Deathspell Omega - The Furnaces of Palingenesia [Norma Evangelium Diaboli - 2019]The Furnaces of Palingenesia is the seventh studio album from French Avant Garde Black Metal masters Deathspell Omega. Hailing from Poitiers, the band were formed in 1998. Originally inspired by the raw Scandinavian Black Metal of bands like Dark Throne, the band have since developed a much more technical and experimental sound of their own drawing lyrical influence from their own Satanic beliefs as well some of Europe’s great thinkers, specifically Georges Bataille, whose centrist political stance is mirrored by that of the band.
"Neither Meaning nor Justice" gets the album underway. A fine slower number that really only serves as a short introduction to the album’s real opener "The Fires of Frustration". A slightly pacier number that retains a solid melodic core. "Ad Arma! Ad Arma!" is up next, providing more midtempo technical Black Metal. The album features really strong production values that shine through throughout. The wonderfully monikered "Splinters from Your Mother’s Spine" picks the pace up a little yet retains the heavy, melodic sound of the previous tracks. "Imitatio Dei" is notable for the relentless pace of its faster sections, pummelling the listener into submission. "1523" takes the pace right down to a crawl, almost doomlike with its monolithic riffs of glacial metal.
"Sacrificial Theopathy" kicks the paced back up providing a solid up-tempo Black Metal track before slowing down to a crawl in the second half of the track. That is followed by "Standing on the Work of Slaves", slow and brutal, yet with tonnes of melody, this track provides something a little different to most modern Black Metal. "Renegade Ashes" kicks straight off with some damn fine blast beats before settling into a more mid-tempo groove. "Absolutist Regeneration" and "You Cannot Even Find the Ruins", bring the album to a close, and whilst "Absolutist Regeneration" fits neatly with the previous material "You Cannot Even Find the Ruins", represents a slow sprawling slab of glacial blackened doom metal.
Overall, The Furnaces of Palingenesia is a solid and decent album of Avant Garde Black Metal, it doesn’t head too far off at tangents and remains largely rooted in Black Metal history with the more traditional influences always evident in the mix. It is however interesting to hear so many slower numbers that are so obviously influenced by some of the heavier slower bands who have become ever more popular in Black Metal circles over recent years. Lyrically the album goes beyond the raw Satanic Black Metal made popular by bands like Dark Throne and Mayhem and takes the band into much more cerebral territory and that is a real bonus. Too much Black Metal fails to impress in the lyrical department, whereas Deathspell Omega most certainly do. This is a pleasant enough listen and whilst I enjoyed it, it doesn’t stand out like the new album from Gaahl’s Wyrd.Darren Charles