Exclaim!'s Top 10 Metal & Hardcore Albums Best of 2016



 
10. Deathspell Omega
The Synarchy of Molten Bones
(Norma Evangelium Diaboli)
 
It's not an easy thing to maintain an air of mystery and obscurity in the age of social media and surveillance, but French avant-garde black metal warlocks Deathspell Omega have done just that. No official band photos exist, and the members guard their real identities intensely.
 
EP The Synarchy of Molten Bones is a new beginning for Deathspell Omega artistically, a triumphant, vicious, visceral half-hour of music, that makes the absolute most of every violent second. Relentless and overwhelming, Deathspell Omega aim to batter and smother the listener into completely aural submission, and succeed admirably.
 
The record is dense and complex, with very little room to breathe, but possesses the rare control and brilliance to keep it from veering into chaos. It's a challenging record to be sure, filled with brain-bleeding riff structures, but like many tortures and trials, The Synarchy of Molten Bones rewards the brave. "Famished for Breath" stands out as a stunning brutal and beautiful track, and "Onward Where Most with Ravin I May Meet" even loosens its coils just enough to allow for some headbanging. If you're looking for something that will push you to your limit, Deathspell Omega have created just the musical flail with which to torment yourself.
Natalie Zina Walschots