Omenfilth – Hymns of Diabolical Treachery [Cassette] (2018) REVIEW

Tapping into the vein of Teutonic thrash’s influence upon early Greek black metal as well as Scandinavian blackened thrash in the early second wave Filipino, black metal band Omenfilth are all over the map on their second full-length ‘Hymns of Diabolical Treachery’. Leading with the “Nuclear Winter” by way of Nifelheim rage of “Shadows of an Unholy War” and “Nihil Blood” you might figure Omenfilth has few tricks up their sleeves until the begin to toy with double-time Varathron riffs and reprieves in the second half of “Nihil Blood”. This mixture is in no way curious if you’re familiar with Rotting Christ‘s early material and live shows, often involving Kreator covers and off-kilter, staggered beats. From there the album has me on the fence.

With the “Countess Bathory”-esque intro of “Demogorgon” breaking in and out of more blackened thrash and curiously mangled semi-melodic black metal there is no great shambling constant from track to track. It reminds me of early Tormentor (Hungary) in a sense as some blistering thrash metal affect colludes with first wave black metal but the mystique they’re aiming for only really lands when they fully slow down. The one moment they really nail it is in the closing moments of “Under the Scythe of the Infidel”. Don’t get me wrong, Omenfilth do a great job of balancing pure savagery and beauteous regalia as they dance perilously close to the sub-genre sun but… a 25 minute EP of old school black metal is quickly hoisted to the 50+ minute mark by a 26 minute ritual ambient track.

As much as I appreciate improvised ambiance it doesn’t help nor hinder the other four tracks. With some personal love for the strange clangorous trips of Arckanum and Abruptum when they’d venture towards ritualistic or dark ambiance I appreciate their “Black Ritual of Demonic Possession” but it’s conception and length don’t work quite as well as say, the most recent EP from Thantifaxath who blended their theme and tonality into unique ambient pieces. With greater appreciation for the other four tracks I do think the B-side flops, and I likely wouldn’t flip over to it beyond the first 3-5 listens.

For what it’s worth if you want some pure underground old school black metal the way they played it back in the extra-late 80’s jump right onto the A-side of this tape. You’re not necessarily getting the early Hellenic sound so much as a similar ethos that is right on the verge of the explosion of second wave black metal. It is raw, thoughtful, ruinously thrashing and pulls in just enough of the scent of epic/classic heavy metal to reach relatively simple conceptual goals. The second half of the album is likely going to make or break the full listening experience for you but I think the first half is well worth several listens.

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Artist Omenfilth
Type Album
Released July 27, 2018 [Cassette/Digital]
BUY/LISTEN on Eternal Death’s Bandcamp! Omenfilth on Metal-Archives
Genre Black Metal

Born in the cemetery. 3.0/5.0

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