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Ofermod – Pentagrammaton

by Aurora Kuczek at 05 July 2020, 9:53 AM

Hailing from Sweden come forth OFERMOD, a black metal band with some death metal influences. Formed in 1996, the project has released four full-length albums, their newest entitled “Pentagrammaton,” which birthed its name about a week ago this year. The seven track length album features a multitude of complexity in instrumentation, specifically in their drums, that renders the band to be quite disorderly in their creation. The band resembles much of days past, that its originality is hard to pinpoint in their sound. Despite this, “Pentagrammaton” is quite chaotic, and their strength is heightened in specified parts of their produced tracks.

Persisting to Die In Thee” begins the grueling tale of a blackened god. Drums race like a stellar breeze. The guitars are high pitched, offsetting the low notes in a jargon-like sentence that changes words and phrases without haste. The song slows a bit before picking up rapidity once more. As the whirs of the band grow melodic, the screams of a voice swarms the sounds, and create a chaotic atmosphere. The cymbals clash and a man wakes up from a midnight sleep in the comfort of a makeshift, fabric, home assembled deep in the woods. He wonders to what had awaken him, and he rises in hopes it is nothing of danger. Although fluid, the piece weaves in and out of consciousness. There is a breakdown of the bass before nature whips the song back into a shape of another idea with less variation. An evil laugh endures at the end.

Tiamtu” features a steadiness of drums, with guitars exhibiting a black metal rhythm that is quite melodic. The guitars transition to high and low pitches with such soundness to them. The man with a soggy shirt walks onto dingy grass peering into the wall of blackness outside his dwelling. He can feel the whispers he does not understand, and the heat of someone who lives here with him. He decides to follow the footsteps of an unknown creature who guides him. The voice is ritualistic and powerful. The guitar and bass to be complimented by each other. The song shifts to the ideas at the start of the track, and the voice echoes over the thickening fog. It is similar to other projects. There is talking towards the end for a quick moments’ time. “Unfolding Paradox In Final Redemption” continues the entropic atmosphere. The guitars harmonize with one another with such abstractness. As the drums are added within, the guitars and bass move like a soft cloud. The drums’ rhythm has an old-school punk attitude as it shoots its way through. The drums thump and the guitars continue chaotically. Only this time it seems as though they do not have specified notes, and rather random hand gestures move up and down the guitar squeaking violently as the fingers shift without thought or care.

The Becoming Of Pentagrammaton” also begins with the harmonization of the bass and guitars. Though this fades as the voice is added with a comprehendible idea, and the guitars float underneath. Beats stop and start harshly. The bass sounds majestic; beatific yet frightening as the lower notes spiral. As the song continues, parts feel less original. Elements combine together to make a coherent blend of ideas as the track gets a tad bit slower. After a moments’ time, the man finds himself surrounded with the unusual sounds of the night awaiting for the black creature. The man finds the creature starring at him behind the thickets when he turns, the creature’s jaw slightly open and a faint whisper pulling the man closer. “A Man-like God” includes notes that are memorable, as the guitars act as though they are drums. The tune is now similar to death metal, and makes the album feel a little less authentic. As the song progresses, it gains complexity and enthusiasm. The bass and guitars comes across BEHEMOTH-like. The instrumentation does not go much of anywhere throughout the song, staying on the same drift and borderline monotony. As the notes return to harmonization, the somber creation allows the man to furrow his brows in distress and the back of his neck to sweat. The creature silently moves towards the man. In response, he slowly backs away. But the creature with black fur charges towards the man, only missing him by an inch as he returns to the forest behind him. Astonished, yet confused, the man hurriedly walks towards his dwelling, zippering it shut and holding his knees to his chin in despair.

The Seventh Temple” opens with screams and simpler beats, before a bouncing nature of the guitars and bass. The breakdown is memorable with the bass similar to WINDIR. There is a slight change in melody and the guitars become power hungry. The drums stop and start, and the voice carries through evenly, much unlike the other tracks. The harsh white noise settles the uncertainties. This track is not their strongest. The man awakens once more to find that he has dozed off. This time, he is startled to find that the creature had torn a hole in his fabric roof, allowing bits of rain to pool on his forehead. The unsteady man walks outside to find the black creature waiting for him, standing on all fours. But he does not attack, and instead went to the same direction in which he before disappeared. “A Likeness To Yah”’s unworthy title is similar to much of the ending track. The beginning features nothing but white noise, and the guitars are slowly added behind the rhythm  unnoticeably. The voice sings shakily in the night calling to something that is baseless. This format is quite predictable. The guitars move back to the beginning fashion before moving to more chaotic ideals. The ending part is quite malleable, with a spooky echo vibrating in their effort. The man finds, through the dense foliage, a small path to which the creature had made with its large body. In the next moment, the black creature walks further down the path, and the man finds himself naively following without direction in sight.

OFERMOD’s “Pentagrammaton” is a decorated display of unfathomable harshness and blackened noise. It is a creation that incorporates much of the unoriginality of the genre, with some modern ways of their own. The drums are perhaps the most viable piece of the album as the rhythym is frighteningly fast. The other instrumentation serves as mere white noise rather than being cautious of their own notes. Although interesting, I believe the album is too much like the ideas of early black metal and death metal for it to seem more than them just recycling oldness. Nevertheless, “Pentagrammaton” is quite enthusiastic despite its disorder.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Persisting to Die in Thee
2. Tiamtu
3. Unfolding Paradox in Final Redemption
4. The Becoming of Pentagrammaton
5. A Man-like God
6. The Seventh Temple
7. A Likeness to Yah
Belfagor – Guitars
Moloch – Vocals
Tehom – Bass
Chivah – Drums and Songwriting (track 7)
Record Label: Shadow Records


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Edited 14 August 2020

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