Ofermod - _Tiamtu_
(Ajna, 2008)
by: Jeremy Ulrey (8 out of 10)
Ofermod, a new "solo +1" band from Sweden, self identify as "Orthodox Religious Death Metal", which is equal parts enlightening and obfuscating. Orthodox, yes, but orthodox of what? The band focus on ceremonial black magick and make no effort to dumb anything down for consumption by the layman. "Behold the endless Daath / leaving the triads underneath / I ascend the eleventh oath..." contains a kind of specificity which assumes a minimum a priori knowledge of their demonic syllabus. Black metal, too, is a bit of a misnomer, the music lacking frenzied blast beats, plangent keyboard tirades or tinny production, but nonetheless in its raw ferocity best described in black metal nomenclature.

There is the lock step, martial rhythmic thrust of "Death Cantata", the ceremonial grandeur of "Maasseh Nechushtan", the familiar triplet / blast beat combo on "Eu Angelion"... yet there are in fact an ample number of death metal touchstones as well, from the guttural vocals of Leviathan Nebiros to the Morbid Angel riff encomium "Dreaming in the Veins of Kingu". Aside from Nebiros, all instrumentation and songwriting is masterminded by Micahayah Belfagor -- hence the "solo +1" tag -- and though he's breaking no new musical ground with Ofermod, it's clear that Belfagor takes both his belief system and his song craft seriously, which in turn translates to invigorated interest in the ears of the listener. A promising debut by an uncompromising, yet accessible, band.

Contact: http://www.myspace.com/ofermodofficial

(article published 31/1/2009)

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