Horizon Records 2005
Sweden constantly seems to churn out blisteringly dark yet creative and distinctive black metal. Another entity in this long line of musically divine heritage is the mighty Ondskapt. Initiating us with an intro that reminds us of how not only Xtians are sheep but in reality so is pretty much everyone else. Most of this material is fairly mid-paced but it has a tendency to feel faster than it is due to the icy and haunting nature of the riffing. Don't get me wrong though because they can definitely pick up the pace when they want to such as around the 2 minute mark of Feeding the Flames. The album for the most part starts off in the more traditional vein musically speaking and as you drawn further into its haunting chapters the more its madness of creativity envelopes you. At first the sampling starts off somewhat reserved on Revelations of Another Time and continue to get more bizarre and forceful as the album progresses. But they are not the main focal point for the strangeness. The riffs are progressively disharmonic and cause an unsettling mood throughout the album. Ondksapt has struck a perfect balance of traditional yet moving northern black metal and creative soundscape excursions a la Deathspell Omega though not nearly as all encompassing as DSO. My favorite song is probably I Krista Skugga with its strangely winding main riff and triumphal spoken word episodes. Nah, my favorite has to be Blessed by Demonic Wrath. It is a steamroller of a song that runs you over, then stops and then batters you with another furious assault. But I guess I am splitting hairs here because there are a lot of standout tracks here. I love the production here because it captures the frigid nature of the riff style employed by Ondskapt. It reminds me at times of Mayhem on De Mysteriis. Also their soloing technique is really moving. The solo at the 3:45 minute mark of Revelations of Another Time is one of the classiest and emotional I have heard in a long time. I guess one cannot talk about Ondskapt without mentioning their spiritual beliefs and there are bands that claim they are true to the black metal ethos/aesthetics but most of them lack the spiritual conviction that Black metal requires. But not these guys. They embody what is known as Orthodox Satanism. Basically they sing about what they believe and practice in their lives, Satanism as a matter of spirituality and not philosophy. Ondskapt and in particular this album was recommended to me by several people. In a short time I they have gone from unknowns in my Lexicon to one of my new favorites.