Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ofermod : Thaumiel

If you don't know Ofermod and I were to tell you they are a Swedish black metal/death metal hybrid, you might be prone to think they are one of those almost mall metal bands with the harmony guitar solos all over the place or that they are worshipers of Dissection. Neither of these is really true. In some ways they blend their sound in a way that reminds me of Behemoth. But where Behemoth has become overly slick production wise, instead these guys have many more blasts and go for the throat without all the bells and whistles.

The first song on their newest album "Sisters of Rapture and pestilence" is an ode to succubi everywhere. It has a very powerful but creepy groove to it , and when i say creepy I don't mean sounds of the haunted house but exposing yourself at a funeral type of creepiness. Hearing them growl" drink of my semen" is pretty metal.

"Black gate" almost has a Dimmu like feel in the guitars. This song took a few listens to grow on me, as Midway into this one the riffs start to blur. Though there's a section that reminds me of Watain in the songs second half.The groove on "Calling of Setnacht" which follows is better though on the blast the vocals kinda forget what worked before and seem a little scatter, it also acquires a slight Mayhem feel. the very folk metal like clean vocals that show up midway into this one are a surprise. the Guitar solos start popping up here but it maintains a rawer feel than what most people refer to as death metal these days.

"Undead Moon" This one starts off with the biggest dynamic change as it plods along like what most people would call doom, though not enough to convince fans of Evoken. The folk metal vocals return here and in the first few listens I kept being so surprised by them and checking to see if I had mistakenly clicked on Amorphis. In first few listens I was unsure how I felt about them but grew to appreciate the color they add to this album. I am generally a fan of clean vocals so if you can introduce them in a way that makes me befuddled for a second then the transition was jarring enough to prove effective.Once you get use to them it becomes clear they are well sung with a rich mournful intonation

"Prayers Unto Warped Eternities" Has a strong verse riff, mid tempo then goes into a more blasty part near where the chorus would be expected to fall. There's a chanted section which would be closer to what you might expect from a chorus, to ominous to be frolicking but i'm sure a mead horn could be swung to this section. It leads into some nice dark picked out chords, which isn't where you expect it to go and it's these odd choices that gives this album an endearing personality.

"Choshekh en Sof" is a very dynamic song that makes me wonder why have I not being listening to this album more, the bass line at the end of this song is strong in a creepy way and the spoken word vocals that would not sound out of place on a My Dying Bride album work here.

"Chained to Redemption" From the beginning I though they were going to default back into the blasties, and while this one rips full speed ahead in more of a death metal mode with double bass flying, the tremolo section layered atop it gives it a little more of an epic feel. The last two minutes feel kinda like "Altars of Madness" era Morbid Angel to me, yet this songs being the most straightforward makes it the albums weaker moment.

"Via Noctis Veil of Garophias" Has a weird almost Immortal feeling at the beginning, maybe this is because the vocals take on more of a croak. The song also has more of a mid tempo swing to it accented by faster elements. The croak also reminds me of Attila from Mayhem, which is another strong influence I hear on this album though not one you will hear me complain about.

This album is a pretty enjoyable listen , not so cvlt you aren't having fun due to the grimness of it, the lyrics are decent and the songwriting takes chances rather than just adding to the ever growing pile of color by numbers black metal coming out every week.So I'll give it an 8 as it is well worth a listen to for fans of second wave black metal who want something with a little different taste to it.

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