Album Review: SHITFUCKER




Shitfucker’s new album, Suck Cocks in Hell, is a brilliant collection of songs that showcases the band’s musical abilities and lyrical panache in a compendium that promises to enthrone the band in the pantheon of light-folk luminaries. This is a very mellow album that will certainly appeal to fans of light-rock visionaries such as Abba, The Carpenters, and Bread. If you like your songs quiet and airy, with a love-infused poetic lyricism, then Suck Cocks in Hell will be the perfect album for your next massage session, meditation circle, or vegetarian potluck.

Not since Joni Mitchell’s earliest days has folk music sounded so innocent and dream-like. Every song on this album is a quiet, charming, and contemplative exercise in being centered in a universe of quietude and perfection. The three members of Shitfucker have obviously listened to a lot of early 70s mellow music (Starland Vocal Band’s “Afternoon Delight” comes immediately to mind) and this is not to the detriment of your listening pleasure. Beautiful guitar strumming, sonorous and haunting vocals, and crisp, light drumming are the order of the day all over Suck Cocks in Hell.

This is the perfect music to play while getting the kids ready for school in the morning; relaxing with a natural diet soft drink after a hard day at the food co-op; or just sitting on a porch swing with your best gal (or guy). I can recommend Shitfucker’s Suck Cocks in Hell to anybody who is interested in light rock with a mellow touch. This is very beautiful music.

Great Lost Technical Death

I’ve never understood why Brutality never entered the pantheon of immortal Technical Death Metal bands. Especially because of this album, which is about as perfect a TDM album as I’ve ever heard. I was listening to a lot of Atheist and early Suffocation when I stumbled upon this superb release and thought, “This band’s gonna be totally worshipped some day.” Then they just sort of faded out, whether due to internal disputes, line-up changes or just scene burn-out. I guess we’ll never know.

Although every song is excellent, my favorite cut on this release is “Cries of the Forsaken,” which epitomizes everything that’s right about this release. Beginning with ponderous downtuned rhythm guitar interspersed with wailing twin lead accents, the song soon escalates into a technical marvel bursting with energy and solid HEAVY metallic drum salvos. Vocalist Scott Reigel, whose diminutive stature belies his ability to reach into the depths of DM growls, explores the typical early-90s lyrical gore fare. Although it might be a bit dated as metal poetry, it doesn’t detract in the least from the intensity of Brutality’s performance.

Brutality do some amazing things with rhythm and timing. Check out “These Walls Shall Be Your Grave.” The rhythm line played by the guitarists slides completely out of time with what the drummer is doing, almost like polyrhythm, and then comes right back to the one before going completely outside again. Over and over. Sort of like what Cryptopsy used to do but maintaining the classic Florida DM sound while doing it. This song proves that these guys were certainly no slouches when it comes to musicality. They can fucking PLAY! The entire release just abounds with little technical touches that’ll make you shout, “Hell yeah!” Or “Why didn’t I think of that?”

Even the obligatory keyboard/acoustic guitar piece, called “Sympathy” is effective and well played with an interesting melody.

Like most of the TDM bands of that era, the guitarists take a lot of cues from Maiden – beautiful twin melodic playing; arrangements festooned with precision hammer-ons/offs; complimentary simul-soloing. And most of the songs achieve a “Tornado of Souls” type intensity, especially the way the band ends their songs.

One of the most surprising things about Brutality is that the members, after the band disintegrated, didn’t seem to go on to higher fame. Especially drummer Jim Coker. He’s a fucking  monster on this release. Killer double-kick that actually stays in time with the songs’ tempi. Listen to how many crap DM drummers there are out there trying to cover up going out of time every other measure and one can appreciate when a DM drummer is doing it right. And although there’s plenty of (good) blasting, that’s not all Coker does. Hell, he sounds almost jazzy half the time.

Unfortunately Brutality’s later releases, with different line-ups, don’t hold a candle to this magnificent debut. If you’re searching for something that’ll have you banging like you did a decade ago, but with production quality that rivals today’s best DM releases, you could do worse than picking up Screams of Anguish. The band’s motto sums it all up: MUSIC TO MANGLE YOUR MIND!

The Ultimate Doom Oddity

Although Visceral Evisceration probably didn’t have access to the same medical pathology textbooks Carcass did, the lyrical spirit is the same. Primarily interested in dismemberment, cannibalism, rape, and more dismemberment, VE can barely be distinguished from Cannibal Corpse, Vomitory or the aforementioned Carcass in their early, glory-gory days.

If one only reads the lyric sheet and never listens to the music, that is.

This is one of the oddest, most compelling and most hauntingly beautiful metal recordings I’ve ever encountered. Simply put, this is exquisite Doom Metal in the finest musical tradition of Thergothon and dISEMBOWELMENT. Slow coursing riffs fleshed out with crystalline lead guitar, acrobatic drumming, clean and growled male vocals, and one of the most arresting and gorgeously throated female vocalists extant, mesh to create an enticing atmosphere of paradoxical beauty. One can easily appreciate this album on a purely musical level since the Austrian band’s vocalists sing with such heavy accents that the lyrics are quite difficult to discern, at least to American ears.

How can one even reconcile the juxtaposition of such tremendous Doom beauty with the morbid overload of grotesque imagery that graces this band’s words? In the end, there is no reconciliation possible. Like the art of Picabia or the noise constructs of Stockhausen, one must simply experience this band and recognize that they forged their own way and then bulldozed the results to obliteration so that nobody could ever follow their demented path. Certainly I’ve never heard another band anything like this.
This one has everything the Doom aficionado could ask for. It’s slow. It’s heavy. It’s plodding. It’s melodic. And it’s filled with inventive surprises. Check out the Jimi Hendrix throwback guitar hammer-ons after the second verse of “(I Am) Enamored of Dead Bodies.” Those few seconds alone make this band a worthwhile discovery. The opening riff to “Chewing Female Genital Parts” belongs in the pantheon of great metal intros. That song, one of the album’s finest, is a sludge-besmirched bent-string monster of Sabbath worship that begs the question, “What hath Iommi wrought?” And ending the song by having the angelic female vocalist trill lines like “Smell of cooked, simmered flesh/Serving her for dessert, garnished with bacon” … well, what can one even say?

Possibly the most disturbing bit on the album occurs during the song “Tender Flesh … On The Bier,” when the female vocalist (who is not named on this release as far as I could tell) sings “Provided with surgical instruments/Exquisite supper of excrements” in a bizarre, warbling vocal style sounding for all the world like a demented Greek chorus.

The one riff that will capture the awe and amazement of fans from Sabbath to Winter occurs in the song, “Knee-Deep In Blood I Wade.” Only four lines of lyrics embellish this swirling miasma of down-tuned six-string wonderment. It’s essentially an instrumental that allows the entire band to show their stuff. And show it they do!

This album was released in 1994 but can still be found in its original incarnation if one looks hard enough. It has been re-released by Napalm Records with slightly altered cover art. Either version is highly worthwhile tracking down. If you want to hear something that is truly different, this is the release for you.

Anal Cunt Song Titles

Let’s face it … nobody buys Anal Cunt albums for the music. They buy them for the song titles. So, since Seth’s dead now and doesn’t give a fuck any more, here’s a handy-dandy list of all the best A/C song titles. Yup, all the best song titles have already been used, so you might as well give up your stupid idea of forming a band and become a mime or something.

  1. Face It. You’re A Metal Band
  2. Punching Joe Bonni’s Face In
  3. Kill Women
  4. Steroids Guy
  5. Everyone In Allston Should Be Killed
  6. I Noticed That You’re Gay
  7. Dead. Gay. And Dropped
  8. You Look Divorced
  9. I Hope You Get Deported
  10. Mike Mahan Has Gingivitis
  11. Trapped
  12. You’re A Fucking Cunt
  13. Phyllis Is An Old Annoying Cunt
  14. Al Stankus Is Always On The Phone With His Bookie
  15. Bill Scott’s Dumb
  16. Harvey Korman Is Gay
  17. You Fucking Freak
  18. Theme From Three’s Company
  19. Jeanine Jizm Is A Freak
  20. Everyone In Anal Cunt Is Dumb
  21. I Just Saw The Gayest Guy On Earth
  22. Johnny Violent Getting His Ass Kicked By Morrisey
  23. Metamorphosis
  24. I’m Sick Of You
  25. Howard Wulkan’s Bald
  26. You’re A Trendy Fucking Pussy
  27. Tom Arnold
  28. I Got Athletes Foot Showering At Mike’s
  29. Big Pants. Bigger Loser
  30. Marc Payson Is A Drunk
  31. Your Family Is Dumb
  32. Furnace
  33. You’re Dumb
  34. Van Full Of Retards
  35. Deche Charge Are A Bunch Of Fucking Losers
  36. Everyone In The Underground Music Scene Is Dumb
  37. Dumb. Fat. And Gross
  38. I’m Not Stubborn
  39. Mike Mahan’s Sty
  40. 02657
  41. Gloves Of Metal
  42.  Some Songs
  43. Some More Songs
  44. Blur Including New H.C. Song
  45. Even More Songs
  46. Tim
  47. Judge
  48. Spin Cycle
  49. Song #8
  50. Pavorotti
  51.  Unbelievable (EMF cover)
  52.  Music Sucks
  53. Newest H.C. Song #1
  54. Chiffon and Chips
  55. Guy Smiley
  56.  Seth
  57.  I’m Not Allowed to Like A.C. Any More Since They Signed to Earache
  58. A. Ex. A Blur
  59. G.M.O.T.R.
  60. I’m Wicked Underground
  61. Blur Including G
  62. Shut Up Mike
  63. Abomination of Unnecessarily Augmented Composition Monickers
  64. Radio Hit
  65. Loser
  66. When I Think of True Punk Rock Bands, I Think of Nirvana and the Melvins
  67. Eddy Grant (Eddy Grant cover)
  68. MTV Is My Source for New Music
  69. Song Titles Are Fucking Stupid
  70. Having to Make Up Song Titles Sucks
  71. Well You Know, Mean Gene…”
  72. Song #5
  73. Iron Funeral
  74. Chapel of Gristle
  75. Hellbent for Leatherman
  76. Alcoholic
  77. Chump Change
  78. Slow Song from Split 7”
  79. Les Binks’ Hairstyle
  80. Newest H.C. Song #2
  81. Greatful Dead
  82. Ageing Disgracefully
  83. Brutally Morbid Axe of Satan
  84. Surfer
  85. You Must Be Wicked Underground If You Own This
  86. Choke Edge
  87. Otis Sistrunk
  88. Russty Knoife
  89. Fred Bash
  90. Guess Which 10 of These Are Actual Song Titles
  91. Our Band Is Wicked Sick (We Have the Flu)
  92. Guy le Fleur
  93. Song #3
  94. Empire Sandwich Shop
  95. Morrissey
  96. Selling Out By Having Song Titles on His Album
  97. Grindcore Is Very Terrifying
  98. Song #6
  99. Guy Lombardo
  100. Some Hits
  101. Some More Hits
  102. Pepe, the Gay Waiter
  103. Even More Hits
  104. M.J.C.
  105. Flower Shop Guy
  106. Living Colour Is My Favorite Black Metal Band
  107. Lenny’s In My Basement
  108. Stayin’ Alive (Oi! Version)
  109. Benchpressing Effects on Kevin Sharp’s Vocals
  110. Josue
  111. Delicious Face Style
  112. 19 to Go
  113. Stealing Seth’s Ideas: the New Book by Jon Chang
  114. Morbid Dead Guy
  115. Believe in the King
  116. Don’t Call Japanese Hardcore Jap Core
  117. Shut Up Mike (Part 2)
  118. Hey, Aren’t You Gary Spivey?
  119. Breastfeeding J.M. J. Bullock’s Toenail Collection
  120. Foreplay With a Tree Shredder
  121. 2 Down; 5 to Go
  122. I Liked Earache Better When Dig Answered the Phone
  123. Brain Dead
  124. Newest H.C. Song #3
  125. The Sultry Ways of Steve Berger
  126. Escape (The Pina Colada Song)
  127. Lives Ruined by Music
  128. Still a Freshman After All These Years
  129. I’m Still Standing
  130. Art Fag
  131. John
  132. Newest H.C. Song #4
  133. Song #9
  134. Cleft Palate
  135. Theme From The A-Team
  136. Old Lady Across the Hall With No Life
  137. Shut Up Paul
  138. Lazy Eye (Once a Hank, Always a Hank
  139. American Woman
  140. Jack Kevorkian is Cool
  141. ValuJet
  142. You’ve Got No Friends
  143. You Keep a Diary
  144. You Own a Store
  145. You Got Date Raped
  146. Recycling is Gay
  147. You’re a Cop
  148. You Can’t Shut Up
  149. You’ve Got Cancer
  150. We Just Disagree
  151. Hungry Hungry Hippos
  152. You Are an Interior Decorator
  153. Pottery’s Gay
  154. Rich Goyette is Gay
  155. Branscombe Richmond
  156. You Live in Allston
  157. You Are a Food Critic
  158. Just the Two of Us
  159. Your Band’s In the Cut-Out Bin
  160. You’re Gay
  161. You Look Adopted
  162. Your Cousin is George Lynch
  163. You Have Goals
  164. You Drive an IROC
  165. You Play On a Softball Team
  166. Because You’re Old
  167. You Sell Cologne
  168. Being a Cobbler Is Dumb
  169. You Live in a Houseboat
  170. Richard Butler
  171. 311 Sucks
  172. Your Kid is Deformed
  173. You Are an Orphan
  174. You’re Old (Fuck You)
  175. You Go to Art School
  176. Your Best Friend Is You
  177. You’re in a Coma
  178. Windchimes Are Gay
  179. No, We Don’t Want to Do a Split Seven-Inch With Your Stupid Fucking Band
  180. René Auberjonois
  181. The Internet is Gay
  182. Ha Ha, Your Wife Left You
  183. Hootie and the Blowfish
  184. You Went to See Dishwalla and Everclear (You’re Gay)
  185. Locking Dropdead in McDonald’s
  186. Technology’s Gay
  187. Your Favorite Band is Supertramp
  188. I’m in A.C.
  189. You (Fill In the Blank)
  190. Kyle From Incantation Has a Moustache
  191. Bonus Track #3
  192. I Became a Counselor So I Could Tell Rape Victims They Asked for It
  193. Easy E Got AIDS from Freddie Mercury
  194. I Like Drugs and Child Abuse
  195. Laughing While Leonard Peltier Gets Raped in Prison
  196. I Convinced You to Beat Your Wife on a Daily Basis
  197. I Sent Concentration Camp Footage to America’s Funniest Home Videos
  198. Rancid Sucks (And The Clash Sucked Too)
  199. I Paid J. Howell to Rape You
  200. I Pushed Your Wife in Front of the Subway
  201. Extreme Noise Terror Are Afraid of Us
  202. You Rollerblading Faggot
  203. I Sent a Thank You Card to the Guy Who Raped You
  204. I Lit Your Baby on Fire
  205. Body by Auschwitz
  206. I Intentionally Ran Over Your Dog
  207. Sweatshops Are Cool
  208. Women: Nature’s Punching Bag
  209. I Snuck a Retard into a Sperm Bank
  210. Your Kid Committed Suicide Because You Suck
  211. I Ate Your Horse
  212. Hitler Was a Sensitive Man
  213. You Robbed a Sperm Bank Because You’re a Cum Guzzling Fag
  214. I Made Your Kid Get AIDS So You Could Watch It Die
  215. I Fucked Your Wife
  216. Into the Oven
  217. I Gave NAMBLA Pictures of Your Kid
  218. The Only Reason Men Talk to You is Because They Want to Get Laid, You Stupid Fucking Cunt
  219. I Made Fun of You Because Your Kid Just Died
  220. Domestic Violence Is Really, Really, Really Funny
  221. Dictators Are Cool
  222. Deadbeat Dads Are Cool
  223. I’m Really Excited About the Upcoming David Buskin Concert
  224. Being Ignorant Is Awesome
  225. You’re Pregnant, So I Kicked You in the Stomach
  226. Chris Barnes Is a Pussy
  227. Tim Is Gay
  228. BT/A.C.
  229. I Sold Your Dog to a Chinese Restaurant
  230. I Got an Office Job for the Sole Purpose of Sexually Harassing Women

Dismal Euphony’s Finest Hour

Don’t let the fact that Dismal Euphony uses synths and female vocals dissuade you from giving Soria Moria Slott, a Black Metal masterpiece, a spin or ten. Throughout this album the listener is constantly shuffled back and forth amongst such diverse elements as: ethereal, haunting melodic vocal duets; ripping and distorted Black Metal guitar riffing driven by oddly muffled, blasting drumming; epic metalized folk melodies akin to the earlier work of Summoning; and grim, raw Black Metal pandemonium. All the vocals are sung in Norwegian.

The album opens with the 52-second track, “Prolog,” a nicely atmospheric synth repeated signature that ends abruptly before launching into “Et Vintereventyr,” a rollicking keyboard-driven showcase for Ole’s harsh vocals and simple but effective six-string riffing and Keltziva’s beautiful soprano vocal punctuations.

Next up is “Natten Loftec Sit Tunge,” a lofty but lo-fi, mid-paced Black Metal march into the apocalypse featuring some great bloody-throated shrieking and constantly shape-shifting melodic constructions.

“Alvedans” at first lulls the listener into a false sense of serenity with a neoclassical flute intro before launching into another mid-paced synth/guitar battle that eventually segues into “Fortidssjeledrepte?” a shattering number that is sure to please even the most diehard Immortal fanatic. Ironically, “Fortidssjeledrepte?” the most powerful track, wasn’t included on the original release of this album, and is only available on the limited edition re-release, which is the one I recommend acquiring. This release also has superior cover art.

A magnificent twin guitar intro quickly metamorphoses into the most epic track on the album. “Trolloundet” again recalls material by the likes of Summoning or Ancient Wisdom. Ole’s vocals are placed quite far back in the mix, almost hidden behind his rapidly picked, highly distorted arpeggios; a very effective combination that lends a latent power to the song that otherwise wouldn’t exist. And Keltziva’s angelic vocals absolutely shine on this track.

Next come the two longest cuts on the album: “Ekko” (9:49) and “Isgrav, Det Siste Hvilesred” (8:21). Both feature a plethora of Dismal Euphony’s strong points: Compelling folk melodies interspersed with tortured Black Metal vocals and distortion drenched guitars; excellent drumming; those gorgeous female vocals; and constantly shifting melodies that keep one’s interest piqued throughout.

Finally, “Epilog” brings us full circle, concluding the album with another simple synth melody that effects a soothing calm after the storm.

Unlike later D.E. releases, this one has vague production values that only serve to accentuate the atmosphere elicited by the terrific ensemble playing. This album should please Black Metal fans of all camps. From Darkthrone-worshipping grim-meisters to those who appreciate epic, symphonic Black Metal with outstanding male/female vocal interplay and lofty synth injections, this release should be a mandatory inclusion in any serious Black Metal collection.

NOTE: For those who are only familiar with All Little Devils and later releases, this version of Dismal Euphony has a significantly different line-up and sound. Vocalist Keltziva and keyboardist Elin Overskot (R.I.P.) were powerful and distinctive contributors to the musicality of Soria Moria Slott. The band’s sound changed significantly with their departure – more polished and less harsh. Indeed, the new D.E. doesn’t even sound like the same band. Although the later recordings are interesting, this is Dismal Euphony at their creative, dynamic peak.

The Savior of Black Metal

Although this is primarily a review of Deathspell Omega’s Fas – Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum, it can also serve as a brief intro for those unfamiliar with the band. The descriptions of the preceding works can also serve as reference points leading to a better understanding of Fas – Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum.

Deathspell Omega’s first full-length, Infernal Battles, was released in 2000, and consists of primal, minimally-produced, Darkthrone worshiping, black metal. Splits with Finnish warlords Clandestine Blaze, the bewildering one-man German black metal project Moonblood, and the French Les Légions Noires stalwarts Mutiilation followed. The equally raw and bleak Inquisitors of Satan, released in 2002, ended Deathspell Omega’s first phase.

After what had gone before, nobody expected what the band would wreak with its 2004 release, Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice, the first of a trilogy concerning divine will, Man’s inherent perdition, and the inevitability of his eternal judgment. That release displayed a band that had leapt so far ahead of its previous incarnation as to be almost unrecognizable. Lengthy song constructions are filled with dense, macabre melodic musings tangled with joy-crushing powerhouse black metal while lyrically invoking the mysteries of God, Satan, and Man’s tragic and unwitting role in the eternal battle between righteousness and evil.

This concept was alluded to on three releases that followed: From the Entrails to the Dirt (2005) a three-record split with French hordes Antaeus, Mutiilation, and Malicious Secrets, further consolidated Deathspell Omega’s reputation as a black metal band that is challenging the genre’s status quo. In 2005 the band released the EP Kénôse, a collection of songs so disturbing in their dark beauty that larger numbers in the metal community finally began to take serious notice.

Also in 2005, Northern Heritage released Crushing the Holy Trinity, a very limited three-record set (1,000 copies) containing the efforts of six bands, each of which got half a side. Side one, titled “Father,” featured a nearly 23-minute opus titled “Diabolus Absconditus.” With this composition, Deathspell Omega left every other black metal band in the stylistic dirt and freed itself from the constraints of a genre that had grown largely moribund. “Diabolus Absconditus” was a revelation! Deranged riffing, a five-minute acoustic interlude that sounded like hellish jazz, impossible time changes and bizarre, angular chording revealed that this Franco-Finnish ensemble was single-handedly inventing an elite of black metal trail-blazers, creating music that nobody had thought to formulate before.

Now hear Deathspell Omega’s opus, Fas – Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum (loosely translated from the Latin, it means “By divine law, go ye cursed into eternal fire”). Simply put, it is phenomenal; quite possibly the greatest metal release I’ve encountered in a decade. It’s beyond good. It’s revolutionary. Lyrically, the band has transcended juvenile Satanic flirtation and embarked upon a fervent and erudite exploration of universal theology. It will take multiple listenings (and perhaps a few reference excursions to the Bible and Dante’s Inferno) to fully comprehend the message DsO is attempting to impart. In a nutshell, for those impatient souls, the message is this: Hopelessness.

Like the last four offerings from DsO, this release begins quietly, with a song titled “Obombration,” featuring an ethereal and nebulous choir chanting over soft neoclassical musings. It’s not long, however, until chaos erupts with DsO’s trademark uber-heavy arpeggios lumbering about like a Satanic Pink Floyd. Mid-tempo drums anchored by a subdued double-bass rumble mark time while a sample of something that sounds like a foghorn permeates the gloomy atmosphere. This fades out after a few minutes, replaced by more mournful chanting, which eventually succumbs to silence.

The second track, “The Shrine of Mad Laughter,” erupts suddenly with a furious blast-beat attack, harkening back to DsO’s past releases, before segueing into a convoluted maze of bent, angular riffing and drumming that’s nearly impossible to comprehend, much less tap one’s foot to. DsO’s drummer, whoever he or she is, is a monster and gets better with each release. The percussion is metal, jazz, psychedelia, anti-music, and sheer power, all rolled into one pummeling amalgam of rhythmic insanity. The song ends with more quietude, a formula repeated throughout the album. This is a very jarring set of tunes. One is constantly jerked from the ambient interludes to the rampant black metal salvos; it is unnerving and emotionally draining.

Track three, “The Bread of Bitterness,” contains psychotic layers of guitar, dozens of them, augmented with something that sounds like a calliope, creating what, at times, sounds like circus music from Hell. There is an innovative mix on this cut – a male choir follows Aspa’s delirious vocals, hovering just beneath the surface, a very rewarding and slightly frightening listening experience with headphones.

The fourth track, “The Repellent Scars of Abandon and Election,” features an insane call and response wherein a very evil sounding voice whispers each line, after which Aspa screams it in a demented sermonizing vocal style. After a minute, it switches and the whispers echo Aspa’s lines. Then it all starts to overlap until voices are bombarding the listener from all directions in an anarchy of screams, whispers, howls, and moans. Very intense and harrowing! About two-thirds of the way through the song this madness suddenly abates and a slightly de-tuned piano offers a discordant melody line for a few bars before the madness begins anew.

Orchestral samples and layered choirs permeate the next song, “A Chore for the Lost.” More screaming, more musical bellicosity, more superb ensemble playing, more incredible black metal.

Finally, it ends with a short reprise of the first song.

In its execution, Fas – Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum is jubilant and celebratory. It’s crushing and evil. It’s suffocating and dense. There are so many musical ideas thrown about that it’s difficult to capture them all in one, or even several, listening sessions. Make no mistake – this is definitely black metal. The music contains the requisite tremolo riffing, hyper-kinetic blast-beast drumming, and scorched earth vocals that linger between a death metal growl and a traditional black metal screech. But there is so much more. The drummer flirts with jazz, psychedelia, thrash, doom, and a half dozen other styles, and masters them all. Mikko Aspa has one of the most distinct voices in metal. It’s bombastic, scary, demonic, enunciated, and is instantly recognizable after just one listen. Hasjarl’s guitar playing is also first rate. He peppers the tunes with shimmering, serpentine leads and light-speed riffing. His style is, at times, a black metal version of Joy Division – hovering beneath the melody, setting up the kill, waiting for the chance to attack. His inventiveness and technique are astonishing.

I must reiterate that Fas – Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum is the finest, most impressive black metal release I’ve ever heard, and the best metal album in any genre I’ve acquired in the past decade. Deathspell Omega is quietly revolutionizing the Metal universe and I anticipate the third installment of the trilogy like I’ve anticipated nothing else in this style of music. I suggest you order this album immediately and see what metal can be. Deathspell Omega is the savior of black metal.