as "The Shrine of Mad Laughter".
    "Prostrate face against the earth in frantic laughter"
  • Lead Bassist and Lead Drummer: Their rhythm section is skilful enough to qualify, despite the band's Anonymous Band nature. Notably, the drumming is at times so virtuosic that some listeners have questioned whether it's a drum machine (but, as mentioned above, pro drummers like John Longstreth have dismissed the drum machine hypothesis).
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • Each side of Si monumentum, except the fourth, opens with a "prayer" that's more melodic and experimental than the rest of their material. The fourth side's opener, "Carnal Malefactor", is a more melodic and slower-paced take on Black Metal featuring an Old Church Slavonic chant section (which still ends in a Scare Chord), and the final track "Malign Paradigm" is a mid-paced, chilled-out instrumental.
    • "Apokatastasis pantôn", the closing track to Paracletus, is essentially a condensed Post-Rock song.
    • Drought is slightly less heavy than the material that preceded it. Emphasis on slightly, though: apart from the last song and possibly the intro, everything on it still qualifies as a 10 on the Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness. Due to its short length and comparative lightness, it may be a good record to introduce the band to people.
  • Literary Allusion Title: All but the first word of "Onward Where Most with Ravin I May Meet" is taken directly from Paradise Lost.
    • Every song title on Fas - Ite is taken from various texts by Georges Bataille, and the first and last lines of each song quote his short story "My Mother". For that matter, all of the album title except its first word comes from the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25:31-46); translated, the entire title means "Divine Law - Depart, You Cursed, into Eternal Fire."
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: They released limited edition vinyl box sets of their 1999-2002 material (on five LPs) and their 2004-2012 material (on seven LPs). They were actually priced pretty reasonably given the amount of material on them; the seven-LP box was $111.
  • Live Album: A variant with The Furnaces of Palingenesia, which was evidently recorded live in the studio.
  • Long Title: On top of some of the albums listed above, there are the songs "The Repellent Scars of Abandon and Election" and "Onward Where Most with Ravin I May Meet", both of which also qualify as Epic Rocking. Kénôse also gets these on some releases, such as the vinyl box set; the titles for the songs in this version are the first sentence in the lyrics, rather than the Roman numerals found on other releases.
  • Loudness War: Most of their albums are at least somewhat clipped, with Manifestations 2000-2001 and Manifestations 2002 ranking worst at DR2 and DR3 respectively. Even the vinyl releases of Fas, "Chaining the Katechon", Paracletus, Drought, and Synarchy clip like the CD releases, though the vinyl editions of Si monumentum, Kénôse, "Diabolus absconditus", and "Mass Grave Aesthetics" seem to have different masters. Of the band's early material, only Infernal Battles appears to have a separate master for vinyl without much/any clipping, while the Clandestine Blaze split, Inquisitors of Satan, and the Manifestations albums do not.
  • Lyrical Cold Open: "Chaining the Katechon" sounds like it starts in the middle. Some of the tracks on Paracletus and Drought also do this, as does "Jubilate Deo (O Be Joyful in the Lord)" from Si momumentum and "The Shrine of Mad Laughter" from Fas.
  • Madness Mantra:
    • "Lamma sabacthani" (Aramaic for "Why hast thou forsaken me?") repeated over and over in the last song on Kénôse.
    • In "Chaining the Katechon," the phrase "We saw your image" is spoken/growled repeatedly, with increasing passion.
    • "Inter spem et metum," repeated several times in "Jubilate Deo." It means "Between hope and fear" in Latin.
  • Metal Scream: The first vocalist uses a type 3, while the second uses a type 2.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: Fas - Ite most notably. It's simply a representation of what is assumed to be Lucifer falling from heaven against a mostly black background. (Alternately, it could also represent man falling from heaven, with the visible digestive tract meant to symbolise man's fragility.)
  • Miniscule Rocking: "Epiklesis I" is 1:41 and "Sand" is 1:35. These are both parts of much longer suites of continuous music, however, and "Epiklesis I" also qualifies as an Album Intro Track. The second "Obombration" just barely misses qualifying for this trope at 2:07.
  • Mohs Scale of Lyrical Hardness: This probably never drops below about 7, with some songs ("Mass Grave Aesthetics") maybe reaching up to 10 or 11. Note that, despite this, they almost never swear in their lyrics.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Starting with Si monumentum, usually a solid 10 or even 11 (the earlier material may qualify as 9s depending on whether you feel the more lo-fi production bumps it up or not). Sometimes they dip lower for Breather Episodes, plus the occasional Surprisingly Gentle Song. However, apart from the songs listed under that trope, their songs are so heavy that they can't be categorised below 10, even with the breather episodes.
  • Mood Whiplash: Used to horrifying effect on several of their songs, especially on Fas - Ite. "Carnal Malefactor" is also an excellent example; see Scare Chord below.
  • Multinational Team: If the information under Anonymous Band is correct, then the band has a Finnish vocalist, a French guitarist, a Japanese bassist, and possibly a French drummer as well.
  • Musical Pastiche: The final track of Kénôse is (presumably deliberately) reminiscent of Darkthrone's "Transilvanian Hunger" in its opening two minutes, just performed at about twice the speed (maybe closer to triple, actually).
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Synarchy of Molten Bones, as well as the band themselves. Bassist Khaos may also qualify, and even Hasjarl has a pretty sinister sound to it.
  • New Sound Album: Si monumentum was this when it came out, although the retrospective release of Manifestations 2002 in 2008 made it clear they'd been heading that way for a while. Kénôse and/or Fas - Ite, maledicti, in ignem aeternum somehow manage to be even darker and more dissonant than the band's earlier material, while Drought is slightly Lighter and Softer than the material that preceded it (though only slightly). The Synarchy of Molten Bones can be considered a synthesis of the band's different styles, from 2004-2012, while breaking some new ground.
  • Nobody Loves the Bassist: Averted; the bass is mixed extremely clearly on recent releases, especially on tracks like "The Crackled Book of Life".note 
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The quiet passages on Fas - Ite have this effect, as they build up tension to an almost unbearable level. Of course, they frequently end with Scare Chords. (It should be noted that, while they are almost inaudible, they are not completely silent; some listeners have claimed that raising the quiet passages' volumes in an audio editor with a gain envelope filter to make them more clearly audible enhances the emotional impact of the album.)
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Frequently employed, usually to very creepy effect.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The logical extension of Satan's role, being a force of moral and physical putrefaction, leading man closer to his destruction.
    "O Satan! I acknowledge you as the Great Destroyer of the Universe!"
  • One-Woman Wail: One of the quiet passages in "The Shrine of Mad Laughter" incorporates this (specifically, it's the passage starting at about 2:45). It's mixed so quietly that you almost certainly will need to turn up the volume to hear it. It's also one of the rare quiet passages in the album that doesn't suddenly end with a Scare Chord, but instead fades slowly back in, so it's not risky to one's hearing/speakers/headphones to do so. (Alternately, this altered version of the album has the passage gain raised substantially.)
  • Perfectly Cromulent Word: "Obombration" is a word that the band apparently made up. It's derived from a Latin word meaning "overshadowing" and is generally interpreted to refer to death in some way.
  • Putting on the Reich: There's a vaguely totalitarian aesthetic to some of the imagery in the "Ad Arma! Ad Arma!" video, though how it's meant to be interpreted is anybody's guess.
  • Rearrange the Song: "Drink the Devil's Blood" from Infernal Battles was rearranged and re-recorded with new lyrics for Si monumentum.
  • Recurring Riff: "Epiklesis II" and "Apokatastasis pantôn" from Paracletus both open with the same riff.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: The cover art of Paracletus, which features some sort of contorted, demonic creature backlit by fire, as well as the cover of Kénôse.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Arguably all their output qualifies to some extent, being an extremely blasphemous take on both Satanic and Christian theology.
  • Religion Rant Song: Most, if not all, of their material.
  • Religious Horror: Overlapping with Cosmic Horror Story. Their lyrics consist of obscure scripture, both Biblical and post-Biblical, most of which is not paraphrased or otherwise warped, but is clearly used in favor of their ideology as opposed to that of Christianity. And quite frankly, it's terrifying.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Their lyrics and artwork run on this.
  • Rock Me, Asmodeus!: Obviously. They might be the most extreme example of this in music.
  • Scare Chord:
    • Quite atypically for a Black Metal band, they have a chant section in their song "Carnal Malefactor" (frequently mistakenly assumed to be Gregorian chant, it's actually in Old Church Slavonic). Immediately after the chant's conclusion—before it's even finished echoing—they go straight back into blasting black metal, and if you're not prepared for it, it is terrifying.
    • As mentioned above under Nothing Is Scarier, Fas - Ite does this a few times.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Katechon. Not that said sealing does much good.
    The temple stands
    Its walls a prison
    For the Katechon
    While the plowshare grates
    On the crystal hard and vivid tear
    And blood pours from the furrows
    While the star shines high
    No place to cover from
    Its rotten light
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Don't be ashamed if you need to crack open a dictionary to understand their lyrics.
  • Shout-Out: Their lyrics are full of references to the Bible and various other literary sources. Georges Bataille is a frequent source of references; about half of the lyrics to Fas and "Diabolus absconditus" are taken almost verbatim from his works, and several of their other releases also contain allusions to his work. (The opening French narration in "Diabolus absconditus", meanwhile, comes from the journals of Etty Hillesum, a Jew who was murdered in Auschwitz.) Part of the difficulty in understanding the band's lyrics, even for a native English speaker, is their vocabulary, but even if you understand all the words, you may not understand all the literary allusions in their work. It's almost impossible to fully understand their lyrics without a deep background in literature, theology, and philosophy, which is a large part of the reason their work falls into Viewers Are Geniuses.
    • The cover of Synarchy almost certainly references the figure of Nimrod from Victor Hugo's La Fin de Satan, whose Book I is also the source of the album's French lyrics (which are not printed in the album liner notes; they can be found here). Per That Other Wiki:
      Book the First tells the story of Nimrod, a powerful and monstrous king of Judaea. Wandering the Earth, which he has fully dominated and laid waste, he decides to conquer the heavens. For this purpose, he builds a cage and attaches four giant eagles to it, with the meat of dead lions above their heads to draw them upward. With his servant, the eunuch, Nimrod releases the cage from its tethers, and the eagles start towards the heavens. After a journey of one year, moving continuously upwards and finding only an immense blue, Nimrod shoots an arrow into the infinite, and is thrown back to Earth.
    • Kénôse also incorporates many allusions to various sources and occasionally quotes them directly. The first sentence of the first song ("Everything, except GOD, has in itself some measure of privation, thus all individuals may be graded according to the degree to which they are infected with mere potentiality") comes from Arthur Lovejoy's The Great Chain of Being, while the first sentence of the second song ("Therefore, GOD honours the sword so highly that He calls it His own ordinance, and will not have men say or imagine that they have invented it or instituted it") comes from Martin Luther's Whether Soldiers, Too, Can Be Saved.
  • Shown Their Work: Whether one agrees or disagrees with their conclusions, it would be almost impossible to deny that their lyrics demonstrate that they've thoroughly studied scripture, theology, and literature.
  • Siamese Twin Songs: Nearly every song transition on Paracletus and Drought. Some of the songs on their other albums do this as well (notably the two halves of "Sola fide").
  • Signature Style: Hurricane winds of dizzying, dissonant blastbeats and riffs, deep, bellowing vocals, and highly literate lyrics that read more like philosophical essays than black metal lyrics most of the time, often written in two or more languages.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: So far on the cynical end that no light escapes them.
  • Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter!: From both "Obombration" tracks:
    Judica me... perinde ac cadaver.note 
  • Snakes Are Sinister: As with the Bible, Satan is often represented by a serpent in their lyrics and album art. The cover art for Paracletus portrays him as an abomination with seven snakes as heads, in direct reference to his form in Book of Revelation.
  • Song Style Shift: Diabolus absconditus has a lengthy acoustic section, and "Carnal Malefactor" has a large choral chant section in the middle.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: The majority of their lyrics are obscure Biblical references, or direct quotes from authors and religious scholars, which makes them come across as more intellectual than most other Black Metal bands. In "Carnal Malefactor", however, the line "Angel prick and holy semen" is used not once but twice.
  • Soprano and Gravel: Most of their vocals are incomprehensibly low Harsh Vocals that would almost be more typical of Death Metal than Black Metal, but there are occasional sung passages in their work as well. Examples appear in "Chaining the Katechon" and on Paracletus. Another example is the female spoken-word passage at the start of "Diabolus absconditus" (and for that matter, the whispered vocals in the song's acoustic midsection definitely provide a contrast with the harsh vocals in the heavier portions).
  • Spiritual Successor: If Metal Archives' membership information is correct, Deathspell Omega is a successor to the much more obscure Hirilorn. They're both progressive black metal bands, but Hirilorn is much more melodic and its songwriting is more influenced by traditional heavy metal. They could also be considered something of a spiritual successor to the Swedish band Funeral Mist, which shares Deathspell Omega's penchant for using Biblical-sounding lyrics that invert Christianity's message, but has a more primitive (though still fairly experimental) sound. (Funeral Mist, to be clear, does not share any members with Deathspell Omega. As far as we know, anyway.)
  • Spoken Word in Music: They use this intermittently, notably on Paracletus, in which some songs use this exclusively. This also appears in the prayers on Si monumentum, with "Third Prayer" in particular having what sounds like a manic sermon being shouted over it.
  • Subdued Section: Several songs have these.
    • "Carnal Malefactor" is probably the best example, but it's subverted with a Scare Chord (see above).
    • There's also a good example in "Diabolus absconditus", which has several minutes that feature acoustic guitar, whispered vocals, and ghostly choral chanting. This too is interrupted by a Scare Chord.
    • All four proper songs on Fas have at least one example for everyone's sake (probably including the band's - it might be impossible to keep playing music that intense uninterrupted for 10+ minutes). A few songs on The Synarchy of Molten Bones also have them. To be clear, this does not keep the Mohs Scale ratings of any of these songs from dropping below 10, though certain individual passages may drop as low as 3 or so.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Apokatastasis pantôn", "Salowe Vision", "The Crackled Book of Life", "Malign Paradigm", and the prayers from Si monumentum. Meanwhile, "Carnal Malefactor", "Epiklesis II", and the two "Obombration"s aren't light enough to qualify as this trope, but are still somewhat less heavy than most of the group's other material (probably an 8 or 9 on the Mohs Scale as opposed to the 10s and 11s that make up most of the band's discography). All of these songs, while gentle by DsO's standards, are dark and experimental by the standards of most non-metal genres and are probably Nightmare Fuel in their own right for at least some listeners.
  • Surprisingly Good Foreign Language: Their Latin is at least almost entirely free of grammatical errors.
  • Surreal Music Video: The video for "Ad Arma! Ad Arma!" mostly consists of very abstract, vaguely fascistic imagery.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: Invoked with "Malign Paradigm", which is built around a riff from Malign's "Ashes and Bloodstench". While Deathspell Omega's albums don't list songwriting credits, it's likely Malign still gets royalties from the recording.
  • Take That!: Judging from the fascist-like style "Ad Arma! Ad Arma!' has, this seems to be the band's mocking of detractors/"SJWS" who have been accusing the band of supporting fascism/Nazism.
  • Textless Album Cover: All of them after Si monumentum.
  • Three Chords and the Truth: Played straight on their first two albums, which are far closer to a more traditional, orthodox black metal sound (though, that said, they still frequently use some unusual compositional elements like Uncommon Time - so maybe still Zig-Zagged somewhat). Starting with Si monumentum the band completely averted this and haven't looked back since.
    • Zig-Zagged on The Furnaces of Palingenesia, which was recorded live in the studio using analogue equipment, but judging from "Ad arma! Ad arma!", it isn't any less complicated than their usual fare.
  • Title Drop: "Fiery Serpents" from the Drought EP actually name-drops every track on the EP in its opening lines. These occur in most songs on Fas as well, as well as scattered songs on other albums. (Synarchy does this as well, but strangely, the title drop of the third song appears in the fourth one.)
  • Uncommon Time: Their sound is partly so impenetrable because of their common use of bizarre time signatures, even in their early material; a complete list would likely take up half the page. Fas in particular is so disorienting that one last.fm shout for "The Shrine of Mad Laughter" commented, "Deathspell Omega has no need for trivial things such as time signatures."
  • Villain Song: Pretty much all of them, actually.
  • Wicked Cultured: They advocate a philosophy of absolute, unrepentant evil, and are clearly extremely well-read.
  • Word Salad Title: Subverted with "Onward Where Most with Ravin I May Meet", which, apart from the first word, is a quote from Paradise Lost. "Ravin" is an archaic term for "plunder".
  • Worthy Opponent: By their own admission, they view Christianity this way. For all their vehement opposition to it, they've clearly made a thorough study of Christian scripture and theology, and they wouldn't have done this if they didn't take it seriously. They themselves have commented, "Many a reactionary Christian pamphleteer or Marxist philosophe actually pointed out a fragment of truth." Arguably a large part of the reason their music is so revered amongst fans of black metal is because they are one of the few bands in the genre that actually engages with Christianity in full rather than simply attacking a caricature of it. This is certainly evident in aspects of their music like the choral samples in "Carnal Malefactor" and other tracks, but it's also reflected throughout their lyrics.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Averted. The band sometimes uses Early Modern English spellings/grammar, but it's used correctly.

"You were seeking strength, justice, splendor. You were seeking love. Here is the pit. Here is your pit. Its name is silence."
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