Review: Omenfilth – Devourer of the Seven Moons

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Label: Eternal Death

Whilst south-east Asian black metal typically leans towards the bestial and war metal scenes, Omenfilth, from the Philippines, instead draw heavily from the Hellenic scene of old. Looking to old Filipino mythology for lyrical inspiration, Devourer of the Seven Moons is an album that captures the same kind of darkness and majesty as the likes of Varathron and old Rotting Christ. Packed full of razor-sharp leads and haunting melodies, it is the sound of a band in fine form, full of ferocity and unholy spirit. There is an incredibly powerful force behind Devourer of the Seven Moons, as if the band were possessed by the spirits of old. This is music of darkness, majesty and sinister in equal measure.

A large part of the success of Devourer of the Seven Moons is down to the atmosphere. Hellenic black metal has always been a style that succeeded when the bands playing it understood the importance of drama, tension, and grace alongside the typical aggression of black metal, and Omenfilth are no exception to that rule. Songs such as ‘The Embrace of Solitude’ and ‘Bakunaua Ex Infernis’, with their sinister melodies, conjure superb atmospheres of ancient darkness; and the inclusion of tracks such as the ominous acoustic-led title track, and the outro ‘Negare Omnis Vitas’, gives the album a sense of contrast that makes its more typical black metal sections all the more effective. It speaks to a seriousness of intent; that this is not a band who have formed simply because it was something to do, but because they have something that needs to be expressed; a spirit, once thought forgotten, that has risen again and must be given voice.

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These references to the old are intentional in two ways. Firstly, there is the matter of Omenfilth’s lyrical themes and the artwork, which depicts Bakunawa, the devourer of moons in Filipino mythology. These help give Devourer of the Seven Moons a sense of place and purpose that can sometimes be lacking in music – a connection to the past in a very real sense, helping to keep alive old tales and beliefs. But there is also the music itself. Devourer of the Seven Moons is an album that is clearly trying to recapture the spirit and sound of 90’s Hellenic metal, right down to the production style, and it absolutely nails it.

Throw in a Vulcano cover (‘Bloody Vengeance’) and two live tracks, and you have an impressive 45 minutes of raw Hellenic style black metal. Omenfilth are summoning spirits from the past, making them sound as relevant and thrilling as ever, and Devourer of the Seven Moons is a fine work of black metal art.

Devourer of the Seven Moons is available on CD, cassette, and digitally via Eternal Death.

 

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