Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mütiilation / Deathspell Omega split (2002)

Deathspell Omega did well to latch on to other well-known Black Metal bands and to use them in order to help make a name for themselves, early on in their career. This was especially the case with the releases that they did with Moonblood and Mütiilation. The Mütiilation / Deathspell Omega 10" E.P. was released on End All Life and limited to 400 copies. While one band was among the most notable in the history of the French scene, the other would eventually eclipse them and go on to attain a higher level of popularity than most would have guessed, at the time. This release is a good example of why, as Mütiilation was simply coasting by on name-value and had little to prove, while Shaxul, Hasjarl and Khaos had to put forth much more effort to prove themselves worthy of such an association.

The Mütiilation track, "Beyond the Decay of Time and Flies", shows a band that is a pale shadow of what it once was. Meyhna'ch was working solo, by this point, and the results were a far cry from the brilliant material that was found on the early demos and full-length. While the overall style is similar, there is a very annoying quality to the production and songwriting. There is some unnecessary effect being used on the vocals, and the drum programming could not sound more fake and mechanical. The riffs are not even that good, but would have been quite a bit better if the other elements had been able to make up for the lack of creativity. All complaints aside, the song is able to stir up feelings of misery and darkness, once the listener is able to forget the details and be immersed in the music. Still, this is only a fraction of what it could have been and does not do well to represent the real Mütiilation.

The first of the two DsO contributions is "Insanity Supreme", which easily destroys the previous song. The open-arpeggio riffs that introduce the track soon give way to an intense tremolo melody that hearkens back to early Darkthrone. The sense of unease that exists within much of this band's material is present and this is aided greatly by the maniacal vocal performance. The two riff styles alternate throughout the rest of the song, creating a dismal atmosphere and doing well to show up their 'mentors'.

"For Fire and Void Become One" is more of a throw-away track, compared to the other one. The first half of the song is fast-paced but lacks the sense of cohesion that was displayed earlier. A morbid feeling is developed around the middle, as the tempo slows and the guitars work to create a dark and eerie vibe. After a while, the other riffs return and the song reaches a rather predictable conclusion. It is not bad, but it is not very impressive.

While the Mütiilation song sounds too simplistic and modern at the same time, Deathspell Omega manages to sound more organic and raw, though they were also using a drum program at the time (as far as I can recall). Their material sounds much more confident and together, as well, with "Insanity Supreme" really stealing the show here. This is not an essential release, in any way, but worth checking out for the one DsO song, at least.